On August 8, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:30 am since we were going on the The Secret Hvar Tour today. Sinisa (nickname is Simon since it’s easier for us tourists to say) was our guide with a green SUV. Ivan and I got inside and thought there might be more people, but it was only us.
The views were lovely during our off road tour. It was a little bumpy with lots of great scenery all around us. Simon stopped and let us smell something and try to guess what it was. One was rosemary (which we didn’t guess) and the other was oregano (this we did guess).
Our first stop was up a hill with a gorgeous view. Simon said they usually don’t stop here if there’s a lot of people. I’m glad we were able to stop since the view was amazing.
Ivan thought we should go to Stari Grad. It was nice to have a private tour where we could customize it.
We passed a village where only 7 people live, in the summer 20-25 people live there. We saw another village which was hidden from the sea, so they pirates wouldn’t find them. This village was abandoned.. we got to peek inside one of them.
Simon was nice and said we could ask him to stop the car at anytime if we wanted to take a photo of something.
Simon showed us a snow shelter which was a dome shelter. The entrance faces the west, so that when the sun comes down at night it brings in light. It was a lot cooler inside the snow shelter than outside. The shelter was put together by placing rocks on top of another without any adhesive.
There are many stone walls along the mountains in Hvar. These were built a long time ago to make grapes and other fruits grow better since the walls created humidity.
Ivan asked if we were stopping at a winery and Simon said no, unless you want to. So, later one we’d be doing a winery tour instead of going to Stari Grad.
The tour stopped at the highest point on Hvar island.
We started headed towards the place for lunch. There was lots of trees missing since there was a big fire on the island.
I asked Simon about the Dalmatian dogs. Apparently, a long time ago in the Dalmatia region.. a monk found a Dalmatian dog. But, a lot of people think the dog originates from Egypt. Hard to say, but the dog is a symbol on postcards. If you’re American you know the Dalmatian dog is a popular firehouse dog
Simon took us to Human which is an ethno-eco village (whatever that means!). It had lovely views and horses for kids to ride. Our table was outside which had a great view. We got octopus cooked in a clay pot which was delicious. The pan was covered with a dome lid and coals were placed on top.
The octopus were cooked with potatoes – the best potatoes were the crunchy ones.
Next, we drove a short time to get to the Vina Tomić. We were going to take a winery tour. Simon told us earlier that the wine god might be there – it’s Andro Tomić the owner of the winery and quite famous in Hvar. I was hoping we’d get to meet them since it’s not every day that you meet a wine god.
A guy showed us around the winery. We saw a funny picture of the wine god.. you could tell he has a sense of humor.
Ivan and I saw the vats the wine is made in. Simon told us that the wine god was in the building since we saw him although we didn’t know it was him. Next, we saw the barrels. Then, we were taken to the beautiful wine cellar for the wine tasting. We paid extra for the wine tour… think it was 150 kn per person.
We enjoyed the four wines. We grade our wines out of 10 and describe what we think of it when we do wine tastings.
The best were the Opolo Nobile 2011 which smelled like strawberries and Ivan quoted it as being cheeky. Another favorite was the award winning wine called Plavac Mali 2007which was 14.3% (wow!!). Ivan thought it was like dark chocolate and I thought it was velvety. The dessert wine Prosek Hectorovich was delicious and scored the most with 9 out of 10. Simon says it tastes like honey. I thought it was very sweet and oh, so good while Ivan thought it was naughty. The wine came with cheese, anchovies and more cheese that went well with the wines. Simon told us a funny story about drinking a lot of Prosek which will make you do funny things… isn’t that most alcohol if you drink enough?! Simon told us that fathers will keep a bottle of Prosek and keep it until their son or daughter gets married. The guy who gave us the tour said that his dad’s Prosek would REALLY be like honey (from aging so long) since it’ll be awhile until he gets married. I’m not sure why though.. since the guy was cute.
Oh yah, we got to meet the wine god! We took a few photos with him.
He thought I was Spanish coz he said Hola. Simon said I was American. I told him I was Filipino. Ivan said Merci to him. He’s Croatian, but he knows French since he studied how to create wine there.
It was time to go on the road again. I wanted to buy a bottle of the Prosek, but it’s too heavy and we have too much stuff as it is.
Simon took us to the beach next. We had an hour to chill out. Ivan was really tired. He took a nap while I went in search of the nude beach. I’ve never seen one so I was curious. I forgot to grab water before heading out in the path covered with trees… I never made it to the nude beach since I got tired. I decided to stop among the rocky beach and go in the water. I’m glad Lil Dave was there to keep me company. He doesn’t like water though.. but he chatted with me while I was in the water. I had my Northface sandals one which was good since the rocks were slippery.
I read my Needful Things book while sitting on a rock with part of my legs in the water. It was lovely.
Simon took us back into Hvar. We said good-bye and thanks. If you want to take a cool tour, you should take a Secret Hvar tour.
That night, we went to The Park restaurant for dinner. Ivan and I shared lobster soup, fish pate, mussels and grilled squid with a great white house wine. Lil Dave got banana stuffed squids and a banana dip with pita. The food was wonderful. Ivan and I shared crème caramel (which is like a flan) and a lovely white chocolate and lavender mousse.
We walked downstairs and heard music. I thought it was a record, but Ivan went to check it out. It was a Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin (I get those two confused sometimes) song. It turned out to be a great cover band. The guy sounded spot on. We sat down and right after the band was going on a break. This happens to us a lot!! We decided to walk around and then come back to listen to more.
Ivan and I checked out a store with cool arty decorations.
It was time to hear some music. The band was called Just in Time. The lead singer said it was an artificial name.. maybe they couldn’t decide on a good name yet.
The band played Lenny Kravitz’s Are you Gonna Go My Way?, Steve Wonder’s Superstitious, The Beatles, U2 and Sting’s Englishman in New York. The leader singer had such a beautiful soulful voice. Wow! Ivan and I could listen to this band for hours and hours. The band finished and we left.
Ivan wanted to check out Club Veneranda. It’s the club that Prince Harry went to when he visited Hvar. He said if it’s good enough for Prince Harry, it’s good enough for him. It was way too much to get in which probably wouldn’t have been worth it since we could hear the lame music being played.