Hvar: An Adriatic Jewel

Hvar Town as seen from the Fortress.

Hvar Town as seen from the Fortress.

We are cruising the Dalmatian Coast on the Azamara Quest and docked in our first Croatian port of Hvar at around 11AM.   First order of business was to tender into town to venture out on a tour of Island Highlights. This coast is incredibly beautiful with deep blue sea, bright blue sky, a light sea-breeze and layers of history. Today we toured the medieval Hvar Town and Stari Grad (formerly Pharos), stopping at a Dominican Monastery to see some archaeological antiquities from the Roman era. Our guide was excellent at filling us in on the complex history of Croatia and it’s tenure with the ancient Greeks, Romans and Venetians, just to name a few who once ruled this land that was most recently part of Yugoslavia. Our daughter was particularly alarmed to hear about the large number of wild boar and snakes inhabiting this island.

The bay in Hvar is lovely and we saw an unusual number of extremely large mega-yachts.

In town, we walked through the square with its church and bell tower, as well as one of the earliest public theaters, built not long after Shakespeare’s theater in London.

The day was extremely warm, and as we traveled into the interior, it got even warmer. We visited a typical Konoba (Taverna) in the village of Vrisnik for a tasty typical snack of cheese, smoked ham, bread, olive oil and wine. The white wine was not bad.

Once back in Hvar we toured the storybook fortress overlooking the city, and marveled at the commanding views of the town and bay. The complex also houses a prison with a long, slick, claustrophobic staircase and dungeon-style cells hidden far below.

Then back to the ship: hot, tired and heads crammed with new lessons about history, geography and culture.

We boarded the ship yesterday in Venice and experienced an amazing scenic sail-away on our way out of port.   For the second night in a row we managed to consume about eight desserts at dinner; we don’t order, they just bring them – this has got to stop . . . .

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