Sailing to Hvar was pure joy, with light winds of 10 knots but half-wind so we reached 6 to 6.5 knots of speed! The weather predictions were of strong westerly winds and afraid of the possible swell in the port of Stari Grad ( still the awful swell of the Supertar port lingered in our minds) we opted for the bay of Uvala Tiha before the town where we picked up a buoy. Of course, we had to pay for the buoy ( is anything free in this country?) but we went ashore with our little trusted “klein botje” as Elena calls the dinghy, and enjoyed a quiet afternoon without any dramatic swells or wind gusts.
Hvar island is known for its “capital” Hvar, where all megayachts berth and everyone comes to party. Based on quick research we chose for Stari Grad instead, and what a great decision that was! Stari Grad meaning literally “old town” is the oldest town in Croatia and one of the oldest in Europe as well. The next day, the 30th of July, we motored into Stari Grad and to our surprise, we found one empty buoy we could pick up in the middle of the harbor. How fortunate! We were in the middle of the city without having to squeeze between all the huge rented sailing boats and superyachts, plus avoiding any (unavoidable) swell. If Supertar was pretty, Stari Grad surpassed it for sure. Stone buildings here too, beautiful promenade with bar/restaurants but the atmosphere here was different: the combination of the ancient buildings and ruins -remnants of the multiple wars-and the modern cafes was unique, you could feel the history and the breeze of fresh and new air all at once. Elena and I had plenty of time to explore the small city as Jelle was busy working but that gave us an excuse for more photos and ice creams! Besides the picturesque narrow cobblestone paths, one highlight of Stari Grad was the birthplace and hometown of the Ressainace poet, thinker, and builder Petar Hektorović’s Tvrdalj. His impressive house and fishpond constitute one of the landmarks of the city and his quotes are inscribed in Croatian and Latin in various places in his house. There was also a very creative shop called music room, where they sold all types of stuff made from vinyl records only! Earrings, bags, clocks, anything you can think of, and of course.. vinyl records!
On the 2nd of August, we rented a car for half a day to visit the famous Hvar (the town) and see a bit of the rest of the island. Our rental car was a green Beetle Cabrio, was like starring in Herbie! Hvar was indeed cute but super busy and once again, we confirmed our good decision of choosing Stari Grad as our berth! There was a lot of swell in the tiny port and although the town was nice, it did not look anything special. The view from the fort was worth the drive up tough as we took some nice panoramic pictures. We also visited Jelsa, a cute little fishing village becoming more famous by the minute since the massive ACI marina recently set up there. Unfortunately, we didn’t drive up to the lavender fields due to the late hour but we did enjoy a delicious dinner at Antika restaurant!
After almost 5 days in Hvar, we set sail on the 3rd of August to our next adventure. Our original plan was to continue to Korcula but instead, we are going inland to meet some extensive family!