Sun warriors -in search for light

Croats, according to the oldest traditions, called themselves the ‘Sun people’, or the ‘Sun warriors’. In the beginning there was nothing, there was a ‘Pre-darkness’, sea and dark sky, the only existing thing was the ‘Pre-egg’ in which rested ‘Svarog’, the divine creator. Under the influence of the life force, the egg cracked open and created the light. So, the forces that created the world were initiated, and from Svarog shadows ‘Crnobog’ was born, god of evil and suffering.

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Long long time ago there lived a goddess of a morning star. Her name was Danica. Each morning she would open the gates of Džabog’s palace so that the sun may begin his journey. And what journey that was! Full of brightness, colors, warmth, shiny sparkles and everyday beauty.

It’s no wonder Slavic people prayed to Danica each morning as the sun rose, sun little sister. They were obsessed with natural light provide to them by the stars, the moon and the sun.

And still they are…

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Our obsession with light given to us by our ‘gods’ can be seen in many photos published on social networks. Sunrise photos, sunset photos,  are most liked and most welcomed to see,  and, in some strange way, we are still cherishing Croatian forgotten gods while admiring beauty of the Sun.

The island of Hvar is said to be the number one hotspot of Europe, seeing more sunshine in a year than anywhere else. And the name Hvar and its origin? Its name, Hvar, is a Persian word meaning the ‘Sun’, in the Avesta, Hvar is the name for the ‘God of the Sun’.

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In May 1964, Alfred Hitchcock checked into Room 204 of the classic and now closed Hotel Zagreb on the waterfront in Zadar. The hotel’s location was one of the best in town and it was from there that the famed director opined that “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida.” This is a fact that Zadar residents have long known, but which the celebrity mention made world-famous.

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Was he right? Who cares. Fact that we are mentioning it on each and every of our tourism sites says enough; we know how to show the world our love towards beauty of the sun.

From the Guardian…

Croatian mythology should be told on a cold winter’s night. It’s the sort of stuff that needs flickering light from a dying fire and a howling wind whistling outside, occasional draughts sending extra shivers down your spine. Sitting in a semi-circle before a wise old woman, or a huge bearded man, you don’t get Croatian folk stories from a book, just from memory and invention.

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Croatian myth is part of the Slavic tradition that sweeps across Baltic, central and Eastern Europe, terrifying children and giving nightmares a ghoulish flavour. There is almost nothing that can be called specifically Croatian, hardly surprising given that there has hardly been an area that would answer to the name of Croatia for very long.

The Slavic tradition itself is nothing like as hard and fast as Greek mythology. There are no ancient written authorities and all that survive are the characters, but without any actual stories.

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There are Gods like Perun, God of Thunder, King of the Gods, who are recognisable from all mythologies. Most of the Slavic Gods, like Veles, God of the Underworld, would feel at home round a Greek or a Norse Gods’ banqueting table. But it is the lesser deities, who inhabit the world around us every day, who give Slavic myth its own peculiar dimensions.

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Considering how ‘scary’ Croatian stories of long ago can be (believe me, I have experienced ‘beauty’ of night tales many times during my childhood), again, it’s no wonder, we created something opposite, like Danica or Zora. Light, even in the late afternoon, was our safe port during frightening storms.

And the cup–the enchantress cup–will grow, grow until it becomes a huge basin filled with purple: — and in the evening sunset I shall bathe all of my precious cup’s figures, gods, goddesses, fairies, shepherds, musicians and pipers, awaiting in the game, music, and laughter for magic sleep to wrap us in velvet and spill into our cup of happiness the glaring magic of his stars: the stars of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

Fran Mažuranić, 1859-1928

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Beautiful wilderness

Thus it was and thus it befell…

Have you ever read Croatian tales of long ago? I am sure you didn’t. Last weekend I was enjoying beautiful wilderness just outside my country house remembering my childhood. Memories lead me to my library and this particular book caught my eye.

When we were kids, at school, we hated this book for one reason only; we had to read it as our school assignment.  Well, I do not know many kids who are enjoying anything they must do, unless is something they choose to do.

Anyhow, my little nature walk reminded me of this book, which I am sharing with you together with beautiful details of wilderness still there.

Did you know that Ivana Brlić Mažuranić was nominated four times for Nobel Prize? I am sure you didn’t. But after reading beautiful myths and stories from Slavic people you will know why.

Enjoy!

https://archive.org/details/croatiantalesofl00brli
https://archive.org/details/croatiantalesofl00brli

 

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Kad si sretan i sunce za tobom žuri…
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She neither worked, nor tidied, nor wept, nor lamented, but just pined away with grief and sorrow.
"Now isn’t that a wonder of wonders, that the sea should be so wide that a mother cannot encompass it, and the sun so high that a mother should not be able to reach it?"
“Now isn’t that a wonder of wonders, that the sea should be so wide that a mother cannot encompass it, and the sun so high that a mother should not be able to reach it?”
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Then Curlylocks brought out her little bag of pearls to give presents and pleasure to her new friends.
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“I was the same as your Sea King here. I had a son who tugged my beard, a wife who showed me marvels, and wild spinach, brothers – as much as you want….”
"At that time there were no more dragons anywhere in the world, nor witches, nor any monsters. The Holy Cross and human reason had driven them forth."
“At that time there were no more dragons anywhere in the world, nor witches, nor any monsters. The Holy Cross and human reason had driven them forth.”

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The tradition – Olive tree mother and her child olive oil

They say, olive tree is like mother; giving selflessly even if she is neglected for years.

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95% of all olive oil production in the world comes from the Mediterranean, and of course, even we are small, Croatia is one of those producers. And yes, you can be sure, olive oil from Croatia, is really from Croatia.

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There are two regions here producing most of our oil. Istria and Dalmatia. We are in Dalmatia, so that means, everything here is much harder than in Istria when we talk about harvesting.

In Dalmatia, olives are scattered all over the place, and mostly, in areas which are hard to reach. Which means what?

Well, join us, and we will show you, the best we can through this post. If you want to know what does the olive try symbolize, legends and mythology surrounded about this fruit from heaven, or liquid gold as Homer called it, check out our older post;

The olive tree – Symbol of Immortality

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So, it’s October, temperature is around 25 degrees, weather is pretty good. Wind up your watches ’cause we are getting up pretty early in the morning. Around 6 am. Drink your coffee, enjoy it, because later, well, you won’t have the chance ;).

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Pack your food, lots of water, tools, and let’s go :).

As I already said, here, in Dalmatia, olives are all around, and ours are up, on the hill. You have to be a pretty good driver to past all the traps in front of you.

In other countries, people harvest olives by using machines that shake the entire trees. Here, we do it with our hands.

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Dalmatia wildlife? :)
Dalmatia wildlife? 🙂

Please make sure you have suitable shoes, which are not slippery, because, there will be a lot of tree climbing. Also, no matter the temperature, you need to wear long sleeves, if you do not want to ‘cat scratch me’ look afterwards.

Girls, make sure your hair is secured as well.

Around noon, we will have 20 minutes off, for nice BBQ. Believe me, you will be hungry and you will enjoy it more than in a 5 star restaurant.

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Around 4 pm, we are packing our stuff and it’s time to go home.

But the work isn’t complete. We need to shake our olives a little bit and clean the leafs. One of us, of course, is preparing dinner.

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It’s 8 pm. You drink your Aspirin or any other pain killer and you go to bed. At 8 pm. Because tomorrow is Sunday, and yes, we are repeating this once again. And again. And again. We have around 500 olive trees. For our use mostly. Nothing professional. Yep, family thing. E-mail me if you want to buy it ;):

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Does it sounds frightening? Perhaps. But, no matter sore muscles, we are doing it with joy. Because, we are thankful each year for the yield. We are thankful that we can spend so much time in the nature, hanging out, talking, laughing, crying from tiredness, instead being in front of TV or computer. We are thankful that we can enjoy our own oil. We are thankful for that and much more.

After all, we enjoy using olive oil. So, this time, let’s make a cake ;).

Joining us next year? 😉

Source: Like Croatia
Source: Like Croatia
Source: Like Croatia
Source: Like Croatia

Beautiful simplicity – Dalmatian islands (Vis)

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Komiža, Island Vis
As Dalmatians would say: Odnija vrag i prišu! which translated would mean: Sit down, no need to run through life :)
As Dalmatians would say: Odnija vrag i prišu! which translated would mean: Sit down, no need to run through life 🙂

I love Croatia. Yes, I was born here, yes I do live here. But, I never saw my country in a way as I see it with my blog or Facebook page, writing about all the beauties which we are surrounded with, strong heritage, and simplicity which describes especially Dalmatia, and people and places situated here.

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Always, favorite destination for sailors 🙂
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Long history and bright future
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Live on an island and have no boat? We don’t think so…

Sometimes, I feel, I do not have enough time to explore Dalmatia, let alone Croatia, and we are one of the smallest countries in the world. Does that even make any sense?

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Simplicity of life…
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Simple and luxurious, that is Croatia
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Like in the old times, a goat is still a best friend for many people on our islands…
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Forgotten and left alone…
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Better to cage a shell, than a bird

Last weekend we visited island Vis, Komiža and Blue Cave, and island Hvar. We enjoyed in five days vacation, especially in Komiža, a place, which brings us to some old times. Times, when we knew what is really matter in life.

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Flowers will grow anywhere you plant them 🙂
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Flowers make everything better
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Take a seat, and relax…
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Simply Beautiful

Vis – island you are always coming back to.

Already in the early Stone Age, Vis was a meeting point for navigation routes, of peoples of various origins and of a variety of cultures. This has been the main characteristic of Vis’ history since ancient times until the present day.

At the beginning of 19th century 12,000 people lived here from all over Europe. That influenced Vis’ language where you can find, besides the derivates of the Venetian dialect, English, French, German and even Hungarian words.

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The Blue Cave, one of the most attractive natural phenomena in the Adriatic, is located on the small island of Biševo near Vis. It is only 17 meters wide and 31 meters long. The cave is accessible through a narrow sea passage between the rocks. Sunlight comes in through an underwater opening, flooding the sea and the visitors with silver and blue colors. The only known habitat for the monk seal is right next to it.
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Is there a better way to end your day 🙂
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An old rope… Stories we could hear from it…

Today when, at the beginning of August, you drive on the road to Vis, it really looks like a metropolis. Its shiny illumination extends, like at Christmastime, from the waterfront around the entire bay over the decorated masts, to all the town suburbs, where the lantern on the islet of Host flashes to the north. To the west, like a suburb the Stonca bay illuminates the cove always full of fishermen’s boats and local sailing boats whilst to the east the Renaissance town of Kut appears. The peaceful idyll of Kut encounters the summer turbulence of the port in Our Lady’s Batarija. A concert currently takes place within the Austrian fortress, a little owl can be heard and under its walls, Spanish visitors are usually the loudest there. A number of people come out in front of the summer cinema once the animated film has just finished, and the feature film is about to begin. On the waterfront new elements and toys shine. There are lasers, led lamps and a variety of coloured stroboscopes. Under the stern of the mega yacht called Aikea Guinea, the arctic neon glares and under it the flathead mullet have party, the two of them together are really big catches. Even the saxophone can be heard around here, “Fly me to the moon” whilst in front of the bank a boat karaoke show is moored. A French band plays In Bejbi and under the reflectors over Issa’s necropolis, someone has scored a goal.

Source: tz-vis.hr

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We could peak it all day long…Our beautiful sea…
Mysterious?
Mysterious?
Exibišon indeed :)
Exibišon indeed 🙂

Enjoy in the beautiful simplicity we found here and remember together with us how simple things can fulfill our lives with energy and joy. We only hope we will find time to visit all of our beautiful islands as often as possible, because, this luxurious, yet, simple beauty can bi found in each corner of Dalmatia.

We are looking forward to see what we will discover in other parts of our beautiful homeland.

One day cruise – when friends meet and enjoy summer

Poljica, a small fisherman place located 15 minutes North from beautiful Trogir. Beautiful beaches, clean sea, and friends we enjoy spending time with.

Poljica beach
Poljica beach

Our friend Dino, a fisherman during winter and best tourist guide during summer, has a boat for daily cruises from Poljica to island Drvenik (Krknjaši). During your little cruise, you stop to
at least 3 beautiful places great for swimming, you can have delicious lunch with great view in old stone house, and you can even try fishing with Dino. Believe me, you will not regret,
as he is fishing since he was a little boy, and, he definitely can teach you something and provide you with great lunch you fished by yourself.
Isn’t that the best feeling?

Our captain Dino
Our captain Dino

So, Sunday 8:00 AM. Everybody on board!, Dino yells, as we throw our bags full of food, drinks and all kind of accessories for our kids. You can never have enough of those :).
Beautiful weather, clean and glass sea, fresh coffee served on board (and perhaps another 10 times during the day), and friends laughing and enjoying our little summer cruise.

On our way...
On our way…
Krknjaši - Blue Lagoon  Photosource: daytripsfromSplit.com
Krknjaši – Blue Lagoon
Photosource: daytripsfromSplit.com

First stop, Krknjaši – Blue Lagoon
Krknjaši cove on the Drvenik island, surrounded with Veli Krknjaš and Mali Krknjaš islets, is a real tropical lagoon from the picture postcards. It is not far away from land but a world away from mainstream tourism. Well known to yachtsmen and captains of megayachts who love to cruise these unspoiled waters and enjoy the secluded beaches, little known outsiders (www.trogir-sailing.com).

Little captain
Little captain
Beach, beach, beach Krknjaši
Beach, beach, beach Krknjaši

After we enjoyed beautiful morning for swimming, we got hungry! This beautiful bay has restaurant Krknjaši, but hey; with 5 big guys and full box of fresh meat, only choice was barbecue (gradele prepared meat).
Beautiful old stone house with great host, amazing view and a chance to prepare your own food. With friends you enjoy spending your time with, can life be any better than this?

Lunch time...
Lunch time…

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Anybody hungry?
Anybody hungry?
What a view :)
What a view 🙂

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Local wine from our vineyards, vegetables from our gardens, our olive oil, and delicious barbecue in combination with summer breeze and beautiful view can be described as true hedonism.

After another swimming, another coffee, we anchored in two more beautiful bays, enjoying deep blue sea.

Little boat :)
Little boat 🙂
On the way....
On the way….
You never know when you will need it :)
You never know when you will need it 🙂

On our way home, with sunset in front of us, we could only wish for one thing: To repeat this as often as possible!

Argh!
Argh!

We have only one thing to say to you! Join us… 🙂

Too cold to swim, but not to cold to stay away – Adriatic Sea

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
― Anaïs Nin

<a href="”> Read More…

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
― Anaïs Nin

Yesterday, we had windy, but sunny day, here in Split. So, what is the best way to spend a day like that, but take a seaside walk.
And we did!

Sunset
Sunset

I think, most of us, Dalmatians, feel certain tranquility being close to the sea. We do not have to swim in it, or sail,…we just need to see it, feel it, or here it
so we can be sure it is there. Near us.

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It felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.
― Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

A glass of wine, and we will say, not chestnut but fish (cod fish for example) and the sound of sea. Nothing else.

Enjoy our walk together with us.

Blue as it can get
Blue as it can get
Secret view
Secret view
Fishing
Fishing

P.S. Recipe for Cod fish brodetto (Bakalar brodetto)

Cod fish brodetto
Cod fish brodetto

Cod fish Brodetto

2 lbs of cod fish
3 lbs of potatoes
3 large yellow onions
large can of whole tomatoes
10 garlic cloves
a bunch of parsley
2 cups of white vine
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt, Pepper

Cut the Cod fish into two to 3 inch long pieces and put them in a bowl with water and cover it. Change the water every 8 hours, three times.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices, Slice the onions, mince the garlic and chop the parsley.

In a large pot start assembling your brodetto. On the bottom put a layer of onions, then a layer of potatoes, layer of fish and crush a little bit of tomatoes and tomato juice on top. Do this until you are all done and then on top of it put your garlic and parsley, salt and pepper and bouillons.
Pour the wine and olive oil on the top and then add some water to about and inch from the top of the food. Cook on medium until the potatoes are done, for about 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure to serve some great bread on the side because the broth is to die for!
This is even better the next day and it freezes well.

Recipe find and adjusted a little bit here: http://www.mogwaisoup.com/2014/12/baccala-brodetto.html

Dalmatian fisherman – one day, one night, big adventure

Noćas ću pod sviću bacit peškafondo
zapalit španjulet i odmorit dušu.
Pridat ću se moru miru i tišini
zaboravit sve ću stvari ča me gušu.

Waking up  early, with the moon still there
Waking up early, with the moon still there
And here we go...
And here we go…

It is difficult to translate above lyrics, as you would have to be a Dalmatian just for a day, and spend one night at the sea, under the sky, just to have a small sensation what sea, sky, boat, and fish means to people living in Croatia.

Looking at the fishing boat passing by while drinking coffee. But, this time, we were on the boat :)
Looking at the fishing boat passing by while drinking coffee. But, this time, we were on the boat 🙂

In short words, when fisherman sail from shore to the sea, he forgets about all the problems that smuggles him in life. It’s just him and the silence he feels while away from the land.

Fishing tradition on the Adriatic is long. In Croatian Maritime Museum in Split you can see fishing boat ‘Perina’, at the museum courtyard, a traditional Dalmatian ‘gajeta’, one of the oldest surviving vessels on the east Adriatic coast. It is little to say that this gajeta represents centuries of local sailing knowledge and tradition.

Our friends, seagulls...
Our friends, seagulls…
No matter what you think, at sea, you are never alone.
No matter what you think, at sea, you are never alone.

Oldest document about fisheries in Croatia is dated around the year 995. and its been kept in historical archives in Zadar.

Oldest Croatian document about fisheries  Source: www.sali-dugiotok.com
Oldest Croatian document about fisheries
Source: http://www.sali-dugiotok.com

The everyday life of Croatian fishermen did not change a lot from previous centuries. Yes, we have motor fishing boats now, strict laws, and less fish then before, but conditions modern fishermen is facing out at the open, are the same. Early start, all night work, coldness, bad weather, wet clothes, tiredness, and modest food is something that bond fishermen throughout the history.

Uh, hard work indeed, but each fish we had catch made us smile.
Uh, hard work indeed, but each fish we caught made us smile.

BUT, that did not stopped us, as yes, we did; we were brave enough to experience one night at the sea. It was difficult, it was hard. Oh yes! Every five minutes we wanted to give up and swim back home just to feel warm bed. We stayed. We fished. And we were most glad we did.

Going back home...Long way in head of us.
Going back home…Long way in head of us.
Part of our catch :).
Part of our catch :).
Sailing with the sunrise...Coming with the sunset...
Sailing away with the sunrise…Coming home with the sunset…

Our reward was octopus under the bell (lid). It tasted so good. Yep, you do not want to miss an adventure like this! 🙂

Octopus under the bell...
Octopus under the bell…

Most beautiful sunset – Zadar

While a guest of room 204 of the former Hotel Zagreb, Hitchcock is quoted as saying: “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida”. This honour was bestowed upon the sunsets of Zadar back in May of 1964 and continues to garner much attention today.

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In search of simplicity – Dalmatia

One day, I will find right words, and they will be simple.

cvit u kamenu

beauty

sea
Dalmatia…Right word, simple word.
Simplicity is the essence of this region. Simple but most delicious food, slow life mood, beauty seen in everyday life, especially during summer time.
luftanje

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lipo li je lipo li je

Summer … Mid-August … We finally have enough sun to steal a little gold… It is time for picking figs, we are preparing for the the new school year, doing our best to brighten holidays for our visitors…

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We are enjoying singing crickets, cold watermelon, morning and afternoon coffee …

Grilled fish, tomatoes and cucumbers salad and glass of good wine or a cold beer. Can life be more beautiful?
Simplicity …

 

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Each day should be spent finding beauty in little things.

From ancient times, life in Dalmatia was sustained by fishing, olive oil and wine. Life on the Dalmatian islands and coast today has not changed much in that regard. Perhaps today, we appreciate this life even more by giving more love and time. The coast and the islands are carved with thousands of small bays and pebbled beaches.
blue sky

vineyards

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We are giving our precious time and love entirely to summer and Dalmatia and we do enjoy in simple life this region is offering to us :).

A wonderful night in Split (Spalato)

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Let’s sail…
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Split (Spalato), view from the West Coast
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ACI marina, Split
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Down at the West Coast…
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Art Market
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Street music…
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Split Riva at night
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Monte Carlo? Nooooo…..Split 🙂
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Luxury yacht at the West Coast
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Matejuška
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Night submarine ride 🙂