This was the first time ever, that we traveled without any prior accommodation arrangements. We found a comfortable apartment at the first sleepy village of Sv. Juraj (Transl. St. George). The spacious, two bedroom apartment was luxuriously furnished, with beautiful bathroom. Bedrooms faced a church with bell tower - the bells were tolling every quarter of an hour, day and night. The weekdays mass has been held at 5:30 A.M. Surprisingly, we got accustomed to it.
Beach activities at Sv. Juraj were concentrated around little stony beach and concrete structure, which served as a sundeck. The beach tended to be crowded, with local youngsters and families with children. The water was clean, though. Soon we started to look for other diving spots, making short car trips.

A miracle happened! One of the roads branching down from the main coastal highway ended in a tiny fishing village in a bay. A 20 minutes walk got us to a secluded cove and a beach. There was even a structure build to protect us from the sun. We spent 8 days there, with one day only that we were not alone. Water was crystal clean, albeit cold on some spots, due to many underground fresh water streams that surfaced at the bottom of the cove. I called Ema and father the workers of the sea. Their working day start right after arrival on the beach with setting up the gear and first dive. After each dive they surfaced with larger and more beautiful sea urchins. Then it was all over again until the shifts end. Dive, cleaning and drying the catch, dive again. They had a lunch break, though. We had three large card boxes full of sea urchins on our drive home.
The picturesque fishing village had no shop, no tavern, no church, no cars - only sea, sun and relaxed air. The closest tavern was 40 minutes walk one way on a path through "our" cove. Across the bay, there were several dry islands.
We thought about moving to this forgotten village, then we found out what a trap our luxurious apartment in Sv. Juraj was. All other apartments looked less value compared to that one. We went on driving to / fro Sv. Juraj.

photo: Emilia Branková

One morning we woke up to a sunny, but very windy day. It was after a night with heavy storm, rain and thunders. It was obvious, even to the sea wolf my father is that there will not be any swimming or diving. We drove up to the mountains that were towering above our village. The highest peak, Velebit, reaches 1.645 m. A winding road led us to a pass at 886 m above sea level. The temperature was 11°C less, than at the coast (27°C). Between grassy slopes we saw blue sea with many islands deep below us. Because of the rains we had extreme visibility, reaching some 100 kilometers.
Driving deeper into the country we have been surrounded by forests with meadows blanketed with thousands of flowers. It was a welcome change from the swimming, diving and sunbathing.
Similar countryside exists in Slovakia - there it is spoiled by many private chalets, summerhouses and activities connected with it. We could see nothing like that here in Croatia. Who would consider building a summerhouse up there, with the magnificent coastline of Croatia?
We'll be back, Croatia

Vlado Branko

Last modified on August 2001.

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