I have been searching for a place like this for soooo long. A place which is like candy to the eyes, to the nose and to the ears too, which is rather relaxing but full of life and which is not overcrowded but you don't feel yourself as Robinson on an island.
Though Croatia is just the next country to the south of Hungary, I have never been there. Ok I was once, working in the nothern part of the country but it was not the coast side. And I found a place which totally matches my recent mood:)
Stari Grad on the island Hvar in Croatia.
There are different type of vacations to me.
- The Ibizia-Corfu-Mallorca type. Beach, party, music, bikinis and coctails. Lot of fun, lot of people, nightlife.
- The sight-seeing type. Athens, Barcelona, Paris, Saint-Petersburg, Rome, Venice. Every corner a living history, a lot to see, museums and exhibitions, taking photos and getting a lot of impressions.
- The hiking, diving, climbing, rafting, jumping, icy, mountain, sporty adrenaline rushing vacation.
- The relaxing one. Renting an apartment in Florence, reading a book on the terrace watching the evening city life in a restaurant with a glass of wine. Mobile phone off, no internet, no television especially no news but you can feel the gentle wind on your face and this is the only stimulus which might bother you..but it doesn't.
The history of Stari Grad:
Stari grad, the oldest town on the Hvar island and one of the first in Europe , was founded by the ancient Greeks in 385/384 BC as an independent polis of Pharos. At the time of the Roman colonisation it was called Pharis. From the formation of the Hvar commune in 1278, when Hvar (Civitas Nova) became the island's chief town, Stari Grad (Civitas Vetus) stagnated somewhat.
The medieval settlement grew up north of the Greek one and by the coast on the east. But there was nonetheless no change in the previously mentioned political and economic stagnation of the town in the 13th century. The architecture of the town, however, was not affected. Although the majority of the buildings were built in the 16th and 17th centuries, i.e. the Renaissance and baroque style are dominant in the city centre, there are many buildings with Romanesque and Gothic traces. (source)
Looking at the buildings and considering the entire atmosphere of the Dalmatian towns and cities the Venetian influence is the most obvious. I felt like just being in Italy though this is Croatia, an original Slavic community.
I guess due to the local policy...Stari Grad is a quiet or better to say 'noiseless' place. Not because its empty, plenty of tourists and local people are everywhere but somehow they try to keep that relaxing feature. There are no bars which try to be the most loud in the street. Only cafés and restaurants - some of them with a great style.
That's what I wanted. Finally being able to finish my books, forgetting about work and about the bills and about everything from my everyday life. Just three of us here...Zannnie and Momo and me. And this hidden paradise which respects so much my need for recreation this time.