Friday, October 13, 2017

Treasured Days on Hvar

With just a few hours left on the island with my brother, I wanted him to experience a few last places before beginning his journey home.

Last year, Dave, Claire and I discovered something new that we'd never been to (HERE), and that's one of the places I wanted to take Mike on his last afternoon.

We had always seen that cross from down below in Stari Grad, but never knew how to reach it. Now we do!

The view from up here is absolutely magnificent. You can see down into the bay where the ferry docks.

And you can look across the Stari Grad plain, a UNESCO world heritage sight due to how long ago it was colonized by the Greeks...4 BC!

The agriculture activity has been uninterrupted here for 24 centuries, with mainly grapes and olives still being cultivated here today.

Earlier, Mike and I drove through the plain in search of bee hives, since he's a beekeeper. But to our disappointment, we didn't find any. I know they've been there in the past so the keepers must have moved them to a different location right now.

"Mike, I guess you'll have to come back so we can hunt for them again!"

If you keep going on the road behind Stari Grad, you'll come to another phenomena, though not a natural one.

On the left, near the bottom of the photo is a berm across the road to keep cars from driving in

Over ten years ago, a developer came in and built eleven luxury villas in the small village of Mala Rudina with that spectacular view. Each house is complete with gorgeous stone work, swimming pools, satellite dishes, and beautiful interiors.

The doors are open on most houses so we weren't trespassing illegally!

Sadly, something went wrong in the process of paperwork and permits so they were never inhabited and sit lonely in their beautiful setting on the Kabal Penninsula.

It's like a ghost town to walk through the pretty streets.

And the sign at the entrance that is now decayed, is a sad testimony to these houses that could have been sold and enjoyed by people for years to come.

Mike and I mused that perhaps some entrepreneur will still be able to complete them before they're beyond restoration. I hope so as it's such a waste to let them sit unoccupied.

With just two hours left before Mike had to get on the ferry, we headed back down into Stari Grad for a bit more exploring.

See the cross at the top? That's where we were just an hour before!

We headed onto the new riva (waterfront promenade) that encircles the Stari Grad bay.

How I thank the Lord for blessing us with incredible weather these days we've had together! I think October is my new favorite month on Hvar!

The breeze of the afternoon "maestral" (an anabatic wind for those of you who might be interested!) which happens every day in the summer (and I guess in the fall too!) between 3-6 PM, kept us cool in the warmth of the day as we took in one last look at Stari Grad across the bay.

We found a great restaurant on the other side of the riva from where we'd been walking, to have an early dinner together.

And then all too soon it was time to get Mike to the ferry.

With quick "Love you's" and "Let's do this again", he then headed onto the ferry headed for a couple day's travel back to Oregon.

Driving back to our house on the south side of the island, I felt a twinge of sadness that our vacation together was already over. Mike is one of the easiest people to spend time with, always has interesting things to say (he has such a wide knowledge of interesting facts and tidbits!), and is just fully enjoyable to spend time with.

I'm SO thankful to have Mike as my brother! And we really do need to do this again sometime. What a treasure to have so many days with him!

I have a few more days here at our house before I began my journey to the States. I'll try to enjoy it, even though my brother isn't here!

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