Happy to be in Hvratska (Croatia)!

Jim and I landed last night (Sept. 20th) in Dubrovnik, accompanied by our good friends, Mark & Kathy.  This is a cultural homecoming for Mark, as his grandfather and his father were both born in Croatia.  We checked into our beautiful hotel, the Valamar Argosy, which overlooks the newer of Dubrovnik’s two harbors, and arrived just in time for this spectacular sunset.

Day 1 Sunset

We got up fairly early this morning to drive up the coast to take the ferry across to the island of Hvar, where Mark’s family was born. Although it was very windy in Dubrovnik, it was sunny and warm on the island of Hvar.

Going to the island of Hvar
Going to the island of Hvar
Dalmatian Coast
Dalmatian Coast

We started by getting lost in the tiny port town of Sućuraj where the ferry docks. Basically, our rental car was too big to fit down what showed as a street on Jim’s GPS.  I think we got the whole settlement out to watch us trying to back our way out around several right angles. Someone said we were driving a “Mafia car” (it’s a mid-size Opel sedan).  Finally, we had to drive through the edge of a seaside café to make our escape.

Sucuraj
Sucuraj

However, our trip paid off. We  drove along a very windy single lane road to the old town of Stari Grad and saw the Krk Stjepana (St. Stephen’s church) where Mark’s Dad and granddad were baptized.

We walked around the town of Stari Grad and located St. Stephen’s church. Mark was really moved to see the church where his granddad and dad were baptized, and to imagine them walking in the streets of this town.

Going to the island of Hvar

In Stari Grad
In Stari Grad

Going to the island of Hvar

Going to the island of Hvar

Going to the island of Hvar
ST. Stephen’s Church

The town was lovely and had a stone carving which dated back to the second century A.D.  It was lovely!

St. Stephen's Church

Going to the island of Hvar
Going to the island of Hvar

After a good lunch outside on the patio tables in the 16th century marble passages, we drove on to the old city of Hvar, where we checked into the lovely boutique hotel, the Villa Nora in the old town.

To say the town of Hvar is lovely might be the understatement of the year!  With narrow corridors dating back to Roman times and a medieval fortress with crenelated walls, it’s esay to see why the island of Hvar is considered one of the world’s 10 best islands. The town of Hvar is even better, with its gorgeous harbor filled with luxury sailboats and everyone trying to catch the last of the summer’s sunshine.

Hvar town-day 1

We had a wonderful dinner at the restaurant Misarola by the ancient town cistern on the town square. Tomorrow, we’re going to try to locate copies of the baptismal records from the church office.

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