Guide to Croatia



Saturday, May 27, 2006

Prisnjak Lighthouse

Prisnjak is small and quiet island. It is located on the west from Murter. In appearance it seems to be natural part of Kornati although in reality it is a segment of Murter archipelago. Island is aprox. 6 miles far away from Kornati national park and only couple of hundreds of meters from Murter coast line.
Lighthouse was built in late 1800's. It is over 10m tall structure. Plain and pretty. Today it is automatic and it is not home to any permanent residents. In front of the building there is nice and wide stone patio and stone steps will take you down to the sea. It has some nice but rather small(what is nice again)tourist facilities for longer stay and info about it can be found in tourist agencies in Murter or any other agency that distributes facts about Croatian lighthouses.
Sea water is clean and clear. Very clean. Fish population is abundant and diverse. Many kind of fish find their home around small islands and islets on Adriatic coast / Croatian side , one with many islands... that is why Italian fisherman sneak so often and it is a important source ( one of them) of unpleasantness with Italian government. They do not play nice./
For a tourist it is desirable place to visit. If you are a diver spring to summer season is the best. For everybody else spring-summer-fall offer intoxicating mix(good wine and fresh fish may help) of wild and tame, stone walls, sea water surface and other breathtaking views from the lighthouse tower.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pag - or how to recommend an island?

Almost impossible .
Pag is an island with very, very long coast. I know it is not a way how to describe length in reality or how to create a picture in space, but..
It streches close to the coast, frames Velebit channel and gives something to the mountain. It is like building a monumentum or crescendo.
Many people would say that island appears somewhat like a Moon/85% is karst-rough/, that parts of it look unfriendly , desolated and just covered with some wild trails and sheep paths.
For me it is a very pretty island. Not only in more tame and green parts. Web of the dry stone walls(they are called dry because long term skill turned them into solid constructive elements without any other material to connect them...just stones and pair of hands) travels through many parts of Pag. They are exceptionally solid and sturdy.
Pag got its name from Latin word Pagus (village). And there are many villages on the island. Each of them has "something". Povljana is great for bird watching. My friends go there and they are hooked. Dinjsika has this old and abandoned clay basins to dry sea water and extract salt. Lun has ancient olive trees.
Town of Pag and Novalja are famous enough /and/ touristy and it is easy to find things about them.
Pag (town) is result of XV ct. urban planning. Juraj Dalmatinac (same man whose creations are Cathedral in Sibenik and loggia in Ancona) did some pretty amazing work no matter when and how. Good things stand in time without question of taste.
When I think Pag three things come in mind. Lacework. Lovely stuff. Although I'm not the fan of the previous majority likes it and is technically amazing that all that comes from the piece of tread.
Paski sir(local cheese) made from whole sheep milk. Hard and zesty.
Last but not least is my personal favorite.
Paska ovca(sheep) is result of mixing merino and some other rams with indigenous breed(pramenka).They survive through hot summers and cold winters and their milk and meat are salty. Grazing there is marked with after taste of aromatic Mediter. herbs as a result of specific botanical conditions. One of which is Bura(northwestern wind). It is literally a killer in the winter. Overturning cars, closing bridges and ferry lines and bringing sharp,cold air and pristine skies in the aftermath.
Pag is paradise(and not the lost one) for biking and trekking. Tourist office there can provide you with really decent map. They put together some 15 possible routes and they give you all important clues.
There is one known as Slana staza (Salty route) , cca 7km .great for biking.
The other great route is called Kamenolom (Quarry) .It builds to 130+ m above sea level at some points. It is cca 11 km long. Very nice one.
And of course...there is much more about Pag