Arriving on the Croatian island of Hvar on an early morning catamaran from Korcula, our minds weren’t thinking straight. Nor did we realize what a small and friendly island we were on.
The boyfriend and I arrived on the island of Hvar early and tired and a bit discombobulated. We couldn’t locate the printout that had the name of the b&b and the owner’s name and phone number where we were scheduled to stay for two nights.
We knew it was just stored in an email and we stopped at an internet cafe but couldn’t log onto the particular email account where the info was stored. Every other website in the world seemed to work except the one we needed.
Thinking we could wait it out to see if we could get back online, we decided to get our bearings with breakfast at a small cafe on the waterfront. The fresh air and the views helped us forget our ‘problems.’
(Since we were too tired and just enjoyed the views from the cafe, this photo below was taken on an afternoon hike our second day on the island. that U shape as you look down below from the stone walls that surrounds the water is the main square of town with restaurants, bars and shops lining that U shape. The water taxis are lined on the left, the catamarans from the larger islands dropped us off at the end of the left, the sailboats on the right were mostly privately owned. And you can follow the path in either direction for a beautiful walk along the water.)
Filled with exhaustion, deliriousness, excitement and the urge to explore and not wanting to carry our bags around all day, we stopped into a hotel – which was so far out of our budget, we laughed. We then found another hotel that was more within our budget, and in the center of town.
We stopped back at the internet cafe just to see if we could pull up the email with the information, with no luck. We checked the review of the hotel on TripAdvisor and the reviews were ‘good enough.’ Oops.
We walked back to the hotel, made a reservation for one night, dropped our bags and were hopeful that would be able to log on and get in touch with the b&b for night number two. As it was only now about 8am, I told you these catamarans left early!,we couldn’t get into our room until lunchtime.
To make the most of our morning, we walked around the harbor, walked through a park, swang on swings in a playground and ate an early lunch at the Hvar morning market (which we went back to on day 2 just for the cheese stall lady). We also made a reservation with a sailing trip for later in the day.
We checked in to the hotel, changed into bathing suits and headed out for the sailing tour, were told to wait on the pier in the wrong place, our mistake probably, but in any case we missed the sailing trip and got our money back. We then headed out to the water taxi line, and found out that the taxis could take you to even smaller islands for hiking, sunbathing and food and drink. We chose not to get off on the popular island that everyone else did, and headed to a smaller, and less touristed island that our captain told us was his personal favorite.
It was a rocky island with lots of opportunities to hike and relax. There was one outdoor restaurant on the island, and everyone seemed to know each other. Instead of lounge chairs, there were big sandbags thrown on the rocks that replaced lounge chairs. From personal experience, I can say they are so much more sleep friendly than your regular lounge chair.
The next morning, we checked out of the hotel and we were picked up by b&b woman and her husband. Once there, I was sad to realize that we’d only have one night with this family. Not only were they lovely, our room and bathroom were immaculate with amazing views from above the island. Not so from the ‘hotel.’
On top of that, the wife told us we should have gone to the information center (which we did in order to get a map) and asked for her phone number (she worked there). Duh!
Smack self in head — small island, info center, locally owned b&b…<smack>.
While this wasn’t a horrible mistake, it was still a regret. When I do get back to the island of Hvar, I know where I will (and won’t) be staying.
Another ‘mistake’ where hindsight is 20/20. If you are choose to island hop throughout Croatia — travel from the north to the south, not reversed. And then double check those schedules to know what you’re signing up for! The catamarans heading north (which we were) depart once a day in the wee hours of the morning. If you travel north to south the catamarans leave late afternoon. Waking up early to catch the only boat of the day adds a fair amount of stress to vacationing! But in exchange for those early wake ups, seeing the sunrises from the Adriatic Sea during our three early morning rises were absolutely and utterly stunning.
Even though I saw these as ‘mistakes’ it’s really insignificant and important to put things in perspective. If we had checked in upon arrival, we may have not met the cheese lady. If we didn’t take the early morning catamarans, we wouldn’t have seen the sunrises. If we took the sailing tour, we wouldn’t have found the undiscovered island with the great lunch and the sandbag filled lounge chairs. And if we didn’t stay in the ‘hotel’ before the b&b, well, um, no, that was definitely a mistake!