Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Day Thirteen – Tuesday, June 12 – Prvic Island, Croatia

Today was a day without alarm clock! Since we had no travel or major sightseeing plans, it was a chance to sleep in and enjoy a lazy morning of “island life” With the shutters closed, our room stayed nice and dark and we slept until 9:30, when we headed downstairs for breakfast on the outdoor patio – same table as last night’s dinner.

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast doing crossword puzzles and catching up on the New York Times digests left over from the Marriott Budapest, we took a walk to Sepurin, the “other village” on the island. We explored various paths out to almost the end of the island, and saw hundreds of meters of low stone walls that seemed to delineate plots (of what?) or be unfilled terraces. We were speculating about what the economic base of the island is –other than tourism. I speculated “software development,” but in fact we learned that most of the full time locals (about 120 people in Prvic Luka and 160 in Sepurin) are elderly people living on pensions, and the others are engaged in the trades – storekeeper, construction, etc. to support them, tourist trade and a bit of fishing.

The water was fabulously clear, but the best, shady spots at the beach area in Sepurin had been already taken by several families with their kids, and since neither of us had plastic “water shoes”, Paul gave up on the swimming idea after a wimpy attempt at wading out into the water and encountering a lot of sharp rocks and seeing a fair number of sea anemones (or sea urchins?... can’t remember which is the spiky one)

Instead of lunch, we went for ice cream and wafer cookies from local mini-mart instead.

The afternoon was equally laid back. We briefly explored the Prvic Luka side, and then retired to the Hotel Maestral’s deck for some afternoon beer and wine (Paul gave a try to the other major Croatian beer, Karlovacko, but decided he’s partial to Ozujsko) and catching up on the laptop journal.

After a short nap, we rallied to walk to the one of the other two restaurants in town, the Restoran “Punta.” We tried some of the “famous” cheese from the island of Pag – or at least it’s famous on the Dalmatian coast. Tasty, but a bit bland, to be honest. The grilled squid was delicious and Annette commented that this was the first time she’s actually had the squid served in its “whole body” presentation. Usually calamari comes cut up into rings and tentacles and sometimes those back fin things, but you don’t get a real sense of the “squidness” of it – especially if they’re breaded or battered. With this dish, we did! Just squid…grilled.

Paul had a mixed grill with sausage, beef, venison (?) and pork. Tasty and satisfying. Our desert was a tiny flask of liqueur – comped as part of the meal – which the owner described as “pear grappa.” Yes, I understand that’s an oxymoron. We’ll have to do some experimentation at home to see if we can figure out how to blend it ourselves.

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