The Colors of the Adriatic

The varied colors of the sea are as difficult to recreate in a room as it is for a painter to replicate the movement and shadow, the darkness its depth creates, and the pure lightness of the sun’s rays on the crest of a wave.  Perhaps that’s why I find it so mesmerizing.  Or it could be that it’s the land of the beautiful people.  I mean draw droppingly beautiful.  Young, old, and those closer to my age, they are all fit, tall, and open.  It’s startling, it’s hypnotizing, it’s lovely.

Here in Croatia the sea is crystal clear.  The salt content is so high that algae won’t bother to snuggle into the nocks and cronies of the ocean floor.  Sharks won’t carve a path to this locale, and one can float without much effort at all, baking in the sun like a pancake on a griddle.  Careful now, you will sizzle – it’s that hot, but the water is cool.  So much cooler than the Mediterranean, that if you are like me, you’ll be prone to screech upon entry.  Funny, just a few days later, I’ve acclimated.  I’ve always been highly adaptable, but here it really takes no effort at all.  You just relax into it. boat 6

The textures and colors of Hvar and Croatia in general make for an alluring color palette, a tactile sensation.  Between the deep blue of the sea, more aqua along the coastline, the bleached rocky limestone shore and cliffs, with all their jagged edges, and molten curves, curtesy of the sea’s salty air, and the Bora a fierce wind that kicks up when the cold air of the mountains meets the warm air of the sea, the white stone beaches, the dark green of the scrub pines, the sage of the olive trees, and vineyards (Hvar produces some amazing red wine), the lavender fields, and the pale blue of the sky above – it’s beyond.

The Croatian’s say that it is beauty you get bored of, but it’s this kind of breathless beauty that I would be willing to test their theory on.

boat 8

Heart of Stone…

If one’s heart turned to stone,  I could only hope it was Croatian Limestone.  Something that might have been sad would instead be incredibly beautiful.  Here in Croatia, limestone is in abundance, from the most laid back island, to those likely to be featured in Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, nary a foot falls without landing on this hard, bleached ivory stone.  Well suited to the seaside climate, the stone’s durability allowed for structures built during the reign of Rome, when their quarries could be found lining the coastal waterfront.

brac 1

Bol . Brac . Historic Center . Croatia

Brac – pronounced BRATCH produced the stone that the Town of Split was built with in the 4th Century BC.  The limestone doesn’t just hang around Europe either.  The columns of the Whitehouse in Washington DC are made of Croatian Limestone, and Battery Park in NYC features statues made of it.

Mondavo . Hvar . Croatia

It’s the small stone cottages, and restaurants tucked into the hillside that I find particularly appealing.  It’s elegant, and cozy all at the same time.  It feels historic and modern, clean and dusty.  While I appreciate the polished version, it’s in its honed form for which my heart is aflutter.  I want to hand select my slabs, wrap a pallet, reserve my spot on a cargo ship, and await it’s arrival back in Boston.

I think I will hunt for a condo that needs a kitchen renovation.  Honed countertop, Zebra Wood veneer kitchen cabinets, 4 x 4 honed limestone floor, Venetian Plaster backsplash.  I can see it so clearly in my mind’s eye…can you?

Brac 9

Love in bloom . Hear Wedding . Banj Les Bains