We’re now on Hvar, an island I also visited during my first trip to Croatia in 2006. Last time we also stayed in Hvar town, but our hotel was essentially an all-inclusive deal and was pretty far removed from the town itself, so I didn’t get to know the town at all. That may explain why I was so surprised by the hordes of people in the harbor last night, but I don’t think so. Hvar’s always been a popular destination, but there’s no doubt that tourism in Croatia has risen significantly in the eight years since I last came to this island, and during that time Hvar has become more and more famous as the place where the elite come to party. I read in a guidebook that Hvar town has a population of 3,000 but that there are 30,000 tourists here on any given day in the summer. I believe it – we got down to the center for dinner around 9:30, and it was PACKED.
We wandered through a few side streets and ended up at Giaxa, which happens to be a very highly rated restaurant. The food was great: we got little shooters of gazpacho served with a sort of pizza strudel and homemade biscuits, then we split some roasted vegetables in a delicious olive oil, and I finished with sea bass while Rachel had a tuna steak. I remarked that I felt like I was back in Paris: it’s so nice to really take pleasure in food. We’re gotten into a routine of eating very little the rest of the day and then having a late but full dinner – it’s a nice way to cap off the day.
After dinner we explored the rest of the waterfront, which is a mixture of bars, restaurants, shops, and souvenir stands. We found the world-famous Carpe Diem (Google it) which is where we’re planning to end up tonight (after working our way through a few others). I wanted to come to Carpe Diem eight years ago based on the recommendation of a Croatian friend, so this has been a long time in coming!
We’re off now to hit the beaches and do some shopping. 🙂