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Hvar, Croatia - Senior Travel Adventures with Karen (kk)

You all know Karen ‘kk’ Taylor. Her Mind + Body classes calm and inspire us. For one month, kk has been touring Europe with her friend Dian, and we get to follow along. As kk says, ‘I am ready to have fun.’ This senior travel adventure is just that; we can share her experiences and keep our minds open and active. Follow kk’s warrior poses as we ‘get in our steps’ and lean into the experience. Getting our steps in is easy when the inspiring sights are just ahead.


I will post Dian’s commentary and kk’s photos as they arrive. Come back often to check in with her.

Villages Instructor Karen 'kk' Taylor and Dian Turner, Traveling Partner


Written by Dian Turner, my travel partner, who you will see in some of the pictures

Hvar, Croatia

 When we arrived on the ferry, 10,000 km (6,000 miles) from home, I immediately knew this is what I call a Postcard town….a place on this planet that whispers of tranquility with every breath, and lets the serenity it projects seep into your soul. 


BUT, I will admit after dragging our heavy suitcases (which included several bottles of wine) down the dock and over the 1/4 mile of ancient cobblestones (with half the stones broken and my suitcase finding every hole) this adventure made for the perfect Samsonite commercial…and yes, our wheels didn’t fall off …thank goodness.  


A drive up a steep mountain road leads us to our B&B …with the most outstanding view.  Sitting on the balcony drinking your morning coffee (tea for me😉) your eyes immediately go to the blue color of the water.  Not too light, nor too dark…just the PERFECT radiant blue.  The red rooftops on white houses accent the glistening blue water and create a landscape that can’t be captured in a picture.  At this moment…Wish I was a painter. 


Our big outing was to visit the Tomić Winery (pronounced Toe Much) located in the small town of Jelsa, about 30 miles away.  Leaving town and driving along the rugged coastal highway, lined with olive vineyards, was a similar feeling to driving Hwy 1 in California with its twists and turn overlooking the ocean. The most famous chef in Croatia has a home in this region.  The sunny 62 degree weather provided a refreshing breeze and the ultimate relaxing drive once we hit the countryside. 


History lesson..The ancient Greeks brought vines to the island in 4th Century BC.  By the year 1900, there were 1,200 mules, donkeys and horses, 22,500 inhabitants of Hvar, and 14,000 acres planted with vines. Today, Hvar's population is 11,000 and vineyards only cover about 700 acres. 


The Tomić Winery was AMAZING and lived up to all our expectations!  Their motto is “ Drink by the hour, not by the liter”.  Andro Tomić is a native of Hvar who has dedicated his life to wine. After twenty years of professional training at colleges, institutes and wineries in France and elsewhere, he decided to return to his home island and produce his own wines. 


When we entered the winery, the aroma almost knocked us over…A GOOD THING😊 This winery can only produce between 130,000 and 150,000 bottles a year and this requires buying from other local producers because their vineyards alone can’t produce enough grapes to meet their production ability.  Other than family members, there’s usually only 10-12 other workers.  So do they export any of their fantastic wine???….you guessed it….very little.  Once they service the island and the rest of Croatia, there’s nothing left to export.  It’s the same in most countries…they keep their best wines for local consumption..I can’t blame ‘em.


Their Cellar is very impressive.  The architecture was based on the Diocletian's Palace in Split using the Roman arches.  The ceilings were made of river sediment rock from rivers all over Europe ….which was actually banned for purchase but they got it from the black market. 

The walls were made of Travertine (reddish rock with iron) from Macedonia & Limestone from the northern coast of Hvar.  This is where they do their tastings and since they hadn’t opened for the season, we were treated to a private tour and tasting.  There’s my luck shining thru once again.


One important thing we learned …a Green square on the label means it’s organic and from the vineyard’s own grapes …the price of this wine is cheaper because they don’t have to pay other growers for the grapes.


Their white wine is the most authentic because it’s made from the Bogdanusa grape which is ONLY grown on the island of Hvar.  The

Pošip is their most common white grape. Euforija Euforua  (means Europe, Hvar and Me) is a liqueur of chocolate and sage…35% alcohol.  STRONG!


Well, you’ve had your wine lesson for the day.  Hope it wasn’t too much, but I like to record what I learn, so later I can refresh myself on all the great information we are learning. 


Hopping on another ferry tomorrow to explore Dubrovnik, our last stop in Croatia. 


Local fishing boat


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