Brač (30 May 2013)
The day after our hare-brained expedition on Hvar Island, E decided that she was not going to spend an extra entire day in Split.
I was perfectly alright spending the day in Split. We had only spent less than a day exploring the city, including the evening 2 days before after Trogir. Not only that, an American mother-daughter pair we had met during dinner on our first night in Split had recommended a museum and I was quite interested in visiting it. However after, again, the hare-brained expedition on Hvar Island, I decided that I was going to yield to E’s wishes that day. Or at least try to. We therefore went to Brač. Her pick.
The ferry arrived at Supetar which is the capital of the island. I have absolutely no idea why I would hear Jamelia singing the chorus of “Superstar” in my head every time the name of the town was mentioned. Eventually the word “Superstar” in the song became “Supetar” in my head. In any case, the name of the town was apparently derived from “Sveti Petar”, or “St Peter” in Croatian.
The sea view was gorgeous of course, and one could practically see the mainland (I think it was the mainland) from the port area. But I was more interested in the town itself. It was another sleepy Croatian island town and I kept wishing that I could go take a nap somewhere.
It is quite unexpected to me, but the most interesting sight in Supetar for me was the cemetery. Some family had decided to build a big mausoleum for their themselves and it looked quite interesting with the sea as its backdrop. In fact, the monument is so iconic that it is featured frequently on Brač’s travel brochures and postcards. This was the work of Split sculptor Toma Rosandić.
There was a little bit of drama when we were looking for the mausoleum. Initially we had absolutely no idea what and where that building was. It looked like a church but there was nothing un-church-like about it too. So we asked a girl tending a souvenir stall how to get there. Although she was born and bred on the island and had seen it a million times I think, she could not tell us what and where it was. She had to ask another local for us and then she remembered what she had known all along. The poor girl kept calling herself stupid and I regretted having asked her in the first place. I could have been in her shoes. It just seems so often that we take the things in our own backyard for granted.
The girl later told us that she no longer lived permanently on the island. During the tourist season in summer, she would work on the island only in the day and return to Split, where she lived, at night. After the tourist season, she would remain on the mainland. This appeared to be a common practice among the young people on the island, if they even wanted to work on Brač. If not for tourism, would there still be people living on the island?
The parish church in town is, surprise surprise, named after St Peter. This was not an elaborate church and its style reminded me of many churches in Asia. Maybe it was just the flower on the ceiling at the sanctuary. I might have been fooled into believing that it was a church in Taiwan. I did wonder what that plum blossom was doing there. E thought I was mad.
While in Supetar, E decided to indulge in some retail therapy at the local cosmetics and toiletries store. I did mention to her that with the heat and dry weather I flaked easily and the flaky skin would itch. She told me that I should moisturise. I did look at my legs and they appeared sort of snowy and scary with all my skin flaking away. The plan was that she would give me some of her body moisturiser, for my legs, and I should get another moisturiser for my face. I do not remember ever moisturising my face before, but I think the guilt factor after the hare-brained Stari Grad expedition got to me in a very profound way because I allowed her to convince me into getting my very own bottle of facial moisturiser. Oh well, the point of travelling is to have new experiences right?
After my new exciting acquisition, it was back to exploring the town. It was not a big place but nice to walk about for a bit along the narrow streets. Walking in a little Croatian island town still felt new and interesting. I also welcomed the peace that I would not have found in Split at that time of the day.
There was time for another town on the island and so we took a bus to Bol. Supetar is on the north coast of the island while Bol is in the south. We therefore got to see quite a bit of the island when we travelled down the breadth of it.
Along the way we came across many stone remains like the ones we had seen on the Stari Grad Plain. I was afraid that E would think that Stari Grad was not unique after all and my fears were realised too quickly. Thankfully she did not try to kill me.
E had chosen to go to Bol for the beach at Zlatni Rat. It was not just any beach I might add, but a spit. There is even a geographical term to describe it! But that did not impress me much. My opinion of beaches has always been that if I wanted to see water I could stay at home and turn on the tap. Then perhaps visit the beach for the scenery? Well, it was just mostly sand and sea. Moreover, I seldom find the combination of sand and sea alone to be particularly alluring scenery wise. And if it is a bathing beach like at Zlatni Rat, it becomes even a little annoying to me. But that is just me. For some inexplicable reason many Singaporeans love visiting beaches, foreign beaches I must qualify, even if they do not actually get into the water. I just do not see the fun or the point in that.
I was grouching the entire time I was at Zlatni Rat, but I held it in as much as possible because I had brought her on that hare-brained second attempt to find the pile of stones on the Stari Grad Plain. Despite my best efforts however, I am sure that my grouchiness was showing quite obviously on my face the whole time. E pointed out that she could tell I was ‘bored’.
On the other side of town was civilisation, and another sleepy Croatian island town. Somehow it felt as if there was more action on and near the spit than in town. But maybe it was because it was near the end of the day.
I doubt that E was too impressed with Brač, but all the same I think I can safely say that we both had quite a good visit. Brač makes for an easy day trip from Split, just a 30 min or so boat ride away. If looking to escape the crazy crowds in Split, Brač, at least in May, looked like a good and easy getaway. Even the spit looked really quiet when we were there and one could sunbathe there in relative peace and space.