Bash Bash Food Bar, Vodice

I am not the biggest fan of Vodice and their vision of “tourism”. It used to be a great place some 25 – 30 years back but it is just a big mess now and I avoid it as much as I can. I also tell all my clients to stay away as there is nothing to see or do there. Until this year, I was only going there to eat at Santa Maria which is still at the same level as when it opened some 20 years ago (great meat and interior).

Vodice harbor

Vodice harbor

But this year, a foodie bloggers community started buzzing about a new place. Some girls opened a food bar and named it Bash Bash. I had to go and give it a try.
One August afternoon, we decided to stop there for late lunch and it took us a bit to find it as traffic in Vodice is horrible and I was not sure where the place was. It is located on the main promenade, near the old school and behind the great monument to all the fallen anti-fascists of Vodice. Actually, quite easy to find.

Bash Bash

Bash Bash

Vodice are filled with bad touristy restaurants that have not changed their menu from the mid 70s. And then something like this opens… Simply a great idea!

It would have been even a better idea if they served food all day but the kitchen opens for dinner at 5 PM and we got there about 4:30 PM. Couple of cold ones helped me while waiting.

Getting ready

Love the design!

The menu is just great! Nothing pretentious, nothing crazy but just a selection of great classics -prepared with a creative twist – combined with some interesting touches, creative salads and cool bites. It was hard to make a choice and definitely was creative enough to make us want to return to taste more.

BashBash menu

BashBash menu

The food was great as expected! We ordered quite a bit and enjoyed everything!

Green peas soup...

Green peas soup…

Colors of BashBash

Colors of BashBash

And we especially loved the desserts!

Loved it!

Loved it!

All in all: a great place!

We enjoyed the modern cuisine, interpretation of classic and superb value for money. The service was also great and the waiter from Slavonia was especially kind and accommodation.

I hope they are having a great season and will maybe stay open through (at least) October and come back next May.

Finally a great place to recommend in Vodice. And we will be back!

Dolmen in Dalmatia?

I get to cross a lot of territory when traveling. It still amazes me how there are still so many beautiful places to see and things to discover in this little country of ours. Yesterday, I was doing an inspection in Tugare: a tiny village in the hillside of Omiš best known for Tugarke cherries. The entire region is known as Poljica: an autonomous community which existed in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. It was organized as a “peasants’ republic”, and it’s best known because of the Poljica Statute first written in 1440. Today, the region is slowly getting abandoned as people moved to the coastal towns and work mostly in tourism,

Overlooking Srednja Poljica and peaks of Očur in the distance

Overlooking Srednja Poljica and peaks of Očur in the distance

First we met with locals in a tiny hamlet of Truša. Very colorful Điđi is the soul of the place and a walking encyclopedia of everything related to the region as he was born and grew up here.

Điđi! Điđi!

Our goal was very scenic view point of Stomorica with an ancient church and a stunning panorama of the region and Brač Island. But, along the way, I have noticed something strange in the woods.

Dolmen?

Dolmen?

The structure has all the features of a dolmen and definitely looks like one. This is on Wikipedia on dolmens:
A dolmen, also known as a cromlech, portal tomb, portal grave or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BCE). Dolmens were typically covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow. In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone “skeleton” of the burial mound intact.

Or read more on the actual page

However, this is not something encountered in Croatia!

Dolmens are characteristic for most of Europe and Asia but almost none have been discovered in Croatia. There is only one on Cres Island: http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=15452 and it does not really look anything elaborate like this one in Truše. Here are more images:

dolmen in croatia

interior

From above From above

There are several structures nearby that need proper inspection.

Structure Structure

It is quite unlikely that no one ever wrote about this as it is on a very popular route. However, I have not encountered a single word on this particular structure. It is particularly strange as Mons. Ante Škobalj (a local priest) was born here and actually wrote a well known book on ceremonial mounds, customs and traditions. It is almost impossible that he was not familiar with this place!

Obredne gomile

Obredne gomile

In any case, this should be inspected soon. I am sure there were lots of dolmens in Croatia in the past but all were destroyed for all sorts of reasons. Is this the last one standing?

And that is not the only mystery these woods hide…

Some 50 meters from the road, is a set of strange, megalithic ruins. Called “Muratov dvor” (Murat’s home), it is a set of ancient buildings built of large rocks. Very large rocks…

megalithic walls

The walls with windows

The walls with windows

No one really builds houses this way…

Entrance to first floor?

Entrance to ground floor?

The interior

The interior

measure

Tugare… small village with some serious mysteries.

 EDIT: Not a dolmen. A small team of local experts did further research and we realized it was juts a conveniently positioned flat rock that fell (or was broken off) the larger cliff nearby. It was positioned as a shelter.

The charm of Vinjerac

Vinjerac is often overlooked. Just like most smaller places of North Dalmatia and most of small villages that are not close to main centers. In a way it is the blessing and a curse at the same time: more and more people are leaving as there are no jobs but the places remain relatively intact. In 1991, Vinjerac had only 273 inhabitants.

Vinjerac and Velebit mountain in the background

Vinjerac and Velebit mountain in the background

So after a great meal at Pece’s we decided to take a walk through the village and see what it looks like. It looks almost intact compared to other, now devastated places along the coast. With mighty Velebit in the background and amazing Paklenica gorges, Vinjerac is very pretty. It was also of strategic importance in the past so the area was settled in pre-history with nearby Lergina Gradina as one of the most dominant Liburnian settlements before the arrival of Romans.  Today’s Vinjerac has probably been formed in early Middle Ages but it was a place of fierce battles between Venice and the Turkish empire as it was one of the control points between Turkish held Lika and Venetian Zadar. The battles were so fierce that Venice destroyed Vinjerac in 1570 so it does not fall in Turkish hands…

Paklenica gorges seen from Vinjerac

Paklenica gorges seen from Vinjerac

The village, as today, was formed in mid 19th century when the locals had a fairly big  fleet of over 30 different, large boats for trading along the coast. The prosperity did not last long after the steam boats first came and many houses in Vinjerac are just reminding us of it’s interesting past.

Now abandoned villa

Old villa by the sea

It is always good to see what treasures local churches hold.

St Anthony

St Anthony

The construction of the church has been started in the beginning of 20th century and the bell tower  finished only in 1983. It has a curious motif of deer above the entrance.

Interesting luneta

Interesting deer under the palm trees

Getting ready for the mass

Getting ready for the mass

The rest of the village is in fairly poor condition… Many historic ruins are in the very center. The strong bura wind that blows in this area brings salty air that definitely does not help preserving the buildings.

No one at home

No one at home

Interesting touch

Interesting touch

The harbor looks lovely and there were works on the boats while we were there.

The harbor

The harbor

Getting ready

Getting ready

Spring sunset

Spring sunset

Vinjerac is fairly interesting when it comes to it’s center but the outskirts have been experiencing a small construction boom with houses and apartment buildings. Fortunately, nothing compared to other places so it is still a lovely place to visit. Combined with fine food of Pece tavern, it makes a great trip!