Fast and Furious

Reason #157: driving too fast on the road Nerežišća – Supetar

There’s a stretch of a road just after Nerežišća, on your way to Supetar, that’s long and narrow. With most of Brač roads being twisty, this one long stretch just begs your foot to hit the gas pedal.

And that’s what many drivers do. And that’s why this road has claimed another couple of victims recently.

Please, be careful. Slow down.

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And a Google Maps link.

Oleander – so beautiful, so dangerous?

Reason #156: beautiful oleander trees adorn streets and seafronts

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Besides looking and smelling wonderfully, apparently, oleander trees can also be poisonous. The 1999 Janet Fitch novel, and later movie, White Oleander has the main character (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) uses oleander to kill her lover.

I can say for sure that nobody has yet died of oleander poisoning on Brač :)

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Things to watch out for when cycling on Brač

Reason #155: a few reasons cyclists might not like

Other than the usual things cyclists need to watch out for, here are a few that former mainland or city cyclists should bear in mind when coming to Brač and other islands in the region:

  1. Local drivers.
    Local drivers are confident and know the roads like the back of their hands, some of them, especially young guys, can be overly confident and drive too fast and too close past you. Coupled with their attitude that cyclists are a nuisance and that the road belongs to motorized vehicles, which many of them have… well, you get the picture.
  2. Tourists behind the wheel.
    This is such a mixed bag of surprises, you just have no idea what you’ll get. It could be a confident tourist from a cycling culture who knows exactly what to do. It could be one from a country with even less cyclists than Croatia, in a rented car, first day of vacation, freaked out by the Croatian driving culture – a cyclist suddenly appears behind one of the many bends – scary for both of you. Luckily, it doesn’t happen often, it’s mostly just in July and August, and you can even avoid it by minding the ferry schedule and staying away from the main road at those times.
  3. Dirt in the corners. 
    Winding roads are great, especially across a hilly landscape, such as here on Brač, but going downhill you have to be careful because each bend could hold a bunch of dirt, gravel or sand in the corner. Adjust your speed accordingly.
  4. Sheep.
    They hang out in the bushes by the side of the road sometimes. Then they freak out when you come along and jump right in front of you. Cos they’re stupid.
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  5. Pitch dark.
    If you’ve never cycled in the countryside, listen up. In a populated area there’s always some source of light. In the countryside, on a moonless night, it’s completely dark, you can’t see anything. You can’t walk, let alone cycle. Make sure you have a powerful front light, preferably with a wider beam.
  6. Fake snakes.
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    If you’re afraid of snakes and you don’t have perfect eyesight, these asphalt stitchings could trick you, from afar ;)
  7. Real snakes. 
    Snakes can be a nuisance. They like the heat and the sun, so they come out onto the road sometimes. Most snakes on Brač are not poisonous and will therefore run off if you give them a chance. Just as with sheep, the worst thing that could happen to you on a road is that you get startled by one and fall off the bike.
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Next: Things cyclists will love about Brač

Škuta… heavenly cheese. Thank you, Brački sheep!

Reason #153: Brač sheep make delicious cheese

As we know by now, Brački sheep are known for their delicious meat on a spit. Well, that’s not all you can get out of these lovely creatures…

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Photos by Malcom a.k.a. Selca on Flickr

There’s also škuta. Škuta is soft cheese made out of sheep milk.

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You can eat it straight, add it to salads, but the best, THE BEST way to eat škuta is to sweeten it up. Cut slices of škuta and sprinkle them with lots of sugar or pour honey over them. YU-UM!

Bulletproof Heart of Jesus by Ivan Meštrović

Reason #152: admire art by one of the greatest sculptors of our time

Srce Isusovo / Heart of Jesus by Ivan Meštrović adorns the Brač cathedral – Church of Christ the King in Selca. The great artist donated it to Selca in 1956 and local sculptors cast it out of bullet shells left over from the fighting against fascists in Selca during World War II.

What a poignant message of Love above all.

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Photo courtesy of Tourist Board Selca

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Photo courtesy of Općina Selca

Ivan Meštrović, one of the greatest sculptors of our time, was so incredibly prolific that it’s nearly impossible to compile a complete list of his works of art scattered all over the world, in both public and private collections. This sculpture is practically unknown even to Meštrović fans, so it’s kind of a rare find.