Scenic coastal cycling route Supetar – Pučišća

Reason #134: dip your toes in the Adriatic while riding your bike (almost)

Brač offers tons of cycling routes, with various difficulty levels, vistas and sight-seeing opportunities. This is one of the loveliest and most scenic of all: Supetar – Splitska – Postira – Pučišća.

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A good portion of this route is at, or just above sea level. It takes you through bays, beaches, villages and even vineyards.

You can take paved road all the way, but if your bike can handle it, I recommend going partially off road (between Splitska and Postira, and between Postira and Lovrečina).

Don’t forget to take your swimsuit and a beach towel with you.

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A special thanks to Davor Cvitanić for the route tips :)

You can always contact me if you need more specific information about this or any other route on Brač.

Martin Kukučin – a doctor, an author, a Slovak and a Selčanin

 Reason #122: Slovakian author lived here and wrote about life on Brač in 1900

Martin Kukučin is a famous Slovakian author, medical doctor by profession, who lived in Selca 1894-1907 and wrote about the life and the people.

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His real name was Matej Bencur. He was born in 1860, in Jasenova, Slovakia. In 1893 he received his medical degree and his friend Marko Didolić, a Selčanin who owned a winery in Prague, talked him into moving to Brač. He moved to Selca in 1894 and became the local GP.

Dr. Bencur took care of all the inhabitants of Selca, Zaseoci, Povlja, Novo Selo and Sumartin. He was popular and well respected. “He tirelessly did the rounds, covering this large area on his donkey, his ‘terrain vehicle’. He not only treated the poor free of charge, but also helped them out by providing means to eat more healthily.” (Jerčić 1985:7)

He was proficient in the Selca dialect. This gave him insight into the customs and the daily lives of the locals.

The good doctor married a local gal, Perica Didolić who was 19 years his junior.

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This marriage solidified his ties with Selca. He was very well accepted and considered one of their own by the locals.

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The commemorative plaque on the Selca main square

Even though he published articles in Slovakian papers throughout his stay in Selca, the locals knew him as the good doctor and knew nothing of his literaly double-life. He didn’t brag, obviously.

His famous novel Dom v stráni (Dom u strani) depicts life in Selca at the turn of the century.

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And he’s immortalized on a special commemorative 10 Euro Slovak coin, which is pretty cool for a Selčanin ;)

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Saint John Paul II in Selca

Reason 117: one of the first statues of saint John Paul II

This morning, Pope Francis canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.

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Artist: Kuzma. Kovačić; photo courtesy of Tourist Board Selca, by Daniel Troha Photography

John Paul II was revered by Croatians. The people of Selca built a statue of him back in 1996, out of gratitude for his support during Croatia’s bid for independence.

And today they celebrated his canonization.

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Photos courtesy of selca.hr

WWII Partisans remembered

Reason #105: the Selca elementary school is dedicated to the fallen Partisans

Elementary school in Selca was built in 1982. and dedicated to the local men and women who were killed in World War II on the side of the Partisans – National Liberation Army.

The plaque and stone relief inside the school:

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“Besmrtni kao ovaj dragi kamen. Uspravni jarbol u plovidbi vijeka. Vi ste ovih zora svjetlo i znamen.”

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“Spomen školu podiže narod ovog kraja da bi svjedočila pokoljenjima kako se rađala sloboda ove zemlje. 

My grandfather’s name on the commemorative plaque – Vjeko Štambuk (Miloša). He died in 1945. Just days before the war ended.

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Poskok wannabe

Reason #97: carve out a wooden snake if you can’t find the real deal

(Mama, ne čitaj dalje. Slika zmije! Nije prava, ali sliči.)

Poskok is the most poisonous snake in Europe and we got them on Brač. But more on the real deal in another post.

This post is dedicated to its impostor, a wannabe Poskok carved out of a piece of wood found on Vidova gora.

The fact that it’s fake won’t help my mom who’s terrified of anything that even resembles a snake. Let’s hope she reads the warning before she looks further.

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The artist is Jurica aka “Lola”, a fellow hiker in the “Profunda” hiking club. It took him about 10 minutes, as something to do on a marenda (brunch/lunch) break.

Get away from billboards and neon advertising

Reason #94: miles and miles of billboard-less space

One of my absolute favorite things about living on an island like Brač, after having lived in cities all my life: there is hardly any advertising, especially no billboards and neons.

Look to the north…

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Look to the south…

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All clear.

OK, some can be seen in a few of the bigger places on the island, especially in and around Supetar. And a few more will pop up during the summer, targeting thousands of tourists who visit the island in July and August. But that’s still nothing.

But some people might miss the sight of big city advertising. Some people might get super annoyed at the kinds of alternative sights Brač has to offer… Such as…

Bob Squarepants & friends balloon fest. Really annoying, all those happy faces…

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Pizza place advertising. For a pizzeria that hasn’t been open in years. So that’s annoying…

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Street name plates in stone. If you don’t like stone, it’s really annoying…

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Art at the side of the road in Novo Selo. Really annoying, as all art should be closed inside galleries…

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Mess behind a mechanic’s in Radonja, plus, trash container advertising. Really ugly annoying. Everything in the world should be tidy and neat…

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UPDATE: I checked yesterday, this particular mess has been cleaned up. So, that’s annoying. But there’s definitely other messes out there, don’t worry.

Same goes for this old Fićo (Fiat 600). Rally old and annoying…

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This cageball sign written by hand. Cost nothing probably. That’s annoying…

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My uncle’s socks in fresh air and sunshine. Annoying…

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This hand painted sign advertising a restaurant in Povlja. How annoyingly adorable and unique…

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Some joker mocking poor cows. Annoying when someone has a sense of humor…

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This guy’s selling home made vine in Postira. With a home made sign for it. How annoying…

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Annoying cyclists who are amused by their own shadow…

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Bags of olives waiting to be taken to the press. Annoying stuff. Olives should be seen only properly packaged in jars with fancy stickers on them…

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Trees in meadows. No advertising anywhere. How annoying…

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Donkeys. Just standing there. Not advertising anything. Probably annoyed because of it…

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So, there. If you think you’ll miss looking at billboards while stuck in a traffic jam and inhaling exhaust fumes on your way to work, you definitely shouldn’t move to Brač ;)

 

Brass ABBA

Reason #77: you can join a brass band in Selca and play ABBA’s greatest hits

The brass band is called “Hrvatski sastanak 1888” and it was formed in 1939.

Everyone is welcome to join and learn how to play one of the brass instruments. You just have to know how to blow air out of your mouth, basically, and you’ll learn :)

Jesus Four Nails

Reason #18:  Jesus crucified by four nails

Continuing with the Jesus theme… What would you say to the question: How many nails are holding Jesus up on a cross? Me and everyone I’ve asked in Croatia have said ‘Three’. That’s the image we were used to, growing up, I guess. So this statue of Jesus in Selca has always been confusing to me. I was sure that the artist made a mistake.

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Then I found out about the ongoing debate about the Holy Nails and that there’s still no definite answer to the question, even by the Church – was Jesus hanging up by three of four nails. Four definitely seems slightly more comfortable, so I hope it was four.

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And this spot is called “By the cross” and in times before mobile phones and when we used to go on foot a lot it was used often as a meeting point on the way to the beach. So, one would say for example: “Wait for me by the cross and we’ll go together.”

Torcida Brač graffiti

Reason #16: football fans marking their territory

A professional football career is every little Croatian boy’s dream. The reality is that most of them grow up to be football supporters and graffiti becomes their main creative outlet.

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Photo by Anton Whittle

Some people are annoyed and consider it vandalism. Some see it as tradition and part of the folklore.

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Although guys play recreationally for their local teams, they will always support a national league team. In the South it’s Hajduk, Split and the supporters’ club is called Torcida.

Their subtle initials (TS) on the lighthouse in Sumartin:

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And you can enjoy their presence even at the beach ;)

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