Ferry rides to and from Brač

Reason #121: riding the ferry can be anything you want it to be

372672718_73bc54054c_z When I first thought of living on Brač the fact that I had to get there by ferry each time seemed like a hassle. And it sure can be. But I’ve also since come to embrace the positive aspects of it. So, let’s do another pros&cons list. But first let’s watch this fun video:

And now the pros&cons list…

Cons of ferry rides to and from Brač:

  • they take a long time (50 minutes!)
  • the tickets are kind of expensive (pricelist PDF)
  • tickets for bicycles are ridiculously expensive IMO: 38kn
  • you’re stuck, you can’t go anywhere for an hour
  • the wi-fi is there to tease, but you can’t actually log onto it
  • if the weather is bad it’s not as fun
  • if the wind is really strong, especially on the Sumartin-Makarska side, the ferry won’t run

Pros of ferry rides to and from Brač:

  • they’re not that long (just 50 minutes)
  • if you live on the island you pay half the price for everything (people, bike, car)
  • you can’t go anywhere for an hour so you can get a lot of things done: read, work, write blog posts, chat with people, play cards, think, meditate, people-watch, etc.
  • you run into people you know and hang out
  • you can sit outside and enjoy the sun, even get a tan
  • you can sit inside and enjoy the A/C
  • there’s a bar
  • there are toilets, with toilet paper
  • there’s a tv and if you love soaps and the news, you’re in the right place

Here’s a great page (unfortunately, facebook) with lots of pics and videos from all the ferries to and from Dalmatian islands, including Brač: Uživo s dalmatinskih trajekata / Live from Dalmatian ferries

Brač has its The Voice: Glas Brača

Reason #120: compete in a singing talent show

glas_braca1

The participants were chosen through auditions in elementary schools and they sang Croatian pop songs.

Check them out, they’re adorable:

Check out the video medley with this year’s participants:

Although this latest craze with talent shows is a relatively recent thing, since the Idol, The Voice, CountryX’s Got Talent, etc… However, this talent show has a much longer tradition. It used to be called Pjevači amateri and was conceived in Selca by Zoran Vrsalović Peci.

glas_braca

All the photos courtesy of Dalmalino. You can find lots more here.

Kudos to the organizer – Dalmalino and Zoran Vrsalović Peci – on a great effort. Hopefully Glas Brača becomes a long-standing tradition once again.

Za križen – Following the Cross

Reason #119: follow the Cross in a traditional Easter procession

Za križen is a procession ritual, part of the Catholic Easter tradition observed in Dalmatian towns and villages.

The start of the procession varies. In Selca, Sumartin and Novo Selo it starts on Friday morning. The three villages start at their own church and walk to the next village and back. Without running into each other.

The Selca procession starts at 6 am.

IMG-20140418-01559

It follows the old road to Sumartin

IMG-20140418-01562

At the same time, the procession from Sumartin heads to Selca, but via another route, so that the two processions never meet.

IMG-20140418-01578

The Selca procession arrives in Sumartin and is met by Roman soldiers who escort us to the church of St. Martin. The march of the soldiers is eerie and impressive.

 

IMG-20140418-01567

IMG-20140418-01565

IMG-20140418-01572 IMG-20140418-01573

zudije_sumartin
Photo courtesy of  Žudije Sumartin.

Here’s a tip for those who intend to join Za križen for the first time: try to be at the front of the procession, where all the singing and the decorum is happening. If you hang in the back it can be annoying and the magic is lost, as most people chat and instead of thinking of Christ and His suffering, they’re more interested in “Whose house is that? Check out those curtains!”, “When was the last time he trimmed his olive trees”, and such.

In the evening we gather in Selca again, for another service and procession. The streets of Selca are lit up by torches and people sing hymns all the way. It’s beautiful.

Change of guards at the tomb of Jesus in the church Krista Kralja in Selca.

IMG-20140418-01587

In the video you would have heard a loud, rattling noise. That would be these:

skrpajka

Rachet or škrpajke are carried in the procession (by kids mostly) and at certain points the procession stops, the singing stops and on command all the rachets make noise in unison.

Although many Dalmatian towns and villages observe this tradition, the most famous and reportedly the most impressive Za križen procession is the one on the island of Hvar. It even made the prestigious UNESCO Cultural Heritage listing.

More on the Easter tradition in Selca and Sumartin in this post: Easter ritual of Žudije – Roman soldiers