Reason #121: riding the ferry can be anything you want it to be
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
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.
It follows the old road to Sumartin
At the same time, the procession from Sumartin heads to Selca, but via another route, so that the two processions never meet.
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.
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.
In the video you would have heard a loud, rattling noise. That would be these:
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
Reason#118: beautiful bell sounds of the Selca cathedral
With church bells like these, there’s no way you can miss mass ;)
Reason #115: meet lovely and patient donkeys
Reason #110: attend a very special ritual on Easter Saturday to see Roman soldiers fall at the tomb of Jesus
To skip to the highlight of the ritual, go to 1:50
Easter is an intriguing holiday as it is, but in these here parts they add even more excitement to the festivities with Žudije – 13 men dressed as Roman soldiers. Both Selca and Sumartin have their Žudije organizations. In some Dalmatian villages and towns this tradition has been observed since before WWII.
Žudije from Selca, selački soldati župe Gospe Karmelske (Photo selca.hr)
Žudije take part in ceremonies starting with Easter Thursday. The highlight is the reenactment of the moment Roman soldiers realized Christ was resurrected. At that moment the soldiers first fall to the ground then flee the tomb as angels appear. Although the basic premise is the same, the beauty of the tradition is that each Žudije club has their own performance style and costumes. All the Žudije organizations gather each year on Easter Monday to show off their styles and compete for the title of the best Žudije of Croatia.
Last year’s Žudije festival in Rogotin. (Photo: slobodnadalmacija.hr)
Good luck to our Žudije at tomorrow’s festival in Vrlika!
UPDATE from this year’s festival in Vrlika:
Žudije from Selca with their youngest member Niki :)
More on the Easter tradition in Selca and Sumartin in this post: Za križen – Following the Cross
Reason#104: join in the singing before the mass on Palm Sunday
Reason #101: watch boats roll in and out of the Sumartin harbor
Preferably, with a soundtrack of Dalmatian music from the local cafe :)
Reason #96: you can love or hate the sound of fishing boat motor early in the morning
Sunrise over Biokovo, 7 am in the morning, silence everywhere, except for a fisherman coming back from a night of fishing.
Reason #89: birds singing in the forest
Lovely bird choir singing at 550 m above sea level.
Turn up the volume and enjoy! :)
Reason #87: find pieces of rock in the woods and build a patio
Step 1: go out and find flat pieces of rock such as these: Step 2: make friends with a couple of great Bračani guys such as these, to help you carry the rocks, joke and have fun with the whole thing: Step 3: have a car such as this one that you don’t mind messing up, then load the rocks into it: Step 4: find a skilled Bračanin such as this one, who knows what he’s doing and enjoys what he does: Step 5: take coffee breaks such as these, to enjoy the whole thing properly: DIY geeks, you may want to see a short little video showing finishing touches on the mosaic:
Reason #82: the sheep choir
Back by popular demand, after their shy first appearance during the winter, they’re now back in full force and all their glory. I present to you: The Sheep Show.
Make sure you turn up the volume ;)
Reason #80: here on Brač you can find wild asparagus – super healthy and yummy
If you have good eyesight, that is. They’re notoriously difficult to spot.
As you can see (hopefully), they’re much thinner than their domesticated counterparts.
Don’t overcook them, there’s no need. You could even eat them raw, especially if you don’t find enough of them for a decent sized meal.
Season with just olive oil and vinegar. Serve with a hard boiled egg and enjoy!
And here’s a very short video about “the hunt” :)
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 :)
Reason #70: no reason, just a video of Selca :)
Reason #56: the “baa-aa” and the “me-eh” and the “ding-dong”
Passing a small herd of sheep near Radonja. The sounds of their bells and their chit-chat will not be taken for granted by this former city girl. This is music to my ears now.
Reason #7: water splashing against the rocks
Taken on January 7th, on Puntinak, across from Sumartin: