Unlike the first week of our stay, the beginning of the second week saw increasing numbers of visitors and boats in Hvar town. Restaurants and cafes around St. Stephen Square have been buzzing with people, sometimes almost no empty seats to be found. We've also noticed at our favourite Pokonji Dol beach bathers have been growing steadily by day. On roads around town, we saw foreign vehicle number plates from Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and even Ireland.
In addition to the early morning walks, daily swimming at various spots and luxury yachts patrolling at the harbour, we spiced up this week by doing two day trips: a road trip around the Hvar island and a boat trip out to the Pakleni Islands. We also celebrated Brad's birthday. Needless to say it was a busy week!
Early in the week, we had some windy and stormy weather - 40km/hour wind first thing in the morning knocked all sort of things to the ground. According to the locals, the weather this year has been very unusual. Typically weather here is sunny with calm wind in summer. Maybe the weather is also trying to fight off Coronavirus!
Based on the weather forecast, we picked two calm and sunny days for our day trips and it turned out the little bit of planning paid off - we had two fantastic day tours with perfect weather!
We wrote about both the road trip and the boat trip in detail in separate blog posts. After having done both, we feel they should be on everyone's must-do-list if they want to appreciate Hvar completely. Both trips compliment each other, adding a perspective and understanding to Hvar and its surroundings, one from land and the other from water. Hvar Island and surroundings are indeed blessed with incredible natural beauty and rich history.
To celebrate Brad's birthday, we had a pre-dinner cocktail at a bar on our favourite Pokonji Dol beach and then had dinner at a traditional restaurant a couple of minutes from our accommodation. This was our first time eating out since COVID-19! Our last meal out was at a packed tapas bar in Seville back in mid March. It feels surreal and unimaginable just to think about that lively fully-packed tapas bar now. For the whole of the intervening four months, we cooked every meal ourselves trying to stay away from any risk of catching Coronavirus. Even for the birthday cocktails and dinner, we sat outside with enough distance from everyone. It's safe to say that social distancing is going to be part of our lives for a long time.