Bright, colourful, hip and happening Berlin. It is one city which I always wanted to visit. So on this trip, I decided to set aside a few days to make a special trip to this amazing city. I also have a good friend who now lives there (and has the most amazing apartment in Kreuzberg!), so I added that to my list of excuses as to why I must finally visit B-town. That and all the amazing art, architecture, nightlife, food, flea markets, history, culture… the list goes on and on and on.

I knew my visit to Berlin was going to be amazing from the word go. Meeting-up with my hyper-excitable and crazy friend Amanda at Schonefeld airport set the tone for our weekend in Berlin. We also had two other good friends from Australia coincidently visiting Berlin over the same weekend (what are the odds of that?). So there was no chance of our visit being boring. But I guess we were in Berlin, so how could it be anyway?



Here is a list of things we did and saw in over the three days we were in Berlin:

East Side Gallery: Quintessenially Berlin, the Berlin Wall is one the city’s most visited attractions. For those who don’t know the history of Berlin, the Berlin Wall once divided the city into two – the communits East Berlin and the capitalist West Berlin. This heavily fortified barricade ‘protected’ East Germany from facism for almost 30 years, until it was destroyed in 1990. Today, the longest stretch of what remains of the wall, known as the East Side Gallery, which is located near Ostbahnhof train station, is now a highly decorated mural paying tribute to the days of East-West Berlin.

Holocaust Memorial: A somewhat unusual memorial to the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide during the 1940s, located in downtown Berlin, is another attraction to add to your list. Designed by the architect Peter Eisenmann and engineer Buro Happold, this memorial consists of almost 3000 concrete slabs, symmetrically arranged over 19,000 square metre space. Each slab is the same width and length, but their heights vary and the alley ways between each slab is uneven. According to Eisenmann, the memorial was designed this way to create a confused and uneasy atmosphere, representing the ordered system which has lost touch with human reason. Walking through the memorial, you get a bizzare and almost uneasy feeling. No matter how tempted you are to practice your ‘planking’ on the concrete slabs, please refrain from doing so – or the guard will happily (or more forcefully) remind you.

Check-Point Charlie: The original checkpoint site was the crossing point between East and West Berlin. During the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the separation between East and West, between communism and capitalism. The checkpoint building which is now on the site is a reproduction, with the original one being demolished after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Checkpoint Charlie continues to attract countless numbers of tourists, who take their cheesy holiday snapshots with the ‘border guards’.

Tempelhof Airport: Being one of only a few airports in the world which are located with the city centre, Tempelhof Airport is one of Europe’s few iconic pre-WWII airports. Originally built in 1927, it was reconstructed during the Nazi years of Germany. Hilter intended it to be Germany’s gateway to Europe and a symbol of his ‘world capital’. The airport was greatly utilised by the Germany military during WWII and it was the access point for the Americans into West Berlin during the Cold War. The airport was officially closed in 1998, due to a drop in air trafffic, since Berlin now had other, more modern airports. Today, the grounds of Tempelhof airport are used for picnics and the tarmac a perfect surface for going for a leisurely bikeride and enjoying the summer sun (as we did). The airport has also become a tourist attraction, with organised tours organised. The airport building is well-preserved example of Nazi architecture and interior design.

Mauerpark Markets: If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Berlin on a Sunday, don’t forget to head to Mauerpark Markets. Located in the north of the city (take the U-Bahn to Eberswalderstrasse and just follow the crowds) it is the perfect place to indulge in a little souvenir shopping. At Mauerpark, you can find almost anything – bric-a-brac, used designer clothing, emerging designer clothing and jewellery, shoes, bags, bikes, gourmet food products, cameras, suitcases…the list goes on and on and on. Get there early to grab the best bargains, or get there around lunch time to enjoy a tasty organic vegie burger (so delicious!). Don’t forget to take into consideration your luggage allowance if you’re travelling – it’s rather difficult not to go overboard and have an extremely weighty and overflowing backpack as a result.

Bike Hire: Do what the locals do, grab a bike and discover the streets of Berlin. It seems as though everyone in Berlin has a push-bike. There are almost more bikes than cars on the roads. The city is extremely well-adapted to cyclists – there centre is flat and there are designated bicycle paths along almost every street. Bike hire places can be found all over the city, with bike rental being about 10 euros per day. We took a lovely ride from Kreuzberg, along the majestic tree-lined River Spree to Templehof Airport. Perhaps one of the best days spent in Berlin.

Berlin’s Clubs & Bars: Berlin is well-know for its colourful nightlife. No visit is complete without visiting a few of its many bars and clubs. Here are a couple which we loved…

Club der Visionaere: Located in the hip and happening neighbourhood of Kreuzberg, this funky little club is hidden away on the shores of the River Spree. Half tree house, half boat house, this Club der Visionaere is full of atmosphere. Its timber construction gives it a funky little, teenage clubhouse feel. Sit on the terrace, enjoy a drink or two whilst looking out on the twinkling evening lights magically reflected onto the river.
Watergate: We didn’t manage to actually get into this place – the line was almost a kilometre long. But we had fun chatting to some people in the line whilst we waited almost an hour before we decided to go. But this seems like the place to be any night of the week. So if you don’t mind the line-up, I’d say you should check it out and see what all the fuss is about.



































































Getting There:
Easy Jet has direct budget flights to and from Berlin Schoenefeld airport and a number of European capitals. We flew from Split to Berlin and from Berlin to Barcelona for approximately AU$150 for each flight. The train station, which connects the airport to the city, is only a short walk from the terminal. If you’re not sure from which platform to catch the train, or have difficulty using the automatic ticket machines, the friendly station attendant (you won’t be able to miss him in his grey and red uniform and hat) will be more than happy to assist you.

There are so many amazing cafes and restaurants to eat at in Berlin. You’ll be so spoilt for choice. And in comparison to other European capitals, the prices are very reasonable. Here are a few of my favourites:
Il Casolare, located at Grimm Strasse 30: A fantastic little family run pizzeria making amazing pizzas. We came here on a recommendation by my friend Pete (it’s one of his favourite restaurants), and he wasn’t going to miss out on his favourite pizza, quattro fromaggio, so he insisted on joining us for dinner. It’s extremely popular, so get there early or you’ll have to wait around for a table. They have a wide selection of pizzas and pastas, which go down nicely with a schooner of beer or a bottle of Apfelschorle (sparkling apple juice).
Goodies, located at Warschauer Strasse 69: We didn’t start a day in Berlin without heading to the organic/vegan cafe for a scrumptious breakfast. All the food looked so amazing, that it was a struggle to chose something – fresh fruit smoothies, quinoa & blueberry porridge, banana bircher museli, date bread, delicious bagels, robust veggie salads, homemade brownies, a selection of yogurts… the enticing menu goes on and on and on. We could have eaten here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We found the prices very reasonable and were pleasantly surprised to find soy lattes, like the ones you buy in Sydney.
Mirchi, located at Oranien Strasse 204: On our second night in Berlin we stumbled across this enormous Singaporean restaurant. At first we weren’t sure whether it was a night club or a restaurant, with the ostentatious decorations and the impressive size of the premises. They had a vast selection of dishes, from stir-fries to noodles, curries, salads, rice dishes and a range of entrees. Cocktails are only 5 euros each, so we couldn’t say no to one, or two, or maybe three mojitos. We were shocked at what great value for money Mirchi was – for us four girls, we each had a delicious dish, plus rice, plus two or three mojitos each… and the bill only came to 60 euros. We almost thought that there was a mistake in the calculation, it seemed so cheap.

Eastern Comfort Hostel: After a bit of uncertainty about where we’d stay in Berlin, we stumbled across this interesting hostel. The hostel consists of two old river cruisers, moored side by side, that have been cleverly converted into an interesting hostel. The cabins serve as rooms, sleeping either two or four, with two rooftop bars overlooking the Oberbaum Bridge and the River Spree. I was lucky to have a good friend living in Berlin who gave me the thumbs up for selecting this hostel. The hostel is extremely well located, being within easy walking distance of both a U-Bahn and a S-Bahn station, close to the Kreuzberg district (which is full of restaurants, clubs and bars) and located right next to the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall – perhaps the most visited and most impressive attraction in Berlin.


Bosnia & Herzegovina

Whilst staying in our Dad’s hometown in Croatia, my brother and I decided to take the car and do a little road trip through Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH as the locals call it). With the new Dalmatian freeway having been completed up until Metkovic, which is practically on the BiH boarder, the trip was relatively quick and simple –  a day trip from central Dalmatia to Mostar is easily achieveable. Even once we crossed the border, we were surprised at the excellent condition of the roads in BiH, as some of our friends in town were a little concerned with us driving through the country. We decided to take the E87 road from Metkovic in the direction of Mostar, Konjic and Sarajevo. The road was well straight and well maintained and some of the scenery was saw was breathtaking (sorry I don’t have photos from the car – when driving at 100km/hr it’s rather difficult to get a clear shot). A few years ago, I took the road from Vrgorac (Croatia) to Medjugorije, which was much narrower and winded itself up and down mountains (we were often driving centimetres aways from cliff edges with no barricades). In comparison, the E87 road cuts through any mountains in its path with well contructed tunnels. So, maybe our friends had travelled these more treacherous routes, but if you are travelling from Dalmatia, stick to route E87 and you should be fine.


Our first stop was the UNESCO heritage listed town of Mostar. No other town in BiH can compare to Mostar. It is a true little gem. There isn’t much to see except for the historic centre, which, although decimated during the 1990s war, has been immaculately restored. Mostar still retains its Islamic/Christian heritage (originally one side of the town was Christian and the other was Muslim), but as Christians are slowly moving out of the area, Islamic culture and traditions are flourishing. In almost every direction you look you can see the unmistakable tower of an Islamic mosque.

If you’re driving to Mostar, there is a patrolled parking lot only a 5 minute walk from the historic centre. The parking costs about a euro per hour and well worth it – I wouldn’t risk having my car towed away and impounded in BiH. The old town isn’t well signposted, so if you have difficulty in finding it, just ask.  There are also regular buses to and from Split and Dubrovnik (in Croatia) and Sarajevo (BiH). Walking into the old town is like stepping into another world. Or into some sort of medieval picture book with its cobbled stone lanes and stone terraced housing with cute little timber windows. Although Mostar’s economy is heavily supported by the tourist dollar, and almost every house you pass has been converted into a shop selling souvenirs (you can find anything from turkish pipes and coffee pots, to paintings and war memorabilia), the town still retains its charm. There isn’t a lot to see and do in Mostar, so a stop over for a few hours should be sufficient to wander through it’s streets, have a bite to eat and if you’re game enough, to jump off the famous bridge. If you’re in Mostar in the late evening, don’t forget to check out Ali Baba’s Cave. It’s a night club/bar built inside a cave which serves fantastic drinks and has an even better atmosphere.













Our next stop in BiH was Konjic. Usually not on the tourist map, we stopped here for a couple of nights to visit our lovely family friend Zora. We didn’t spend too much time in the town centre (except for a bit of a crazy night spent drinking in a few bars, listening to cajke (local folk/pop music – very popular in BiH) and eating late-night pizza with a few locals), instead we stayed in Konjic Bijela, a small rural town located about 15km from the centre. With lush green fields, undulating mountain ranges and crisp mountain air, it’s difficult to imagine that this was once the scene of intensive fighting during the 1990s Yugoslav war. But sadly, all that remains here today of the war are fields still riddled with landmines (there are areas around Konjic which you still shouldn’t venture), bullet riddled houses and graves full of victims, both young and old. My brother and I was shocked to see a photograph of Zora’s son hanging on the wall with a distinct bullet hole through the glass frame.

During our stay, Zora insisted she take us to see Boracko Jezero, a large alpine lake located in the Konjic municipality – about 25km from Konjic town centre. Neither my brother nor I had heard about this lake before, but we were happy to go along. It was not as impressive as the Slovenian lakes of Bled and Bohinj, but it was still a spectacular wonder of nature, with its turquoise waters and beautiful alpine scenery. Unfortunately, the Bosnian Herzegovian government does not have the funds to up-keep the lake and support tourism, so its infrastructure (cafes, shops and accommodation) seem to have not been upgraded since the communist years. The one attraction the Boracko Jezero boasts is white-water rafting. There are a few companies which run rafting day trips starting from Boracko Jezero, along the Neretva River and ending at Konjic town centre. My brother and I did not have a enough time to go rafting, but next time we go to BiH, it’s at the top of our list – as well as skiing in the alps in Sarajevo.









During our stay in Konjic, we decided to spend an afternoon exploring Bascarsija, the old Turkish district of Sarajevo. After a traditional and solid Bosnian lunch – my brother had cevapi (small meat rissoles in the shape of short sausages) and I had punjene povrce (vegetables stuffed with minced meat), we wandered through the cobbled streets of Bascarsija, doing a bit of window shopping and visiting a few local mosques. Sarajevo is the perfect place to do some souvenir shopping. Things to buy are silver and copper work (Turkish coffee pots, coffee ‘perculators’ – like the ones below, and silver plates), knitted blankets and woolen rugs, Turkish coffee and delicious Turkish delight.









Getting There:
If driving, take the E87 road from Metkovic which runs through Mostar, Konjic and on to Sarajevo. There is an international airport in Sarajevo which has good connections to and from a number of European capitals. There are also regular bus services from Split and Dubrovnik to Sarajevo, via Mostar and Konjic. The bus trip is rather long (approximately 7 hours from Split to Sarajevo), with many stops along the way. So if you don’t want to waste a day on the bus, travel at night if possible.

When in BiH, eating local dishes is a must. Try cevapi (small, sausage shaped minced meat rissoles. Don’t forget to order kajmak with them – the salty curds from the cheese making process), punjene povrce (vegetables stuffed with minced meat), burek (filo pastry filled with either minced meat or cheese) and lepinje (flat, oven baked bread rolls. Filled with pleskavice (flat meat rissoles), raw onion and ajvar (capsicum relish) they make a perfect Bosnian hamburger).

Stay with locals, if you have the contacts. They give you great local knowledge, take you to never heard of places and offer hours and hours of entertainment. Bosnians and Herzegovians are extremely hospitable people and always open their homes to visitors.
In Sarajevo and Mostar, there are many choices for accommodation, from five star hotels and budget hostels. In the summer and during the winter ski season, make sure to book well in advance.


Dubrovnik & Trogir, Croatia

It is truly as beautiful as everybody says it is. And it attracts more tourists than anywhere else in Croatia for a reason. There is something magical and other-worldly about Dubrovnik. Some essence that cannot be found elsewhere in Dalmatia. Dubrovnik is a world unto itself. Located at the southern tip of Croatia, for centuries was an independent republic, similar to the Venetian republic of the same era. Originally known as the Republic of Ragusa, it remained an independent state for centuries, boasting strong maritime trade links throughout the Mediterranean. Today it has become part of Croatia, and perhaps its greatest gem. Although, some old people of Dubrovnik still consider themselves are unique from other Croatians.

The majority of visitors to Dubrovnik tend to stick to the old town centre (from the Renaissance Era) and the surrounding beaches. Walking down Stradun (the main street, and orientation point, in the old town) is surreal feeling – the stone pavement is so wore from centuries and centuries of people walking its length, that it glistens in the midday sun. The imposing bell tower tolls on the hour, ensure that you don’t lose track of time as you wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and lanes. If it’s not too hot, I recommend paying the 70 kuna (approximately US$12) and walking along the outer walls of the city – from this vantage point you get a bird’s eye view of the city. Try to avoid doing this on a hot summers day, or at least go early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as the summer sun is blisteringly hot and there is no shade to hide beneath along the wall.












I also recommend that you try to get up early in the morning to experience the city under the warm light of a summer morning. Dubrovnik looks just magical at this time of day, with its white limestone walls and red terracotta roofs shining through the dawn mist. The entire town is still and quiet, without the humdrum of tourist every which way you look. Take a walk out of the old town and up the hill through the residential streets to experience the spectacular view below. From this outlook, you can see the beauty of the old town floating on the magestic blue Adriatic Sea. I also took a walk out of the old town and along the seaside. Through the haze, people are fishing or taking their morning swim, or taking advantage of the stillness of the morning to sail out into the horizon.

The evening is another great time to explore the city. You’ll be greeted with a completely different atmosphere from that in the early morning – as the sun goes to sleep, Dubrovnik awakens. People fill the streets, walking up and down Stradun in the cool evening breeze. All the alfresco restaurants are full of people eating and socialising, and the caffe bars overflowing with people enjoying a drink or two, whilst watching the world pass them by. The evening is also a great time to peruse the boutiques in Dubrovnik – out of the harsh midday sun, dusk is the perfect time to enjoy an ice-cream and wander through the lanes full of retail outlets which are open until about 9 or 10pm.








During my travels around Croatia this year, I visited Trogir for the first time. I hadn’t originally planned to visit this town, but having a few hours to spare before catching a flight from Split, I decided to wander through the streets of this medieval UNESCO world heritage sight. Located just 15 minutes from Split airport, it is the perfect departure point for those heading to the northern Adriatic coast – head to Split if you’re heading south. Having just an hour or two to explore, I wandered around the cobblestone streets, browsing the stores and sampling some ice-cream. There isn’t much to Trogir, except for its exquisite old town centre, which is rather small in comparison to that of Dubrovnik. Some attractions to see in the centre include: the 15th century fortress of Kamerlengo, The Duke’s Palace and The Cathedral, both dated from the 13th century. Trogir is an extremely old town, research suggested that it was first inhabited by Greek colonialist in the 3rd century and developed into a major port during the Roman period. The history and affluence of the town is evident can be seen in the beautiful limestone architecture of its narrow lanes and important civic buildings.










In Dubrovnik, staying in the historic centre is usually more expensive than if you stay outside of its walls. But if you decide to stay outside the centre, have a look on a map before you book anything – some places are located up on the hill, and although you have a magnificent view onto Dubrovnik, it can make for a hot and tiresome 30-45 minute uphill walk in the sweltering heat. We booked last minute (not the wisest thing to do in the middle of August), but managed to find a reasonably priced and well located hostel, just a 5 minute walk outside of the centre. We spent a night at Hostel Villa Garden. Although it was nothing to write home about, it was clean and tidy, the manager was very helpful, and it was well priced considering its close proximity to the old town centre (although we got a little lost and frustrated trying to find it, as there is no signage at the front). When booking accommodation in Dubrovnik, don’t forget to ask if they offer parking. Parking is scarce in Dubrovnik, or ridiculously expensive. If your accommodation doesn’t offer you parking, you either have to walk a fair distance, and probably park illegally, or pay at the 24 hour metres which can do a bit of damage to your wallet.

There is no shortage of restaurants in both Dubrovnik and Trogir. In Dubrovnik, we ate at “Moby Dick”,  located in the first street running parallel to Stradun, on the higher side. It is a typical, tourist focused seafood restaurant, with prices being higher than in other parts of Croatia – but hey, it’s Dubrovnik. Ask for an outside table for the atmosphere. We ordered a seafood platter which had a selection of grilled fish, fried whitebait, squid and skampi, with a side of octopus salad. It wasn’t the best meal we had in Croatia (my brother thinks the boys at “Ferali” in Tisno do a better seafood platter), but we polished the whole thing, even soaking up the excess oil with crusty bread.

Getting there:
I’ve only ever driving to Dubrovnik, but there are buses departing ever couple of hours from Split to Dubrovnik. The bus trip is approximately 4 hours. If you drive there, go straight along the Jadranska Magistrala (the main road running the length of the Croatian coast) and just follow the signs to Dubrovnik. It’s almost impossible to get lost. Unfortunately, the freeway from Split does not yet reach Dubrovnik, but when it does, it should cut the travel time by half. It is also possible to fly into Dubrovnik, with its airport located near Cavtat, about 15km from Dubrovnik. Flights in and out of Dubrovnik are usually more expensive than if you go to Split, so to save a few dollars, fly into Split and get the bus to Dubrovnik.
As for Trogir, the town is located along the Jadranska Magistrala, with adequate signposting directing drivers to the town. There is metered parking just outside the old town walls. Split airport, located in Kastel, is only 6km from Trogir. Take bus No. 38 from the airport (the bus doesn’t actually turn into the airport – you have to go outside onto the main road, where you should see a marked bus stop on the side of the road heading north – the bus will stop there). Buses arrive every 30 minutes.

Povljana & The Island of Pag, Croatia

When you drive onto The Island of Pag, you are greeted with a desolate and barren landscape. It feels as though you have arrived on a different planet, with no sign of life, apart from the occasional car whizzing by. But the scene is spectacular – the rugged white limestone cliffs dive dramatically into the sapphire blue of the Adriatic Sea. And not to mention the imposing,  yet awe-inspiring Velebit Mountains, set as a backdrop. The scenery on Pag is breath-taking – these photographs below fail to do it the justice it deserves. Unfortunately, many visitors to Croatia stick to the ‘regular’ tourist route of sailing between Split and Dubrovnik, visiting the islands of Hvar, Brac and Korcula, missing northern Croatia and what is has to offer. Ok, I could be a bit wrong with that final statement, many people do visit Pag. For all those party animals and music festival addicts, Pag is known as the Croatian Ibiza. Thousands of people flock to Pag, namely Zrce, located in the bay south-east of Novalja, to spend their summer partying 24/7 if they wish. But Pag is much more than a party island. It is an island steeped in history and tradition, and offers some of the most amazing scenery in all of Croatia. I have been lucky enough to visit Pag on every trip to Croatia – my mother was born on the island, in the town of Povljana, and we still have our original family house there, which has become a holiday house for me, my brother, aunt, uncles, cousins and many of our friends.










Throughout the country, Pag prides itself on its well-renown talents of cheese making, crotched lace and salt manufacturing. You cannot visit Pag without sampling some of its cheese. Known as Paski Sir, Pag Cheese, it is a hard, sharp cheese from sheep’s milk (my grandfather always likened it to Italian Romano cheese, but it wasn’t quite the same). Many people on the island, women especially, made the cheese at home and sold it to tourists at a high price due to its quality and unique flavour. The cheese was so valuable that it even took the place of money in transactions between friends and neighbours. Today however, the older generation are become too frail to spend their days in the fields looking after sheep, so Paski Sir is now predominately manufactured on a large commercial scale and now available in many supermarkets around Croatia. But if you’re lucky enough to bump into a local who still produces their own cheese at home, be sure to buy some. And if you can, as them for the curds too, if they haven’t thrown it away. Spread on crusty bread, it is to-die-for. I remember one summer visiting my great-aunt and gorging on the stuff (and I also remember the putrid smell of her house – it just smelt of cheese).

Pag is also renown for it delicately hand-crocheted lace. Centuries ago, the French aristocracy came to the island to purchase their lace from the women of Pag. Aside from selling their craftwork to European aristocrats, the women of Pag crotched lace for their homes and particularly for special occasions, such as lacework for bridalware. Like Paski Sir, Paska Cipka (Pag Lace) is of the highest quality and craftsmanship, making it very expensive. Even today it fetches a high price. Unfortunately, it has become a dying art, with the younger generation being disinterested in learning the craft. Luckily, a school as been established in recent years at the Benedictine Convent in Pag town (I’m not 100% sure if it is still open today), to ensure that the traditions don’t fade away. When you visit the town of Pag, you are to see old women crotching  in the streets and displaying their art for tourist to buy.

Pag is also know for its salt. You don’t actually need to go to Pag to sample its salt, as it is sold in almost every supermarket in Croatia. Paski Sol (Pag Salt) is the most popular table salt used througout Croatia. It comes from the Pag salt flats, which can be seen on your left-hand side as you drive from the southern end of the island to Pag town. Salt has been extracted from these flats for generations, working with the tides and the dry summer heat. The Adriatic is quite a salty sea, when the tide rises, it fills the salt flats with sea water, which is then held in bays until the water evaporates and the sea salt remains.
















I spend all my summers on Pag in the small town of Povljana, being the birthtown of my mother. Orginally a small farming village, with the primary industries being sheep hearding and the growing of wheat, fruits and vegetables, the town has boomed in the last 20 years, becoming a tourist destination for many foreigners, partiularly Germans, Czechs and Italians. In winter the town has a population of about 700 people and this explodes to around 5,000 in the summer. The newer, more recently developed part of the town, near ‘Dubrovnik’ beach, is overrun by a multitude of multicoloured monstrousities – three or four storey houses, usually with colourfully painted exteriors, which are usually divided into numerous apartments for the use of tourists in the summer months. In contrast, the original centre of town remains quite rural – these is a nice walk from the centre towards ‘Stara Povljana’ (Old Povljana – where the original inhabitants of the village lived. Unfortunately there are no ruins left of this settlement – most of stone from the buildings would have been used to create stone walls which criss-cross the island, separating one person’s field from another’s). This walk takes you through the cultivated fields of Povljana, passing the beautiful 14th century church of Saint Martin, and ends at a beautiful secluded beach. Occasionally during the summer, this becomes the site of some crazy beach parties, organised by Oliver, the owner and host at Caffe Bar Kampanel (the ‘in’ place to party during the summer). If you take this walk in the early morning, you’ll bump into many locals on their way to the fields, usually on make-shift motorbikes or tractors. Or even run across an old lady and her flock of sheep walking along side you.

For those history lovers out there, Povljana is an old town which is thought to have been inhabited since Roman times. A few decdes ago, the ruins of Roman tombs were found in the shallow shores of Povljana. There is even an old church, located above the old beach, known as The Church of Saint Nicholas (Sveti Nikola), which is thought to date from the 9th century BC. There is a small old graveyard infront of the church with only a handfull of tombs, one of which belongs to my great-gransparents.

Although Povljana appear to be a sleepy old town, it is the perfect place to spend your summer days soaking up the sun and your nights partying into the early hours of the morning with the locals.










Like every small town in Croatia, there is a plethora of private accommodation available in Povljana during the summer. I’m not too sure if you’ll readily find accommodation in the winter, as not many tourists venture here in the colder months – you might even have difficulty getting to the island, as the bridge is often closed when the bura (the icy wind from the Velebit Mountains), blows with all it’s force. Visit the local tourist office (turisticka zajednica) for information about private accommodation.

Snoopy’s Pizza: This alfresco dining place has become a bit of an institution in Povljana. Again, only open in the summer months, it serves up a fabulous selection of pizzas. Available in three sizes, small, medium and large, don’t go by the sizes we have in Australia – the large is the size of the table top and could easily feed a football team. Try the Paski Sir pizza, which has a great combination of local prsut (similar to Italian prosciutto) and paski sir. And for all those sugar heads out there, they have an interesting selection of sweet pizzas – try schwalzwald (chocolate and cherries) or the fig jam and cream one. Yummo!
Drink at Kampanel: This little bar located near the town centre, across the road from the Church of Saint George, is a mecca during the summer months. If there’s only one place to be, it’s Kampanel. Run by a local man called Oliver (at 50 years of age he parties like a 20-something year old) it attracts both tourists and locals alike. The small premises is usually empty, with everyone sitting outside in front of the bar, in the street or even on the church steps. Oliver has a great selection of music, and drinks for that matter, and is happy to play tunes by request.

Getting There:
There are buses every few hours from Zadar to Novalja (Pag) – if you wish to get off at Povljana, the bus drops you off on the main road where a little shuttle bus collects you and drives you the rest of the way (See the timetable at Zadar bus station, also available online – I think there are two in the morning and three in the afternoon). Again, getting back to Zadar, a shuttlebus will pick you up from the drop-off point in Povljana and take you to the main road where you wait for the connecting bus. Like I mentioned in the last post, hiring a car in Croatia gives you more freedom and flexibility.