Our time in Split was short and sweet. Its a cool place deserving of more time than we granted it, but unfortunately for the formidable marble palace, great green hill overlooking the sea and the sky, and the artificial sandy beaches, Split was a jumping off point for Hvar. We'd been on the mainland for too long, taken too many buses recently, and the island was calling. If islands epitomize escapism, then Hvar is escapism at its finest. People go to their to maximize life, overloading themselves on happiness, fun, pleasure in a stunning natural environment graced by marble clad historical towns.
Hvar is known for its nightlife, and while that's a iffy reason at best to travel somewhere, it didn't disappoint. The secret to the island is to strike the perfect balance, party at night, but take advantage of the natural beauty in the daytime when the sun allows you too.
We came in the late afternoon off the ferry and headed straight to the beach. Crystal clear water is an under exaggeration. I'd say the water surrounding Hvar is diamond-clear. Warm enough to float in for hours. Its summer, so everyone is relaxed and at ease, which could be a factor in the so called brilliant night life. There's no kids pushing to take as many shots as they can in an hour because if you're staying up all night, why do all your drinking at once?
The hostel had a large patio, and if there is anything that makes strangers into friends, it is drinking outside while the sun goes down in a beautiful array of purples and oranges yet the temperature doesn't drop below perfectly pleasant. Its a great world where travelers are open and friendly to everyone. Even if we part ways and never talk again, we can be the best of friends tonight.
The scene is absurd. All the bars are in the old town, built into small spaces right now to churches and palaces, old marble everywhere, the port full of yachts just down to the left. Most people are at three or so bars, which are so packed that the sidewalks and the sidewalks a block down are packed. The English speaking crew rules here, with an absurd amount of Australians and English, and friendliness is high. Its clear that you go to Hvar for fun and not for meaningful encounters, at least not at night.
New friends, crazy drunk Englishmen, a club and a walk home during the beginnings of sunset, the sky a magnificent royal blue to the east, still dark in the west. The infrastructure or the nightlife is nothing special, Hvar seems to be a placebo. Tell the whole world the nightlife is great there and they'll come, their collective positivity creating the funnest nights ever. It worked, and plus, its people that make memories, not bars and clubs.
With a stop of unfortunately only two nights, there's no time to sleep in, so we wake up earlier than anyone wants, buy a feast at the market and rent a boat. Absurdly cheap, the boat gives absolute freedom. Jump off and swim whenever. See a beach, dock and sit for a while. Wave at yachts. Bump into some friends from the bar or hostel and make a pontoon. The boat makes you captain of your life. It doesn't go fast but that's okay, its makes the day last longer.
There's more to Hvar that we missed, but that's OK, it was an a thrill. Spirits are high there because everyone is so excited. Its a beautiful island aided by the collective energy of all its guests. Nature, sun, parties. Pick your poison, or shall we call it your pleasure. Next time we'll go by yacht.