Hvar – A Stroll in the Town

In our several days in Hvar, we made many strolls in the town. Even on the second day, we feel very comfortable being there as if this is a very familiar place. However, that doesn’t mean that we did  not discover anything new every day.  We were never disappointed by Hvar town’s beauty and the warmth of its inhabitants. The walks through the old town have always been a joy.

We strolled leisurely in the town square, while passing by this fashion shop my eyes were attracted to the honey colored stone wall, the lantern and the parked bicycle. These all conveyed a very relaxing feeling; that’s what holidays are about.

Never thought of window shopping in Hvar town square. But the shop windows here are so attractive that I couldn’t help enjoying it. Then came this shop with red flowers, red dress, green benches with green window frames against the honey colored stone walls.

Then we passed by the Town Loža (Loggia) and Clock Tower on the main square. This  is the only remains of the former Governor’s Palace and one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture on the island. The Loggia was  reconstructed in fine Renaissance style after the former loggia was damaged by  the Turks in 1571.

Different shops seemed to have their own color theme. This shop which sold T shirt, mainly of blue and white color, has a white barrel with blue wheels in front of the shop.

We walked along the waterfront past Carpe Diem and follow the path into a small bay, which is home to the Francisan monastery. The  monastery was built in 15th century as a sanctuary for sailors.

The monastery is probably the most peaceful spot on Hvar Town’s crowded waterfront. Both the stone carving atop the entrance and the arches inside the monastery  stunned us.

Walking back to the town square, the sun was beginning to set. The reflections off the shop windows offered spectacular views of the harbor and the yachts.

Approaching dinner time, we walked up this narrow alley to the restaurant. I was most impressed by the flower hanging off the walls and the lights.

We didn’t end up buying anything, but we did get inspired by what we saw in the shop windows. We were glad to have another peaceful day doing nothing much but seeing a lot in the Hvar town. . . . . . . . . .

Hvar Town- Day and Night

Our hotel in Hvar overlooked the harbour. From the hotel we could see the Spanish Fortress perched on the top of the hill. Looking through the window, we were fascinated with the view of the town with its orange roof buildings, the blue sea, the white limestone block paving, the palm trees and the ever changing pattern of the yachts swaying inside the harbor. Where I am based, I always like climbing up to the Peak and have a magnificent view of Hong Kong foreshore and the Victoria Harbor, both during day time  and night time. At Hvar , both the day and night views are just enchanting. 

When night fell, I was tempted to take some night shots of the lovely view with the harbor lights. Without a tripod, all I could do was to hold my breath and support the camera off somewhere firm. Back home, I was able to match some of the day and night photos.   

Deep in the night, the walls of the castle was illuminated and there were still some people walking on the seaside promenade.

In the afternoon, the boats have returned to the harbor. The view of the harbor with the houses and buildings as a backdrop was just unforgetful. On the left, the biggest building with a triangular roof is the Arsenal which,  was the oldest municipal theater built in 1612.

By night time, all houses including those studded up on the hills, were lit up and their reflections from the sea were just enchanting.

We were never tired of watching yachts coming into the harbor and the very blue Adriatic sea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

With the light sea breeze blowing and the street almost deserted, we had a pleasant walk in the main square toward the hotel, thinking how lucky we were to have another very enjoyable day.

The shop window was so attractive that we couldn’t help stopping by to have a good look. There were so many souvenirs that looked very appealing.

No matter day or night, we have found Hvar to be very cosy, full of life and pleasant people; not a lot more you can ask from an island. . . . . . . . .

Budapest – Bits and Pieces

Woke up early in the morning, I was wondering what really were my impressions of Budapest. We have seen the beautiful scenery of Buda and Pest, the blue Danube, the Castles, churches and many monuments. We have also seen the other side of the city with street side sleepers and people scavenging garbage bins for food. Budapest have a glorious past, will it ever rise again? We have been to the Heroes’ Square and were impressed by the statues. Would there be modern heroes to bring the country further forward ?

While thinking about these, I opened the windows and drew the curtains of our hotel room and noted that it opened into a backyard with windows and doors. They looked pretty interesting and regular. I then realized that my impressions of Budapest are in fact composed of various interesting bits and pieces, just as the view in front of me was interestingly composed of windows, doors and ladders.

Budapest have many facets; the bits and pieces are an integral part of the city without which the city would have a lot less appeal and character.

On our last day in Budapest, we first stopped by a Catholic church and were impressed with the stained glass windows and the reflections they made off the relic on display.

Then we wandered into a shopping area and were happy to discover the many arts and crafts which were made locally. In particular, we liked this shop which displayed very well designed objects of desire: pigs and elephants. We like the pig.

Back onto the street, we came across this metallic statue with a gentleman standing at the top of an arch footbridge. Why is he so lonely?

It was almost time for lunch. We made our way to the market. The market was full of life and colors. There were so many things that attracted our eyes. There were also so many things that we were tempted to buy: sausages, foie gras etc. Getting hungry in Hungary, we climbed to the first floor of the market and have a lunch of local specialities.

I was puzzled as to why we have masks in both the Oriental and the Western cultures. Apart for fun, are we trying to hide our facial expression so that people would not know what are our deeper feelings? I was intrigued to see these Venetian masks hanging up in the shop.

Then we wandered by the river promenade of the Danube and strolled as far as the Parliament house. We saw these shoes along the bank . Clearly, these shoes are not made for walking but are created so that we would not forget the terrors of war and the killing of the innocent people.

According to Wikipedia “The composition entitled ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’ gives remembrance to the people shot into the Danube during the time of the Arrow Cross terror. The sculptor created sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes out of iron. The shoes are attached to the stone embankment, and behind them lies a 40 meter long, 70 cm high stone bench. At three points are cast iron signs, with the following text in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew: “To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005.” (Source: MTI, Saturday, April 16, 2005.)

When evening set in, we knew it was time for dinner. After a day of tiring walks, we were prepared to replenish ourselves; we found ourselves collapsed in the comfortable sofas of this almost empty restaurant.

Back to the hotel room, I was pondering whether Budapest is just like our travels through life. There is a main theme, but it is the  bits and pieces that make our lives more interesting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .