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Posts tagged ‘Hvar’

2016: My Year in Photos

It’s beyond crazy that a year has passed since I last compiled a photographic review of my photos. I remember exactly where I was sitting when I last did it, the rush I felt at writing the post before jetting off the following day to Venice…I practically remember what I was drinking (gingerbread green tea surely… it comes highly recommended). Short of remembering the clothes I was wearing, it seems so ridiculously proximate in time that I feel almost in a state of dreamlike disorientation as I engage on the annual tradition of writing this post. Even filing through my many thousand of photos does not convince me that enough time can have passed for a year to be up already. And there was I thinking that leap year 2016 had one more day to its number.

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And yet my calendar tells me that we are once again here again, coming to the end of another year, and one which for me has been very, very busy but full of light, sunshine and happiness. All of these things have mainly been the result of my location which, for another full year, was based on the paradise island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean sea, a backdrop which provided a daily life rich in sensual pleasures, and from which other fantastic locations such as Barcelona and Granada were only a short plane’s hop away.

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Yet asides from the visual riches so inherent in Spain, 2016 was a year which provided us with the opportunity to explore old favourites such as the enduringly attractive city of Rome, and also to embrace the new: the island of Menorca, Split in Croatia and Vienna in Austria were just three of those exciting new destinations which we were lucky enough to discover in 2016. It was also a year of discovery for my young family too…One of my highlights has to be the visit to Mallorca of my sister and young nephews, and experiencing their joy as they dipped into the warm sea for the first time.

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When I look back over 2016, I remember a year of stark contrasts. Because for all of the beautiful experiences which manifest in these photos shared today, I cannot deny a feeling of trepidation as I leave a year which presented so many new dangers. As if Brexit in June was not bad enough, the Trump election in the US just 5 months later was like rubbing salt into a still unhealed wound. And in my personal sphere, the news that I will soon be leaving to Mallorca to take up life again in London likewise will come with its share of challenges. Only time will tell how this cocktail of external and personal factors will play out, and the experiences which will result. However I am confident that in 12 months time, another year will have quickly passed. I look forward to sharing with you the photographic gallery which will surely result.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 20136and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

My travel sketchbook: Hvar

I’ve already described those dying moments of a creamy honey-coloured sunset when we sat in the perfectly picturesque port of Hvar, the indulgently exclusive little island off the coast of Croatia, waiting for our ferry to take us back to Split. The ferry arrived late, a fact which might have caused vexation were it not for the opportunity it provided for the commencement of a new sketch in my trusty travel sketchbook. That same enthusiastically filled moleskin book was mercifully one item which the woefully incapable lost luggage services of Vueling did not have at their relentless disposal, and constantly, deprived of my paints, I was at least able to sketch out the most significant and happy episodes from our trip.

The beauty of Hvar Town’s little harbour, looking over to the Italianate cathedral of St Stephen’s, was one view which could not go unaccounted for as I embarked upon my last sketch of the trip. Here is the result, hoping as ever that in its creation and subsequent sharing, I can relive with you a little of those special moments of our brief Croatian summer.

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Hvar (2016 ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

From Illyria to Italy, Part 4: The island of Hvar

I’d heard of the island of Hvar before I even knew about Split. With its uniquely mild climate, art treasures, beautiful beaches including many hidden spots on its panoply of little adjacent islands, and fields full of scented lavender, the island is well known to be one of the jewels of the Adriatic. However, as the luxury yachts have gradually started to make themselves at home in its crystal clear waters, the island has slowly become a haven for the well to do, and the island is quickly earning itself the reputation of the St Tropez of Illyria.

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The proximity to Split of this rather difficult to pronounce island made it a must-visit destination on our Dalmatian adventure. Taking a catamaran full of enthusiastic backpackers from the sulphur-scented port of Split (somewhat off putting so close to breakfast) we reached Hvar in just over an hour of calm(ish) sea travel. First impressions were very good. The quayside of Hvar Town seemed to exhibit all of the characteristics of a Riviera style cafe-lined promenade, with pristinely pruned and plucked palm trees perfectly lined up alongside carefully maintained Venetian-style palazzos.

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Evidently characterised by the influence of its past Venetian rule, when the island was a key stop-over point for Venetian merchants returning from the Orient, Hvar Town bears all of the hallmarks of its cultivated past, including one of the first theatres ever built in Europe, and the splendid little Cathedral of St Stephen perfectly located with a sprawling piazza before it, and a rolling green mountainside behind.

Set around a natural harbour, the town was one of those places whose aspect improved from every angle. Walking around the port, a picture-postcard view could be enjoyed from across cerulean waters peppered with colourful fishing boats, or from small shady gardens set alongside the Renaissance Civic Loggia characterised 15th Century Venetian Gothic windows. Up a steep staircase, past one of the town’s monasteries, the views improved yet further, as appreciated from the heights of the Napoleonic Fort which casts a protective fatherly glance across the town from the steep hills rising up behind it.

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We only had a few hours between ferries to enjoy the island, and in reality we kept ourselves limited to the treasures of Hvar Town. And while from there, we may not have run amongst fields of fragrant lavender, nor enjoyed the unspoilt beaches of the island’s craggy coastline, our brief acquaintance with Hvar was nonetheless one of the highlights of our trip to Croatia. Tranquil, elegant and unpretentious despite its natural attractiveness, Hvar Town felt as exclusive as the French Riviera but without the hype. And while the quaint beauty of the Town was evident at all times of the day, I think you would have to go far to beat the town at sunset, as the sun turned a milky honey hue. In that calm meditative light, we were at serious risk of missing our ferry home, as we sat on the quayside slowly contemplating the facade of St Stephen’s turn a rich honeycomb gold, and ancient walls of the Arsenale a warm ginger.

Alas the ferry came, and we returned to the welcoming lights of bustling Split. But oh how I could have stayed in that moment forever.

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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2016 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.