Friday, 31 July 2009

Have a great weekend!

Am off to find my peace and quiet on a sandy beach .... somewhere .... have a great weekend! Temperatures are baking here in Dubrovnik 32 degrees/well into the 90's. (photo "Azure on Newell Beach", North Queensland, Australia)

Contemporary Art - Your Black Horizon

On Lopud island last Saturday I visited the Your Black Horizon art pavillion, free entry. The unusual modern art was created by Danish-Icelandic Olafur Eliasson and London based artist David Adjaye. See here. The art was commissioned by the "Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contem-porary" headed by Francesca von Habsburg, Austrian royalty, who is an avid art collector herself and active with land/property on Lopud.

Memories of QE2 in Dubrovnik

click photo to enlarge
My brother has boarded a ship in Southampton today and is heading to Dubrovnik! Not with Cunard's QE2 of course (she is decommissioned now and lying in state in Dubai), but with a new P & O massive vessel. However, this reminds me of the time my former ship came to Dubrovnik 7th July 2004. Here's the view through the stone wall.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Magical photo

Alas not Croatia. My good friend Jaki in Mallorca sent me this marvellous photo today. I believe it to an actual photo (so many fake ones out there) as I have had the experience to go 720 nautical miles south of the North Pole on Spitsbergen island. This shows the sunset at the North Pole with the moon at its closest point last week. You will also see the sun below the moon. An amazing photo and not one easily duplicated.

The Chinese have a saying that goes something like this: 'When someone shares with you something of value, you have an obligation to share it with others!'

Nearby view

I checked on my friends' apartment today just a couple of minutes walk from home. The coastal pathway shows the rear of the Old Town, island of Lokrum and a (blurry) cruise ship in the distance. Strong sunshine is my excuse for poor photography!

Seven Seas Navigator

Regent Cruises' "Seven Seas Navigator" cruised sedately past the apartment this afternoon heading northwards into the setting sun. A luxurious ship for her 490 passengers. She is on her Mediterranean voyage Istanbul to Venice - with the Italian port being her stop tomorrow.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Cavtat near to Dubrovnik airport

Cavtat (pronounced Sav-tat) is 3km from the airport and 25km from Dubrovnik. This is a wonderful resort town just loved by tourists as encompasses everything a tourist expects for a successful holiday. The horseshoe bay is a haven for the superyachts in summer (and the obscenely large yachts have to 'park their boats' outside by anchoring in the deep bay behind) and the town takes on an elite air. Great beaches for swimming, restaurants and bars. This area is excellent for those seeking 2nd homes, with a small selection of new developments dotted around. Hurrah for my clients who have confirmed to buy today! Click on photo to enlarge.

The colours of the land

I have found this marvellous illustration of the types of colourful butterflies to be found here in Croatia. I was reminded of this whilst on Lopud island on Saturday as a butterfly fluttered by happy in the sun. Haven't got the list of names, but just enjoy their colours!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Opening night at the hotel

The Hotel Rixos Libertas has had its opening night tonight. Even though the hotel has been open for more than a year ... apparently these things take a lot of planning! The wooden Karaka ship lay alongside sparkling modern motor boats to cater for every whim of the specially invited guests (actors, politicians, heads of state). 10pm we were treated to a spectacular firework display. I had a ring side seat from my front balcony .... and the music is still going on now.

What are the holes for?

Lopud island has many fine examples of these stone features on the properties. Dubrovnik Old Town has many too, but a lot were damaged during the siege. "What are the holes for?" people ask. Well in days gone by a stick would be threaded through, and fabric wrung out with cold water would be hung on the stick, so that the breeze would waft cooler air into the house. Great invention of early air-conditioning!

Interesting Island Properties

Beautiful replica stone house adjacent to an original
For sale ... (contact me)
Waterfront imposing property
La Villa waterfront boutique hotel with foundations from the 16th century
Leading you up the garden path
Entrance to the 19th century Mayneri Park

Handmade sign hung on the gate of a private house.

Stone bungalow with a shady Mediterranean garden

Derelict, deserted, delicious!

Have enjoyed a day on Lopud island today, 32 deg.f/90 deg.c but thankfully with breezes. Some of the imposing stone properties date back to the 16th century when Dubrovnik was a Republic and many were sea captains and sailors. To have no traffic around is bliss and great to see children running care-free into the sea and along the beaches.

Friday, 24 July 2009

An Adriatic Idyll

Towels by Calvin Klein
Linens by Calvin Klein. Pierre Paulin's ribbon chair
Jorge Zalszupin's Brazilian rosewood armchairs
Lavender in the Mediterranean garden
Gardens by David Kelly of Rees Roberts & Partners
The promenade of the car-free island of Lopud
I posted last week about a Croatian property appearing in the August edition of Architectural Digest, well now I see it is online. The magazine has not mentioned which island, but immediately I see it is Lopud, where I am heading tomorrow to take on a stone house for sale! 45 minutes by slow ferry from Dubrovnik. This is gorgeous, just my style and a mix of old and new. Henrietta the donkey was used to bring materials up from the port to the house, but is now "free-range". Slide show Read the article here
Steven Harris Architects, Interior and Landscape Design by Rees Roberts & Partners.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Shells of the Adriatic

click photo to enlarge
I found a colourful drawing of the shells you can find here in the Adriatic. When I first visited Dubrovnik in 2000 and ate at the best mussel/oyster restaurants in Ston, I asked the waiter if I could keep the large shells: he returned with a big bag of washed shells for me - all look great now dotted around the apt.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Why I love Croatia

Look at this, a deserted beach in mid July ... not due to the economic downturn but this little piece of paradise is hidden away on the Peljesac Peninsula, 2 hours north of Dubrovnik. Situated in a cul-de-sac, my frontline summer house for sale is ideally located. Look at the views! Just my clients exploring the beach in front. If they buy then they can enjoy this beach every day.

Monday, 20 July 2009

All in the size of yacht you own ...

(courtesy of 'Demented' the Mail on Sunday)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Magnificent bourgainvillea

I have been to a friend's house today where there was a magnificent canopy of bourgainvillea. HUGE! I just felt like snipping of an arm to take home, but best to leave the flowers to nature and remain on the tree. Stunning.

No rain, just humidity

If you're living in a place with lots of rain ... take a look at Dubrovnik! 40 degrees and hot. Yesterday was so high humidity we experienced 'fog'. My Croatian neighbour told me the day was bad for UV rays and that I should stay indoors until 8pm!. Today is breezy, sunny, hot yet uplifting. What a difference a day makes!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The colours of the (Adriatic) sea

click photo to enlarge

Found this wonderful page in Edin's nautical book - showing the colours of the sea. The Adriatic is full of superb marine life ... though today there has been a rare sighting of a 5m shark off the island of Brac .... and tonight Jaws 3-D is on TV! I met writer Peter Benchley once, a nice fellow and have a signed book from him somewhere.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Exotic Homes ... including Croatia

Great to see the newsletter from Architectural Digest, August edition features on the cover sub-title 'Croatia'. The country is amongst such exotic countries such as Bali, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Morocco & Egypt. This magazine I used to buy, but the price tag to buy here got too high (original price $5.99 or 4.25 euros and to buy in Dubrovnik 86 kuna equivalent to $16.50, 12 euros!). So now I get my fix of beautiful houses by looking on-line.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Radisson Blu, part II

Erin from House of Turquoise would just love this hotel, the accents are the colour turquoise! Finally I got to the Radissson spa and resort this afternoon, just 20 minutes from Dubrovnik. Fabulous new 5 star hotel, very impressed indeed. Attention to detail throughout. I saw a room which was perfect! Contemporary yet luxurious. We had a drink at the pool bar - generous glasses of wine, well done, the sign of a great hotel! I can see myself visiting here more often!