Sep 09, 2017 - Sea Cloud
Our day began as Sea Cloud approached the Croatian island of Hvar, an important Venetian outpost during the medieval era. This beautifully wooded island, prized throughout history for its shipbuilding timber, was a lovely morning stop on the final day of our voyage. Today the island is better known for rosemary, figs, and in particular lavender, the scent of which wafts delicately through the main square of town. We began with a guided walking tour of the picturesque town of Hvar, the name of which is derived from the Greek name Pharos. We spotted the winged lion of St. Mark—state propaganda of the Venetian Republic—throughout the town, which was under Venetian control for several hundred years. Our tour included the loggia, remains of the medieval pier, and the Franciscan monastery, with its splendid painting of the Last Supper and an oddly shaped, 500-year-old cypress tree (Cupressus sempervirens). We ended our tour at the Cathedral of St. Stephen before free time in town, which some spent shopping in the island’s many charming shops, while others enjoyed a walk through the wooded park adjacent to the old town. After returning to the ship and indulging in chef Maik’s famous parmesan pasta wheel, we had one final afternoon of sailing, accompanied by a lecture on the stranger-than-fiction Fourth Crusade, which was a major event that influenced life in the Balkans in the 13th century and beyond.
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