No snow on Hvar on February 3, 2018, but the situation was very different on Europe’s sunniest island six years ago today.
Living on Europe’s sunniest island where the hotels are alleged to offer free rooms for guests if it snows has always come with certain weather guarantees, and I used to watch my kids with a smile when they saw real snow on trips to the mainland. Snow for a Hvar child is a fascination, just as I remember a kid from Hong Kong at my British boarding school standing outside mesmerised by falling snowflakes for over an hour.
So what happens on Hvar when serious snow falls, and how do locals react? Six years ago today was the start of the worst (or best, depending on your point of view) snowfall in my 14 years on Hvar. A lot of it was captured by our friends from Otok Hvar, who took the road from Velo Grablje to Brusje, famous for its fragrant lavender fields in June, but an altogether different proposition on February 3, 2018:
And how did the locals react? Now THAT was an interesting story…
Of course, all the little ones were out building snowmen – something they had only ever seen on TV before. As for the adults, they were getting up to some really crazy stuff.
Adrenaline junkies Hvar Adventure decided to jog up to the top of the island – here they are the peak of Sv. Nikola. Read more about their day on their blog.
Mildly impressive,a Slovakian resident of the island also went to the peak, but with a different mission. He took his skis with him, then skied a full 5km to the beach at Dubovica. Don’t believe me? Check it out here.
Not to be outdone, those crazy guts in Velo Grablje, organisers of the annual lavender festival, formed what is believed to be the first ski club, Levonda, on a Croatian island. Read more about that here.
As for me, I had my own bizarre experience. Here is the Total Hvar terrace in the early morning of February 4, the day we had arranged the first Hvar Business Breakfast Club at Hotel Riva in Hvar Town. With snow all around, I experienced a couple of firsts on that journey. Never before or since have I been forced to put the Jeep in 4-wheel drive because of the weather. Then, even more bizarrely, we saw a snow plough driving the other way, clearing the road from Hvar Town to Stari Grad. A snow plough on Hvar! And even more bizarrely, the snow plough lives permanently on the island for exactly such once-in-a-generation occasions, and it is driven by the man from Vrbanj who makes the pizza in the village restaurant.
Whatever the weather, Hvar life, you can’t beat it.