Through fields ans lowlands

written by Tonko Maroević
ilustrations Stephan Mäder


I was not born on the island. And I do not live on it. And yet I have the illusion that I am especially close to it, that I am nowhere else at home in the world as in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. The reason for this is the frequency of my visits from the earliest youth, close connection with relatives and friends, and, most of all, the variety and richness of experiences in all seasons and in very different localities, both on the sea and on the land. I cannot, of course, say that I have gone through the whole island, that I have peeked into all its mysterious environments or sailed (not to say swum) to its numerous coves and coastal nooks, but I can confirm that I have tried to measure its coordinates, and get to know its proportions.

I am not going to talk about the civilized and gentle Stari Grad, its narrow streets and little squares, its courtyards and gardens, salons and taverns, not even about the incomparable Tvrdalj. I would need the gift of a storyteller, and I only have the ability of a witness and the willingness to anchor some experiences as a pledge of a deep connection with the homeland of all my ancestors. The feeling of being indebted to the close environment (that is not completely my own) led me to try to adopt the island as much as I could. And this could primarily be done by walking, only a pedestrian can conquer the terrain and only a human step can provide a more complete impression of the country's properties.