Posted by: viewfromtheriva | August 9, 2013

Life in the slow lane, the other side of Hvar

Leo's heaven

Leo’s heaven

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most rewarding.  Take yesterday.  I took Nastiya, my wife’s daughter who is spending the summer here with us, to Hvar to take care of a some business for my DiscoverHvar newspaper.  To make the day more than just business, I asked Leo Ruzic, whose family has a small compound near Stari Grad  if he could meet us for a swim when we finished.

Leo enjoying his second home and first passion

Leo enjoying his second home and first passion

Leo, along with his mom and dad, run Exoptatis, a terrific quick printer in Split that does all my work because they are such a terrific, hard working, funny and very kind family.   I thought Leo would meet us in his car, but instead, he tells us to go to Stari Grad harbor.  A few minutes later, here is is in his spiffy Sting Ray looking like the cat who ate the canary.  Ten minutes later we step out onto a small family compound and walk up the path to a wonderful open air terrace surrounding a small house.  Not an electric outlet in site!  Wow, my first all solar experience in Croatia!

The fridge is heated with gas, but the rest of the place has photovoltaics so the football crazy Ruzic family can watch TV and power the lights (LED’s and low energy bulbs).  With two wells, three bedrooms and that fabulous outdoor kitchen, it was more than perfect.

the large open terrace has a huge grill, double sink, tons of space and great views

the large open terrace has a huge grill, double sink, tons of space and great views

We met grandma and grandpa, who of course, did all the cooking.  Leo showed us the outside garden letting us know sure he caught all the fish, but everything else we are going to eat is home grown.

Enjoying this kind of meal is just another reminder of why Natasha and I don’t eat out very often.  I mean look at this!  Orada, salpa,and more…..grilled to perfection, doused with the family’s olive oil,; tomatoes, onions and cukes marinated in herbs and olive oil and a heaping plate of home grown potatoes with capers and of course, more olive oil!.  Joining this feast of course was a table full of bottles of beer, wine, cool well water and oh yes, did we want some rakija?

the feast

potatoes and capers

homegrown yumminess

It just doesn’t get any better that this…..followed by a delicious swim with not a soul in site…..and then washing off with warm well water from a hose!  What could make the day more perfect?  Nastiya’s first speedboat driving test!

at the helm

As we cruised back to the ferry port to catch the 8pm back to Split, all I could think about was what Leo said earlier in the day, “this is my heaven….I wouldn;t trade this for anyplace in the world…”


With Nastiya at the helm, Leo revved the engine and from where I was sitting, this was the view…..


  1. Every good man finds his paradise … 😉

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