Hvar climbs the slope overlooking a harbor in a bay protected by islands, and is topped with a fortress. The typical light grey stone buildings with orange tile roofs surround a central square of worn travertine cobblestones. Sailboats and yachts fill the harbor, shops, cafes, and tour operators line the promenade and narrow streets surrounding it. A souvenir booth displaying jewelry sells lockets to two young girls from Oregon. The streets are not full of cats like those in the other Dalmatian cities we’ve visited, but several dogs sporting collars romp freely in the square.The water is clear, and the sea bottom next to the boats and pathways is strewn with rocks. The clarity of the water lets so much light in that when the sun fully shines on it, the sea illuminates in classic Mediterranean blue, liquid gemstone.
A small girl from Oregon meets a smaller girl from St. Louis, and they pet every dog that will allow them to rub their belly, and talk about life and travel. They dance in the pouring rain as their families chat and eat lunch at a food stand under the shelter of awnings, delighted to see the girls so happy; soaked giggles.