A stroll on Olib and a first glimpse of the grandeur that is Rab …

A couple of hours away from Ist is another quiet little gem called Olib.

Again, no cars. Just a few people walking about, most of the ones we chatted to, Croat-American expats, back for extended summer holidays.

lavender and butterfly olib

I don’t know whether I’ve lived in the country for too long but thesedays I feel most at home in places like this. Certainly more relaxed. You can let your guard down. Actually you can forget about your guard altogether.

olin early morning

coffee on olib at the port

We’d seen a big circular version of this on the hillside of Ist. They’re reservoirs.

water reservoir olin

Easy to imagine summer evenings with the old fellas out playing bocce.


Bright, clear light, so much like home but not as fierce.

could be a painting clothes line and buildings olin

hollyhocks olib

green on green

green shutter

Like the Italians, everywhere, every corner, filled with veggies.

tower and vegie garden

And simple, shady, unpretentious spots to put your legs under the table.


If you tucked Ist away last post, I’d add little Olib as well.

olib port

We were heading north, to Rab. In one of our books someone described it as the most beautiful medieval town in the world. A big call but it piqued our interest. That’s the tip of Pag on the right, the island of Rab behind and the Croatian mainland in the background. Sailing along, listening to Eva Cassidy, watching those low isles gradually find form.

the tip of pag

marg paintingsailing into ran

Rab, like so much of this area, has found itself under others’ rule. Greeks, Romans, Hungarian-Croats all had an influence here but its the Venetians, who ruled from 1409 to 1797, that really left their mark. You can see it immediately.

When friends head to Istanbul the one ‘must do’ I always suggest is to get a ferry across to the Asian side or out to the Princes Islands and then, when it’s dark, catch the ferry back. I did this way back in 1985 and have done it every visit since. The panoramic view of all those minarets lit up along the Istanbul skyline, the ferry being dwarfed by the shadow of a tanker on its way to Russia along the Bosphorus, if you’re lucky – a call to prayer – it’s a moment that’s stayed with me forever.

I’m adding Rab to the list.

sailing into Rab

Slowly gliding past, seeing the layers of history in those buildings.

sailing into Rab


Talk about a room with a view. Can’t wait to take you inside.


rab watercolour

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    1. Matthew Thomason
      Posted 16 July 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      You’ve won me Marg….what’s not to like about an island where you can play bocce with your old fellas hanging out!! 🙂

      • Marg
        Posted 16 July 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Ah you’re so funny but why stop there Matt? Take them for a stroll round the island.

    2. Seana
      Posted 16 July 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful and arriving by boat is such a wonderful way to see port towns. Love those green shutters.

      • Marg
        Posted 16 July 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        It might sound silly Seana but I found this part of the trip very emotional. A lot of people might take a trip like this for granted but this was such a biggie for us. It’s not everyday you find yourself on a private boat floating past these amazing scenes. I was actually quite teary leaving Rab, sailing alongside it in the early morning light, looking across at Steve and going Do you believe this??! This, this moment, will never happen again. Tear up thinking about it lol. Silly.

    3. amanda little
      Posted 21 July 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Margie, you are a talented artist and photographer. thank you for sharing your holiday.

      • Marg
        Posted 22 July 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Thanks Amanda. A couple more to come x

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