Late last Thursday night, we put the kids to bed in the car and drove four hours to the island of Pag, just off the Dalmatian Coast. There was almost no one on the road, and when we finally made it to the southern end to drive across the bridge, I silently slapped Cam in the chest to get his attention (I have a habit of doing that) to look!! It was like something from another world. The full moon outlined the desolate, barren land jutting out into the Adriatic - bright blue even in the moonlight. I'd read countless times that coming over that bridge and seeing the landscape change so drastically looks and feels like you're driving onto the surface of the moon, and we now agree.
I love the reasons behind why the cheese is so darn good here. Pag gets hit by the strong Dalmatian winds called "Bura" which sprays sea salt over everything. There isn't a lot of vegetation that can survive that much salt, but the little that does - like wild sage, lavender and herbs - is just what the native Dalmatian sheep graze on all day. There's around 40,000 sheep on the island! and over 500 shepherds. Their unique diet and environment creates a fatty milk that's produced and aged into a distinct, AMAZING cheese. We were eating it for breakfast each morning at our hotel, snacking on it throughout the day with Boškinac wine and again at dinner! You could just taste the freshness of it.
Ancient dry stacked stone walls - gives you an idea of how long sheep have been at pasture here!
This time of year is still very quiet - perfect for Easter week. We spent the afternoon of Good Friday in olive groves in the little village of Lun, on the northern-most tip of the island. There's over 10 miles of olive groves along the sea, and a large amount of them 1000 - 1600 years old!! We didn't see another soul the whole afternoon, only herds and herds of sheep and little lambies. It was so peaceful.
Also, the olive oil made from these groves? Some of the best we've ever had.
We really loved Pag. It is a lovely, quiet, beautiful place in early Spring.