Baška - A Sketch

Baška is an idyllic place. I’m quite sure it’s not during the high season, but if you visit before or after – when the weather is nice but the crowds are gone and the tacky shops, half the bars, and almost all of the restaurants are closed – you can enjoy the aesthetics of the place unhindered and at least pretend they are unspoiled.

Baška is a small town on a bay at the southeastern end of Krk; the northernmost of Croatia’s islands. The shore isn’t long, but curves in such a way that you can get the sun all day.

The part of town nearest the shore couldn’t possibly have evolved by design. It’s hard to imagine how it came about, even organically.

The streets turn back and forth, and narrow and widen, seemingly at random. The houses are white, grey, yellow, blue. Some are broad and squat; most are tall and narrow. In some the windows – all covered by wooden shutters, coloured differently to the house itself – are arranged in a regular pattern. In others the houses are so thin as to only have room for a single column of windows, albeit a column four or five tall. Elsewhere they seem to have been installed at random, presumably according to some abstract interior arrangement of the house itself. 

But it’s the levels which are so unusual; you could say either the lack of the proliferation of them. The streets are never flat, the doors and windows never placed evenly from one house to the next. Some houses are entered on the ground floor, others via a stone staircase – sometimes curving – which leads all the way up to the front door on the third level.

But descend through those alleyways and you will come to Baška’s bay, which is its true gem. The view southeast is majestic, and – when viewed from a short stone pier that juts out a little way into the water – you can feel almost a part of it. 

The water is brilliantly clear near to the shore, the sun shining straight through and making patterns of light dance on the stones beneath. Further away it becomes a near-perfect blue. Protected by land on all sides at various distances, the water – wherever you view it from – is calm, disturbed only by the lightest of ripples blown by the breeze. 

A few miles ahead and a little to the right, the island of Prvić rises. Its mountains are brown and bare, and wouldn’t look out of place in North Africa. Further away from that and straight ahead is the mainland, and the mountains there are dark and grand, their snow-dusted peaks and the cloud which can climb over them then hover at the top making them Olympian in their grandeur and spectacle, and only strengthening the magical feel of the entire vista. More directly to your right, the nearer hills of the island of Krk curve, calling to you to visit so that you might gain another perspective on the entire scene. 

Although they are there, you can’t see the gaps in the strait up ahead, so that you feel as if this is not part of the Adriatic, but all one, enormous lake; a protected corner of tranquil, heavenly nature separate from the rest of the world. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *