What a strange trip! First we travelled from the mainland via the bridge to an island, then by ferry from the island to another island, then across the bridge from that island to another island, and finally by a small speedboat from an island to an island. So where are we now? Can you figure out? Jump after jump, and here we are on Ilovik! However, before that we passed Krk and Cres and left the car at the southernmost tip of Lošinj, in the designated location, in the Martvaška bay. A little later we saw one speedboat which embarked from the port in Ilovik and headed toward us. Mladen Pažin was at the helm, wrapped from head to toe in good, warm, clothes. When we saw him in the evening without such thick and comprehensive thermal insulation we barely recognized him. Bura was piercing to the bone, but the goal was getting closer and closer. When we stepped on the waterfront, we found out afterwards that it was called the Stora boardwalk, we thought the cold would loosen, but despite all efforts – nothing!
Even the broad smiles of the host committee, consisting of members of the local self-government board, whom we found charming at first glance, could not drive away the effect of the cold bura, although it was certainly nice to see them. We were greeted by the President of the Board Jadranka Matas and Andrea Simičić, and with them three puppies. When they looked at us, it was clear that our operating temperature needed to be increased. We were immediately led down the street near the church of St. Peter and Paul to the house of the family Jadras, in whose apartment we’ll stay for the night. Mrs. Zvjezdana and Mr. Darko Jadras offered us some hot coffee that we accepted gratefully and literally with both hands. We also had a cake called prisnac, which revealed that Mrs. Zvjezdana originated from Viškovo. We felt more at ease now, and questions and answers came spontaneously. Jadranka and Andrea are members of the local board for the past five years, and we wanted to know what their nightlife is like. They responded laughingly: “Good, exciting even!”
After that, we had to laugh! According to the Polling Station register, there are about 150 voters in the town, but in reality there are only sixty of them! They have a school, a shop, a post office and a bakery, but no bread is baked there during the winter! At this time of year the souvenir shop, currency exchange, pastry shop and several restaurants are closed. There are eight families with children in the town, most of them with three children. So much for nightlife! The islanders are mainly engaged in fishing, agriculture, cattle breeding and, of course, tourism. They are either apartment owners or restaurant owners, which made the island a famous sailing destination.
We also talked about the diaspora, which is large and financially helps many projects on the island. We learned that the largest diaspora is in New York, and many of them come to their native island as early as March and stay until the end of October. According to some calculations, the number of emigrants is three times larger than the number of residents on their native island. When some soul fades somewhere far away, his or her earthly remains are brought to their home island and buried at Saint Peter’s. Funerals on this island are a special story that we must leave for the next day! Now let’s get to know Ilovik.