From Sun to Snow: Total Hvar Relocates to Munich

From Sun to Snow: Total Hvar Relocates to Munich

By  Monday, 5.1.2015, 22:10    What's Happening

And so the day finally came.

After 12 years of full-time living on the sunniest island in all Europe, the time had come for me to spend at least a month away. This, an island of extreme beauty, which had become my adopted home. Which has changed me, shaped me (and not just from the beer) and transformed me from a one-time world traveller of 95 countried and jobs in Africa, Asia and Europe, into a true Dalmatian, time-keeping and all. Could I really go back into the real world and live in a city?

There was time for one last coffee on the terrace to beat all terraces. A trademark Jelsa blue sky had appeared to bid me farewell.  

The sleepy harbour, for me all the more attractive without tourists in early January, was a reminder of the charm which had captured my heart on my first visit from Somalia some 13 years ago.  

And while then the ferry and catamaran were the only modes of transport, today's departure was one in style with the first scheduled seaplane route in modern European aviation history. And while I might have been looking ahead to the new project, there were others on the passenger list who were expectant at the prospect of their first ever flight.  

A seaplane to take me to Split! The entire notion sounded all too ridiculous, but it was an established - and successful - fact, and I was proud of the small role I had played in bringing the seaplanes to Jelsa.

A final goodbye to Jelsa, one of the true hidden gems of tourism in Europe, and a destination which will hopefully see better times very soon.  

And what better way to say goodbye (even a temporary one) than by air? The 13-minute flight to the sea port at Split Airport was a steal at the special winter price of just 13 euro. 

Split, which is fast becoming the new tourism star of Dalmatia, was in full flow, its waterfront Advent show still a huge hit after Christmas. 

Heading north to Zagreb, and plenty of time to reflect of the past and the challenges ahead, reflections which were accompanied by another trademark Croatian sunset. 

After 12 years on a sunshine island, there is nothing quite like a train journey through the snow with a cold one to keep you warm. The view from inside the dining car of the lake at Zell am See. 

Rather than head directly to Munich, there was a small diversion to the temporary Total Munich command centre in northern Austria, where an evening of discussion and preparation ensued.  

There was alcohol involved. Is this not the beer label of all time? And the beer was Fxxxxxx good too. By way of explanation there is a village in Austria with a very international name beginning with 'F'. An enterprising German thought it would be fun to build a brewery there and brew lager (the German for lager is 'hell'). The rest is history. 

And then the final leg, the motorway to Munich South. The abundant snow of Austria became patchy as we approached the Bavarian capital.  

And, with a little help from our GPS, we soon arrived at the first temporary Total Munich home in a very posh part of Trudering, complete with garden. I only discovered how posh it was when I picked up the key from the neighbour who answered my question on information about getting to the nearest train station with:

"No idea. We all drive around here." 

Sticking to the local driving theme, we headed to the local supermarket for emergency supplies, where I learned the first steps of Michael Schumacher's journey to become a world champion, although I hope he had a little more luck navigating the cases of beers through the aisles of his local supermarket. 

It feels great to be here, and the start of the re-discovery of Munich begins in earnest tomorrow. It promises to be quite a ride - why not follow the Total Munich story on Facebook

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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (, Total Hvar ( and Total Inland Dalmatia (, as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, 

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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