Wednesday, October 01, 2008

back from beautiful Croatia

We've been back from Croatia for a couple of weeks now but got caught up in kindergarden routines, the flu etc. and so I never got around to telling you about our little holiday in beautiful Croatia.

It's grey and around 10° in Vienna and autumn has come in most of Europe, so let me indulge my desire for sun and light by sharing a few observations and some pics of holiday weather with you. Hopefully it will help combat the sniffles!

Below the gorgeous view we woke up to every morning from our balcony at Villa Izabela.
Despite the familiarity of the destination (we had been in the region of Makarska Riviera in 2005 and I have spent many a childhood summer on the very same beach), or perhaps I should say, because of the familiarity of the place, I really enjoyed our holiday. Being an expat can mean that routine and familiarity are treasured more than adventure and novelty at every step! Taking Emma to the beach and watch her discover the salty water, pebbles and seafood was part of the fun. Not having been on a real holiday for ages made it more precious.

A note to new parents thinking of going on a holiday with their young one: Unless you can afford a suite, staying in a rented flat rather than in a hotel room really makes a huge difference. Not only can you cook, eat, play or nap when you feel like it, but you can actually enjoy your evenings à deux by having dinner, a chat, playing cards, watching TV etc. while your babe is safely asleep in another room. A Baby-call can also give you a little parental freedom. We managed Mojitos across the street one evening.

It was also fun to meet and interact with the owners of Villa Izabela to the point where they made us the most delicious palačinke (crêpes) twice and we helped their daughter with her English homework. Kind of like being part of the family.

The other great thing about this region's coast is that thanks to the "Sobe" (rooms) or "Apartmani" (apartments) the locals take part in (so logically also benefit from) the tourism. This means the coast has not been spoiled by huge hotels, locals feel less "invaded" by the floods of tourists since they are actively taking part in the logistics and benefiting directly from their stay. As for guests, their stay feels more homey thanks to home made food and morning and evening chats on the stairs or the patio. What a refreshing change from big hotels where you are just another guest needing a clean room by noon. If you value anonymous travel though, Croatia is not for you. Or at least not in June or September, the quieter, more privileged seasons.

Ok, now for some pics!

We also went to Plitvice, but the weather wasn't so good while we were there as you can see in a selection of my pics below.

The scenery and colors are spectacular. I'd love to visit in the winter time when there's snow. Here are some beautiful pics of Plitvice in the summer time
by Julius Silver. Definitely worth a visit if you're in that neck of the woods.

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