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Tegan & Ingrid's world adventure

Family, food & pebble beach time in Croatia

CROATIA | Wednesday, 31 August 2011 | Views [618]

The past couple of weeks of our trip has been spent in beautiful Croatia. Home to half of Tegan’s heritage. Tegan’s Dad, Jerry and all of his side of the family are from Croatia. This wasn’t our first time visiting Croatia, however we did have the opportunity to see parts of the coastline we hadn’t seen before as well as it being my first time to the inland town of Pozega where Tegan’s Dad is currently living and also grew up in.

We were lucky enough to get a lift with our Croatian friends from Sziget festival to Zagreb which saved us having to take the train. Jerry came and collected us and from there we drove to Pozega. Pozega is around 2 hours from the capital of Zagreb in the east of the country.

We had an extremely relaxing week together with Jerry and Tegan’s Great Grandmother who Jerry is currently looking after. The pace of life in the small town is very slow and was exactly what we needed to recharge the batteries after the 5 day festival in Budapest.

We spent much of our days relaxing in the house, away from the stifling inland heat of Croatia. We took short walks around the town and enjoyed plenty of coffees and icecreams and in the evenings we made a few visits to some of Jerry’s friends in the town where we were spoilt with some great Croatian cooking.
The culture is ever present on the streets of Pozega. Currently the country has quite a problem with unemployment (inland it is up to 30%), and so many locals will spend their days in the Café’s and ‘Bitije’s’, which a local drinking spots, just watching the days go by. It’s sad in a way, but that is the way of life at present for the country.
Also, Croatian food is amazing! We sampled everything from delicious home cooked meals from Tegan’s Great Grandma to one of Croatia’s signature dishes Cevapi (a minced meat dish served in an awesome Turkish style bread with Capsicum and eggplant spread to go with), and even visited a reception centre / restaurant that farm their own fish! Needless to say they immediately caught what we ordered and it was incredible!

After our week there we were ready for the coast and Jerry decided to come along with us. It was almost a 5 hour drive to get to Zadar and we hadn’t pre-booked any accommodation. So when we arrived we went to a tourist office where we were lucky enough that a guy who had apartments walked in the door two minutes after us and offered us a room for the night. After that is was an afternoon of relaxing by the beach and then enjoying the fresh sea air of Zadar in the evening. Tegan and I spent a fair bit of time in Zadar on our last trip to Croatia and love the old town there. The beautiful white stones together with the little alleyways winding around the harbour make it quite a magical place. It has become a little more touristy since our last visit 8 years ago. They have built a sea organ, which is basically some pipes under the water which go up into the footpath and when the waves hit the pipes they emit different sounds through the pipes so it sounds like an organ playing music. It is quite an incredible thing and not something I have heard of elsewhere. It was really nice to just sit and listen to the waves making the different sounds for a while. They also have this rather strange thing called “Greeting to the Sun” which I really don’t quite understand the purpose of. It looks a little like a whole heap of trippy disco lights on the pavement in the shape of a huge circle. People were running around on them and they were changing colours. So yeah, it was a little odd and seemed kind of pointless but still it looked pretty cool I guess.

We said farewell to Jerry to following afternoon, as he headed back to Pozega, and we travelled on to made a short stop to see Tegan’s Opa & his wife Angela. We stayed with them for a couple of weeks on our last trip to Croatia and they are always very welcoming of us. It was a little sad this time around however as we could only stay 1 night due to having limited time to explore the coastline. But we had a great 24 hours in Sukosan. We walked around the beaches & town in the evening then the following morning we went for a ride with Tegan’s Opa and some of his other friends on his boat. He was kind enough to offer us a lift to Split so we could catch our ferry to the island of Brac and we raced down the autobahn in his little yellow convertible. After 1.5 hours with the top down driving at 140km/h your head definitely feels a little on the numb side. But it was worth it.

We decided to spoil ourselves a little and had booked into a lovely hotel on the Croatian island of Brac (pronounced Brach). We stayed in the beautiful old town of Bol and enjoyed a couple of days just relaxing on the beach and enjoying some good Croatian food.

From Brac we had to get a ferry back to Split to connect with a bus to Dubrovnik which was our last stop on the coastline. This bus ride from Split to Dubrovnik was amazing! Slightly windy along the coastline, but it goes through some of the most picturesque coastal towns in Europe – absolutely beautiful! All I can say is that I am so glad we made the effort to actually get down there as along with the ride down Dubrovnik itself is as beautiful as everyone had told us it was. Sometimes places as touristy as that can be little worn out and the beauty exaggerated but that was not the case with Dubrovnik. Yes, there were tourists absolutely everywhere and yes it was twice as expensive as the rest of Croatia but the old town of Dubrovnik is just breathtaking and not something you can see everywhere in the world. The walls surrounding the old city have been completely rebuilt and are in almost perfect condition. We chose to walk around them just before sunset which was an amazing time for photos and a little less hot as well!

We also caught up with a couple of friends from home in Dubrovnik, Simon & Sarah, who had just finished a sailing trip down the Croatian coast. So we spent the evening and our 2nd day in Dubrovnik together with them as we are now flying together to Spain to prepare for La Tomatina! Preparing to be pelted with tomatoes.

 

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