I don’t think I’m the most spontaneous traveller in the world however after a few messages from my folks in New Zealand on the Monday morning, I was booking a flight to Split in Croatia for that Saturday so I could visit my family in Zivogosce, Croatia for a long weekend.
Mum and Dad almost make an annual trip to Croatia from New Zealand to see our family in Zivogosce. Mum’s father was born in the family house in the mountains just above Zivogosce before he left as a very young man to live in New Zealand as a gum digger (everyone used to live in the mountains many many years ago due to the threat of pirates but they were moved closer to the sea after a horrible earthquake). Mum’s grandfather was bringing out each child from Croatia to New Zealand starting with mum’s dad but unfortunately when mum’s father arrived his own father had passed away; a sad and stark reminder of what many folks endured when they moved to other side of the world for a better life. Mum’s father was the only child that made it to New Zealand which means we have a rather large family still remaining in Croatia. (Phew, hope you are still with me after a lesson in my family history).
As I arrived quite late into Croatia thanks to the easyjet pilot taking three attempts at landing into Split airport; even I could tell on the first two occasions that he cocked it up but we won’t judge as he eventually got the plane down safely. You could have heard a pin drop on the third landing….
Anyway I had a lovely dinner and my favourite…prsut and cheese! And hey hey it’s gluten free…it was a good start…
…but the following morning I had gluten in the shape of a chocolate donut…if you want to know how good these babies are you need to read Lisa’s post on them! (I did have a belly ache and a food baby after eating the said donut). And as the mean older sister I did send Lisa a photo of the donut prior to scoffing it just to make her jealous.
You can’t beat this view on a Sunday morning overlooking the island of Hvar in the distance.
Sunday was spent with family doing what Croatians do best…eating! and then me having an afternoon nap (the hot weather and a hearty Croatian lunch did me in) before we hit the beach (and yes all croatian beaches are pebbly bar one on the island of Brac)…
…where we waited as the golden hour approached…
…then waited a bit more for that giant sun to set…
…until we received the sunset that I was waiting for all witnessed from my Auntys balcony.
We consumed some more food on the balcony which honestly would win the award for the best placed washing line in the world!
The next morning my family went to work while I skyped my folks back home before heading out for a walk down to the port and along the Riva (the waterfront and normally treated like a catwalk by the leggy and very beautiful croatian women).
The old port is one of my favourite places in the village as it’s normally a hive of activity of men playing with their boats…
…it just always looks so picturesque!
I love all the old buildings down at the port…I sat on my hands not to instagram the crap out of the village, trust me!
Truthfully I hadn’t worked up much of an appetite from my short walk but I hadn’t had breakfast and doctors tell you all too often that we aren’t eating our five a day so of course I did what any 35 year old would do….I ordered a banana split with lots of cream for calcium (the wafer was promptly removed on arrival as it’s not gluten free).
My view with my banana split, just in case you wanted to know – Monday’s can be the pits right!
After consuming fanta and a banana split for breakfast and lunch, I felt a tad guilty and decided to walk a bit further around the Riva and check out the changes to the village (as this was my first visit in over two years)…
…and I took the opportunity to paddle my feet in the cool water of the Adriatic sea, my feet had puffed up like a blow fish!
It’s all about the afternoon nap in Croatia…so after a cheeky little nap while I waited for my Aunty to finish work so I could take her out for dinner (I didn’t want to poison her with my bad cooking). We headed over to Blato which was just a bit further down the coast from Zivogosce and this was a first time visit for me and I wasn’t disappointed as it was just so stunning and peaceful…
…and just in case you wanted to see our dinner which costed a huge £20 for the following; a four cheese pizza, a seafood platter, a feta salad and four glasses of wine plus a free panna cotta…I had to ask the waiter to check the bill as I thought he under charged me…things are rather cheap in Croatia but not if you are visiting Dubrovnik.
I think it was pretty safe to say that we were both pretty relaxed…I think the vina might have helped us slightly….
…then came the hardest decision that I faced while I was in Croatia….what flavour!
but shock horror I declined and let my aunty and cousin to enjoy the creamy ice cream that was screaming at me…EAT ME!
As we made it back to Zivogosce, a storm started passing overhead breaking the humidity that had covered the Dalmatian coastline like a blanket over the weekend. Croatian storms are the best; the thunder and lightning is just incredible. Until the power cuts out and you only have 10% charge left on your phone and you’re getting picked up at 7am in the morning for your rather long commute to work and just how would I cope with 10% battery life.
Eventually the power turned back on about ten minutes before I left the following morning so that I could charge my phone…seriously how did we ever survive without mobile phones?!
It was sad leaving behind my family but I have vowed to return before the year is out for more Croatian cuddles. And I think it’s safe to say…we wish New Zealand and Croatia were just a tad closer to each other!
Do you visit your family in far flung places around the world? Have you ever traced your family roots?
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