So its time for yet another holiday, as summer beckons us to head out in search of a new beach to park our bums on. The Netherlands has miles of sandy coastline but it’s waters are frigid and the water is never blue. Therefore, we are upping sticks and heading east … specifically, to Croatia.
Croatia has been on the “TO VISIT” list for some time now but we have never got round to planning the trip. Finally, Marek, an EVE friend of R.’s who lives in Zagreb invited us over for a mini EVE gathering. If you are wondering what on God’s green earth is EVE, read more here. Being on EVE has enabled us to travel to Iceland in April, and now we will be attending yet another EVE related ‘do’. Seems to me being part of this online community does have its perks, so I should keep encouraging game-play(?).
The plan is to spend ten days touring the country from Zagreb all the way down to Dubrovnik. Along the way we may pop over the border into Slovenia and Bosnia Herzegovina. Very excited about this trip as it will be my first taste of eastern European travel. As a kid, I first heard of these countries simply because they were plastered all over the news, day in and day out during the years of the Bosnian War. Never paid much attention to what was being said, but the images were locked in my mind. It would be interesting to see the city now, and just how far its come since those dark times.
We initially planned to drive all the way to Croatia but we ran into more trouble than we deemed necessary with the car hire company and with the dog. No one would rent us our preferred BMW model once they found out we were intending to drive all the way there and possibly into Bosnia as well. The reason they gave: insurance just won’t cover us in those countries. They gallantly presented us with alternative options tho … namely tiny little Citroen hatchbacks and Toyota Prius’. Helllooo?!?! We are not going to be driving for two days, over 1,300kms in tiny cars! We’d be crippled by the time we arrived!
Then came the issue with our dog who isn’t allowed into Slovenia without a mountain of vet papers. Oh, forget it … we’ll just leave him behind and we’ll fly. Humph! Luckily we found cheap tickets and all is well now. Still a bit bummed that Doopey won’t be with us to have a dip in the Adriatic sea. However, on second thoughts, I think its for the best coz this dog might suffer the heat and it it won’t be too comfortable without air conditioning. So he gets to stay here in the Netherlands and move in with his mate, Charlie, who is a 10 month old mini poodle.
Will be meeting Marek and his lovely wife in Zagreb on the day we arrive, and we’ll be putting up at their home for about three days. Using Zagreb as a base, we plan on visiting a few castles and perhaps hike one of the many trails.
In Croatia, we plan on spending the majority of our time beach bumming and drinking cocktails, whilst lapping up the summer sunshine by the azure waters of the Adriatic sea. So Zadar, Split, Omis and Dubrovnik are on the list.
Our trip across the border into Bosnia is going to be a short one … solely to see the famous Mostar bridge.
But, with me, the main highlight of any trip has always been, and remains the food. I cannot WAIT to tuck into traditional Croatian and Bosnian cuisine. I hear good things about it and I am anxious to try it out for myself. Marek knows this and has already sent me a list of the must-haves when we get there. Fortunately we will have him as a guide and he can do all the ordering on my behalf. From what I understand, the top bit of Croatia one will find that the food is Turkish influenced; hearty meals consisting of meat, cheese and stews. Down the coast however, the food becomes more Mediterranean in style and one gets to stuff one’s face with the bounties of the sea all day, every day.
I have been told to expect good food at affordable prices:
- Sarajevo banquet meal
- grilled lamb kebabs
- fresh seafood platters
- marinated octopus salads
- Croatian chocolates
I will be taking lots of pictures as per usual and, I hope to return home with lots of adventure stories and good Croatian recipes that I can share with all of you. Stay tuned and check back here in August for updates. Ciao!