Spring Break in Croatia

I can’t believe spring break is almost over. I couldn’t even believe it was here when we left last week. The semester is going so quickly.

 

We have just spent 10 lovely days in Croatia, a country I have fallen in love with. This has been the vacation of water. We spent 3 nights on the northern Croatian coast in the town of Rovinj, then 3 nights on the island of Krk, and then 3 nights in the mountains at Plitvice National Park. I will delve into more detail on each place separately, but all have been very quiet with extraordinary views of water. Our hotel room in Rovinj had a private balcony with a gorgeous view of the harbor and of the pretty, little town. Our apartment on the island of Krk also had a balcony with a view of the Adriatic and neighboring islands. Our hotel room near Plitvice National Park had a balcony with a view of the garden (no water view), but the National Park is a joyous celebration of water with its 16 lakes and myriad waterfalls.

Croatia in March is very, very quiet and peaceful. Many places are still shut down for the winter. Some of the main activity we encountered was locals getting ready for tourist season. You can see that each of the places we visited will be quite lively in a few short weeks. The Croatian people we encountered were helpful and friendly, always delighted when you made any attempt at speaking their language, and well versed in several languages themselves. Every time we visit a place, we pick up a few words. Here were my favorites on this trip:

  • Hvala (hvah-lah) – Thank you
  • Pivo (pee-voh) – beer (the local beer is quite delicious)
  • Jezera (ya-zeer-ah) – lakes
  • Živjeli (zheev-lee) cheers!

This get-away from city life out to the small towns and beautiful places of Croatia has been such a gift. We have watched the sun set over the Adriatic, visited a safari park, eaten at a restaurant devoted to truffles, been the only people on a 2 km long golden-sand beach, attended mass, visited a Roman amphitheater, chatted with a very friendly bar tender who was so delighted to have American tourists that he treated us to his “private stash” of grappa, watched a father make bows and arrows for his son’s birthday party, hiked around 16 lakes, taken hundreds of pictures of waterfalls, slept in, graded mid-term exams (multiple choice exams for me, essays for George), and rested in each others arms.

George has seen the light of eternal vacation at the end of the tunnel. He is currently grading the last of the exams, ready to come back and spend 6 more weeks with his students, and then launch into more adventures.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Spring Break in Croatia

  1. Sounds like a perfect vacation for the two of you. Glad to hear about your wonderful time. Vacations are always too short. Our time to visit just a few short weeks away. Keep some good time on tap for us

    • Hi Karen, So great to hear from you. We think of you often and look forward to seeing you when we return. Give Kathleen a big hug from us, too.
      Lois

  2. Hi Lois,
    You didn’t mention driving through Slovenia. What was it like compared to Italy and Croatia?When you look at a map, you can see that Croatia was and is a powerful country. It has grabbed a disproportionate amount of Adriatic coastline at the expense of Slovenia and Bosnia.
    Hotel breakfasts are a wonderful temptation. I would never eat so much normally. I always want some of everything (except the fish in Scandinavia and the pickles in Croatia).
    Your friend,
    Wayne

    • Hi Wayne, You’re right I didn’t mention Slovenia. There was only about 10 minutes driving through it on the way into Croatia. On the way home, however, we stopped in Slovenia for lunch, just to say we did. It was more Italian speaking than anything else. We had mediocre pizza for lunch and eavesdropped as people came in the door. Although the waiters spoke either Croatian or Slovenian to each other, they greeted almost every customer in Italian. Of course, we were in this tiny section of Slovenia sandwiched right between these two borders, so of course it would be influenced by its proximity to these two countries. The landscape was similar to Croatia, although there were more coniferous trees, making it look more green and lovely in late winter.

      You’re right about Croatia having a lot of coast line. I don’t know the history well, but that is usually a power thing. (Maybe always.) I do know that the Istrian peninsula in northern Croatia used to be a part of Italy. Although I learned a little of the history of Tito and Chechoslvakia while we were on Brijuni National Park, I don’t know much about Croatia’s role in the dissolution of Chechoslovakia into the new countries.

      I’d love to spend more time in Slovenia, but because it is part of the European “Schengen” states, we didn’t have the option of spending much time there. I heard today that Croatia will be joining the EU and the Schengen agreement in 2013.

      Nice to hear from both you and Karen. We think of you often and miss you both. We’re heading to Paris this weekend and wishing we had your French language skills.
      Lois

      • Wayne, I meant Yugoslavia, not Czechoslovakia. Yugoslavia was the one led by Tito that got split up into new countries (6 of them I’ve heard.) It must have been early in the morning when I wrote that. Or else I was beset by hormones that fuzzed up my brain. Sorry about that.

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