When you hear “Croatia” what do you think?
My first thought had always been war and my sister’s cat we named Chechnya Bosnia Herzegovina. Croatia is way better than both of those.
In fact, in almost every way Croatia is more civilized than Italy. Their pastries are legit (ask Nick about the cherry danish), the people speak English and are kind (when we got lost finding our hotel, a local gave us a ride there), the buses come on time and everything makes sense, and the Kuna (which we renamed the ‘hakuna matata’) goes a long way to the Euro.
We ate the best breakfast of our lives at our gem of a hotel. Bacon that was so good and legit there was even a bone in it. Nick had his favorite dippy eggs. I drank all the coffee I could handle. And all while overlooking the amazing Adriatic Sea. Oh, and it was all free!
We went on a day trip to the blue lagoon, where we swam in the most gorgeous water that was so salty I floated for the first time in my life (don’t ask). Then we ate fresh fish on top of the boat, appropriately saw a dalmation on the Dalmation coast, basked in the sunshine, found Mojito soda, and then had the best night sleep in 3 months. I almost cried when I woke in the morning, it was that good.
Next day we rented a car ($10/gallon!) and drove northeast to the Bosnian border to see Plitvice Falls. Northern Croatia is full of gnarly mountains (and tunnels through them), hidden valleys where old ladies sell honey and cheese on the side of the road, bear crossings and the local specialty: pig on a spit. I mean the WHOLE pig. Pig with tail and teeth and eyeballs rotating in the fire all day.
On the way home, we ate that fella. It was good, though I’m still haunted by the fact that I tore his flesh from his leg bone and ripped off his crackly skin. I named him Simon and then I ate him. I told Nick I’ll never do that again.
Oh, I should have included the fact that it rained on us at the falls and instead of those amazing images, what we really saw was soggy trees and pretty water. It was like being transported to the northwest for a day. Nick loved it. I cried. But all in all, it was a great day.