Once again it’s taken me a while to write this post. My latest excuses are 1) that my nights are now taken up by the Euro football championships and 2) that I was struck down by the ‘deadly’ European Man Flu. I believe 112% of all men who contracted this strain of man flu have died, so I feel lucky to be writing this post.
Ez – P.Lease. Old mate has the sniffles and our whole holiday nearly comes crashing down. I’m now left to do everything with the kids, then again, not much has changed.
Summer in Europe has hit and we left our digs in Dubrovnik with Wally and Irene (Papou and Nonna) and headed for the charming Croatian town of Markarska to catch a ferry across to the island of Brac. We would have the best part of a week on the island with Wally & Irene to get a feel for a different side to Croatia. After arriving onto the island we made our way to Pucisca (I can nearly certainly say the way you just pronounced that in your head was wrong, it’s Pu-chee-sha). We met our local hosts Marko and Helena who delivered a “follow me”. We made our way behind them along about 5km of dirt road before finding our villa which seemed literally in the middle of nowhere. I think we all thought a little about Lara Bingle. The rest of the family thought ‘where the bloody hell are we?’ while I was thinking about her nude selfies, each to their own. It was raining, we were as isolated as Ivan Milat at a backpackers hostel and we thought we may have made a dud decision staying here.
Piper and Evie – Where the f*** are we? Interesting to see how fat boy can put a spin on this place.
Next day we woke, the sun was shining and Marko had delivered us fresh bread, eggs and vegetables. We couldn’t have been more wrong with our first impressions of this place.
It took us about 30 minutes to relax and feel like we were on holidays. Well for us that was over 4 months ago but I’m sure Wally and Irene felt it. For the next 5 days we checked out the island with highlights including:
Eating. I can say we enjoyed our favourite Croatian meals on Brac. Our best restaurant was one called Pipo where the only way to access it was by boat. We ordered the lamb, which took an hour, so we all kicked back on the private beach. Did I mention the restaurant grew all its own vegies and we were the only ones there? By day we’d eat at the island restaurants, by night sample Nonna’s cuisine.
Piper and Evie – Yessssss, we’ve still got Nonna. Hope mum took some notes. If I was writing a report card for her cooking this trip it would read ‘could do better, couldn’t do worse’. Mum, have you ever heard of salt before?
Beaching – We chilled out on the world famous Zlatni Rat beach (it’s normally the one used in Croatian island photos). The girls enjoyed kicking back soaking up some rays.
Made fires. Not for warmth but to cook some meals. At night we’d sit outside while our fish, potatoes, Cevapcici cooked along on the open fire. It would also be the location for our nightly games of Bananagrams and Greed.
Marko was quite the local legend. He ran the main bar in at the town while also had a couple of other apartments he would rent. Let’s just say he had a finger in a few pies. He was also about 125kg, so probably ate a few of those pies too. We sampled a couple of beers at his bar one day, just to be polite.
After 5 fun days on the island we headed back to Split for a few days before heading up to Zadar to catch up with our good friends from Australia the Sandgrens (Kez, Chris, Abbey and Mia) who were coming to visit us from Sweden.
Piper and Evie – It’s like a week full of Christmas. Some of our best mates from Australia are here! No longer do I have to pretend our best friends are mum and dad. We can do some serious kid talk and plot how we can annoy the oldies the most!
It was with a little trepidation we had booked the next part of our trip. We were staying in a massive Euro camp ground. Think a large campground on steroids. I believe in the peak of summer it can hold up to 5000 people. A few questions had gone through my head. Would the German kids lay their towels on the slippery dips first thing in the morning? Would the Dutchies be making their ovens? We arrived and I was very pleasantly surprised.
The holiday park was huge. It would have had 7 restaurants, 5 ice cream shops, 10 kid’s playgrounds, 1 inflatable wipe-out water course, putt putt golf, you name it, it had it! We were staying in the aptly named Glamping Tents. The four kids had a ball…and so did we.
Our fun in Zaton
- Checking out the unique sea organ and Sun Salutation at Zadar. Hard to describe but a mix of cool sea noises and a solar light show. Slightly strange but hypnotic….kind of like ‘Rain Man’ at a rave.
- We looked forward to having 5 days of swimming and in particular for Piper to practice her swimming with some super fish (Abbey and Mia). The first night however, she fell out of the bed to gash her head. There was more blood than a blind butchers apprentice. We needed the onsite doctor to clamp it back, put her on antibiotics and inform her she couldn’t swim for 5 days.
Piper – Department Of Community Services if you’re reading this. I ‘apparently’ fell out of bed and hit my head. Bet you’ve heard that 1000 before. I’ve got the scar to prove it if this goes to court.
- Having a crack at the wipe-out style water course. I stacked big time and complained for days about my injuries. The highlight was one of my biggest falls when I hit the canvas and water splashed up the sides, including a small fish. For real. I shit you not.
Piper and Evie – Car crash. It was like watching Free Willy meets Eddie The Eagle
- Games nights on the deck were fun even though Ez was caught cheating and put a dampener on everyone’s week.
- Mixing with the 1200 Germans, 600 Austrians, 400 Dutch, 350 Belgians, 300 Czechs, 300 Croatians, 150 Swedes and 8 Aussies (us). It was great hearing the roar through the campsite every time a goal went in during the Euros.
It was a fun week with great friends that came to a close quickly.
Piper and Evie – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Take us with you. We want our friends back!
Now Evie is slowly coming round and the reasons for her crying at the drop of the hat are decreasing, that being said she did drop a couple of good ones.
After asking for fish and chips for dinner one night the waiter foolishly delivered fish and chips. Evie lost it as she wanted tomato soup and thought the waiter should have known.
She woke up from a sleep one day and said ‘how old am I now?’ I responded 2 ½, she bursts into tears ‘when will I be three then?!’
We left Croatia and with Evie singing ‘Hi ho hi ho, it’s off to Slovenia we go’. We had one stop on the way at Plitvice Lakes but more about Plitvice, Slovenia and our Italian farewell in the next post.
For more pictures of our Croatian island adventure check out Erica’s gallery on Brac