Sep. 1st, 2012

Holiday

Sep. 1st, 2012 02:00 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] jack's friend JB gave us a really cool wedding present: a note promising that if we booked flights and turned up at the airport in Croatia where he lives with his wife, he'd organize a holiday for us without us having to do any planning or make any decisions. In the end the wedding used up all our logistical energy for several months, so even that very minimal level of planning almost didn't happen until the last minute. But we made it in the end, and had the most gloriously relaxing holiday imaginable!

mostly for my records )

It's a weird experience for me to have a holiday where I don't do any planning or even any reading up beforehand, and where most of what I do with my time is sitting around chatting, migrating between where I'm staying, caf├ęs and the beach. It was exactly what I needed this summer, sandwiched between the wedding and the very intense term that's about to start. And it was really, really wonderful to spend some time with a close friend of [personal profile] jack's, watching them interact and basking in the affection between them. There was also some time for some really good, productive conversations with my husband, just a bit of tweaking the way we relate to eachother to be even more supportive and communicative.

I would definitely like to go back to Croatia and do something more like the kind of holiday that I usually do, with more sightseeing and culture and a whole lot more preparation. Apart from anything else, I felt really embarrassed at being such a typical monoglot English tourist who couldn't even manage basic sales transactions and small talk in the local language. The landscape, the architecture, and to a great extent the cuisine (though we didn't really get the best impression of it as most of what's on offer is heavily based on meat and fish) reflect Croatia's geographic location: it's somewhat like northern Italy and somewhat like Austria, with distinct influences from Eastern Europe. Zagreb itself is a really amazing place to live, I very much admire JB for exchanging the rat race of a highly-paid job in the City of London for a much lower salary and a vastly better quality of life. But it's not a particularly impressive place to visit as a tourist; I think since it wasn't a major administrative capital until after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, it doesn't have any real must-see destinations, it's more of a generic, medium-sized European city. So if I go back, I'll probably put a higher priority on seeing more historic locations like Dubrovnik and Split, and with a bit of luck over the border to Sarajevo. And have a lot more clue of the history of this stunningly beautiful place.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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