Saturday, August 3, 2013

Croatia--Split and Dubrovnik and squid ink

Some people think we're a bit crazy. Sure, we've lived in Europe for 4 years and haven't made it to Rome yet, but we decided to hit up many of the countries in the former Yugoslavia. I reference Yugoslavia because that was how I learned about it in school. Sarah had never even heard the term, even though she knew the key exports of all the countries at issue and beat the snot out of me at  a European Capitals game. 

So, why go to Croatia? Well, here's the ocean at our hotel in Split. (We stayed at the Le Meridien. Their motto should be "For when you want to visit a foreign country, but don't want to actually experience any local culture!")

We flew on EasyJet, which had kind of freaked us out, but it turned out to be a rather pleasant flight. The only real problem was that Croatia had just joined the European Union 3 weeks prior and, as such, had new immigration policies in place, and so going through passport control was a bit tedious because they still weren't set up to handle it efficiently. But, all was well and we went off to our hotel and fell into bed. The next day we spent at the beach and seeing Split.

Our room had a harbor view so all the yachts were parked right outside our window. If you have a spare 3.8 million Euros, I  know where you can get a great boat. Yachting will, apparently, solve all your problems. This one, for instance, was purchased in place of getting a prescription filled: 

Personally, I cannot blame the person. It's a tad more expensive than a prescription and therapy, but infinitely cooler. Although, after watching the people who lived on their yachts, we determined that yachting involves wearing very little clothes. As everyone prefers to see us fully clothed, it's probably not the best lifestyle choice for us.

We spent Thursday afternoon wandering around Split's old city. It had the requisite old Catholic church and a bunch of cruise ships. And these: 

If you're eyes are like mine, try squinting to see that that's a Yugo. Remember those? The disposable cars! Well, they lasted in Croatia (and Montenegro and Bosnia as well). We saw tons of them. Who knew?

Friday, we got up and ate a gluttonous hotel breakfast. (Yeah, my favorite deadly sin!) And then we spent some time at the beach, where I got a spa treatment from two under aged workers. I guess employment law differs in Croatia.

Then we headed down the coast to Dubrovnik. This is a town I didn't even know existed until we started planning this trip. Of course, I didn't know most of the towns we visited existed until we planned our trip. And now, after being home, there are many that I've already forgotten. I blame my lacking language skills.

Dubrovnik has a beautiful old city with a walled fortress around it. We paid a few Kuhna's for the privilege of walking the two kilometer circuit around the top of the wall. It was about a million degrees out and no shade, since you're at the top of the wall, but still totally awesome because we were able to lock the children up, here:

Ha! Don't they look so forlorn? They should. We had planned a lovely day in peace and quiet with them safely locked away, but, alas, they escaped. That and we would have missed them.

There was also a pirate ship you could sail on, but we're cheap and hate to do the same thing the tourists do. In fact, Jason spent half the day saying how he could never take a cruise because you never get to do any of the cool things, and the other half of the day standing in line behind people from cruise ships. He does not see the irony in this at all. 

In Dubrovnik we also had squid ink for dinner. And by we, I mean Jason. I did try one forkful because, well, you have to. It was good, but the idea still skeeved me out. 
And when you think of eating squids, remember that the only part of a squid that is hard is it's beak, so if you're being chased by a squid, if it can find a crack big enough to get its beak through, it can squeeze it's entire body through and eat you. That's what I think of squids.

Dubrovnik was lovely except for this man who was playing an instrument that was so annoying that I'm not sure why they haven't made it required for 3rd grade music class. Seriously? Has anyone's child ever made anything of themselves based on that infernal recorder that 3rd graders in all cultures have to learn? Anyone? No. 

You clicked on it, didn't you? Your own fault, I tell you. I wonder if his parents paid for those lessons. I only recorded 12 seconds worth, but I promise you, there wasn't anything you missed. Other than that, as I said, Dubrovnik and Split were lovely. The grocery stores in Croatia were well stocked and had a wider variety than in Switzerland and the food was delicious. And look how happy and cute Jason and I look, even though we're old people now.

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