Croatia- The Real Mediterranean

We traveled with friends to Croatia.  I was often asked, “Why Croatia?” My response was always the same,  “Why not Croatia?”

We discovered Croatia in a way that was spontaneous.  It was often these unplanned moments that we experienced local culture up close and personal.  The fondest memories were produced from these moments.

We rented an apartment off the beaten path in a local neighborhood.  For a few days, we were part of an extended family’s daily life.  While my boys were snorkeling, I was resting up with a good book.  I could smell the aroma of the meal rafting up through the open windows, hear the clanking of dishes and pots and pans.  I could feel the hurried pace of getting the mid-afternoon meal on the table.  I listened to the family laugh, and the baby cry.  I could visualize hands moving while talking about the days events, with children fidgeting in their seats. 
In the evening the mother would wave to us and join us for a few minutes.  It was here that I learned from her directly, that the secret to beautiful skin was olive oil.  She had beautiful skin.  
We learned very quickly that if it cannot be grown in your garden, plucked from the sea or made in your home, then perhaps, it is really not a necessity.
She offered to make us meals each day from her garden.
It seemed that everyone made homemade schnapps.  My romantic notions about homemade schnapps quickly evaporated.  Seriously, this was jet fuel!  This was moonshine that you would make in prison.  It was available to you breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The recipe? I know it because I asked….Fruit or nuts placed in a clean jar, with a tight lid.  Ferments for exactly 40 days in direct sunlight. 
Our travel companions inquired about a sheep’s milk cheese called pa ski-sir, that is only produced on the Croatian Island of Pag. Within a few minutes we were invited into a family’s home to discover a mother’s passion for cheesemaking. The family flat was no bigger than a Brooklyn one bedroom apartment.  Yet, five of us stood in her kitchen and enjoyed her lively discussion of cheese making and the importance of family.  We ate her cheese, her fresh fig jam and her brined olives from her tree.   We were strangers, and she invited us into her home with no fear or discomfort.
Like so many Croatians entrepreneurship is a new concept and the she proudly shared with us her patent certificate for her variety of this famous cheese.
 Every country has a drunk Santa to call their own.  Croatia was no different.
Croatia is determined after many years of civil war, to redefine itself and emerge new.  You feel it with everyone you meet.  A people who imagined peace with their neighbors, and made it happen.

Cheers to you Croatia!

Your American Friends

64 thoughts on “Croatia- The Real Mediterranean

  1. I loved your pictures. Croatia is on my short list of places I'd like to visit. But you did it the right way – living near and meeting the locals. What an amazing holiday!


  2. I heard my times how beautiful Croatia is and your photos prove it. Lovely post Velva! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. It has been a while since we have commented on each other's blogs. How lucky you are to live in the land of Tupelo honey!


  3. Dear Velva,Thanks for a wonderfull post about my country. Many people don't even know where Croatia is and I am very sad about that! Our country is one of the most beautifull countrys in the world. We have 1244 islands on our coast, and Velva you really experienced Croatia verry well! I live on the mainland and not on the coast but we travel every year to our sea. It is clear and very clean! You should visit our national tourist board and get to know Cratia a bit more! The link to the board and here is a link to my blog and my last trip to the see were i visited Dubrovnik and many other places :) Velva, thanks again for a wonderfull post and pictures :)) sending kisses from Croatia 🙂


  4. wow, this is such a beautiful post!!! I'm so glad I came across it!I'm from Zagreb, Croatia and I'm so happy that you wrote such an amazing post about my country… I'm really glad you liked it :)))xoxo Sienna


  5. Many thanks for beautiful post about our country 🙂 I live whole life between Korčula island and Dubrovnik, and working as travel agent mostly. I'm glad there are people that appreciate Croatia because it's really special. If anybody would like some more info about Croatia, or Korčula&Dubrovnik area, please contact me, and don't hesistate to ask anything 🙂 Love from Croatia, Persa.


  6. Velva, my MIL is Croatian Italian and fled to Australia as a refugee. She is from Opatija and says it's beautiful there. We want to go there one day, we have family there too, I'd love to go as I like places off the beaten path. I'm so glad you do too.Renting an apartment is the way to go, it forces to you shop and live like a local, I'm so happy you chose that experience over a hotel.Yes, I agree, olive oil leads to good skin and schnapps leads to good times! Thanks for sharing your trip with us! xo


  7. Whoever it is that doesn't know about Croatia's beauty and destination travel site by now is, well, just not in the travel \”know\”. My son-in-law was able to visit several years ago and said it was one of his favorite European stops. Croatia is on my 'bucket list\” and your posts have solidified that desire to visit!!! I have so enjoyed your travel posts of Croatia's incredible beauty and culture, Velva!


  8. We have traveled to Europe almost every year and have been so close to Croatia but have not gone because the car rental company would not let us take it into the country. Perhaps we could leave the car and rent a different one for several days so that we could see the beautiful countyside.


  9. Velva, sorry it has taken so long for me to get this exciting and sweet post! I am impressed with the way you travel, you embedded yourself in this village and got a true locals' experience. You've captured Croatia beautifully! I'd love to try that cheese someday, and fresh fig jam sounds absolutely magnificent!


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