We love Croatia. There, I said it. I love Croatia more than warm clothes fresh out of the dryer, more than my beloved Anderson Cooper, and dare I say even more than cheese. CHEESE.
We have an unabashed obsession with this country. Maybe it’s the stylish people and their dry sense of humor (made even better by those sexy accent, amirite?) Perhaps it’s because Croatia is one of Europe’s more affordable countries? Or it could be because it’s stupid pretty. Like, no place should have the beauty that the country posses. Also, it’s got a little bit of everything- forests, ocean, beaches, diverse cities- you name it. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the food. If Austria and Italy had a delicious love child, said child would be Croatia.
When Chris asked me what I wanted for my birthday, the very first thought that popped into my head (after a life-sized replica of Anderson Cooper made entirely of cheese and a room stacked with purses… also filled with cheese) was that I wanted to ring in my 29th year somewhere special. No, not Harry Potter World, although that would be a close second. I decided to celebrate my special day in my favorite country.
Somehow, we always end up in Croatia during the off-season. October and November are the only months that we’ve been in the country but truth be told, we wouldn’t have it any other way. The weather is magnificent-not too hot, not too cold-and the subtle morning mist lasts just long enough for us to appreciate it before it allows the sun to emerge. Visiting during the off-season also allows us to feel like we’re experiencing a more authentic Croatia (i.e. no hoards of tourists or guides with colorful umbrellas to maneuver around).
While each city, hotel, restaurant, and experience deserves its own post, I wanted to leave you with a little sneak peek of highlights from this past trip. Hopefully you’ll be able to fall in love with Croatia as much as we have. But beware, she’s ours.
Visiting Zagreb’s beautiful Mirogoj cemetery the day after All Saint’s Day
OK, I get it. A cemetery isn’t the typical highlight when on vacation. That being said, this one is a little different. Where some cemeteries are dark, creepy, and reeking of sadness, this one was stunning. Take, for example, the photo above. How do you get vines to look like that?
While in Zagreb, we had the opportunity to take a segway tour (hold the laughs, we happen to look glorious on those beasts) of the city. One of my favorite stops was at the Mirogoj cemetery. The weather was beautiful, the leaves were changing, and the gravestones were covered in flowers and candles from loved ones of the departed.
We had fifteen minutes to stroll through the cemetery (sans segway, mind you) and barely scratched the surface of the grounds. It’s a beautiful place to reflect, pay your respects, and appreciate the beautiful architecture and foliage.
Truffle hunting in Istria
It took 27 years for me to be introduced to the glory of truffles. I remember the day clearly. We were on a food tour in Venice and we were given tiny prosciutto sandwiches generously lined with a truffle cream cheese. I was hooked after the first bite. Truffles.are.awesome. I love how the powerful scent wafts through your entire nose and mouth. Truffles are like the champagne of the earth!
As luck would have it, my birthday was spent in the Istria province of Croatia. And do you know what that region is known for? Their amazing wine, fragrant olive oil, and forests of truffles! And we weren’t just there during any old time. It just happened to be the start of white truffle season. JACKPOT.
Linda, honey, listen. I had a breakfast that consisted of truffle honey, truffle olive oil, little truffle cream cheese sandwiches, two types of truffle cheese, truffle sausage, and then a giant heaping plate of truffle scrambled eggs. Oh, and all of those dishes had shaved truffles on top. You know, as a garnish. And then we went truffle hunting. It was like Easter except we were searching for little truffle eggs worth more than what we pay in rent. Hashtag truth.
Oh, and then there was lunch. A meal that had even more truffles than breakfast. I done died and went to truffle heaven.
Let’s just say that overdosing on truffles may result in the intense aroma emanating from your pores for weeks… and weeks. Sorry, not sorry.
Exploring Rovinj for the first time
This town could be from a fairytale. Think Beauty and the Beast with friendlier town folk that are less inclined to pitchfork outsiders.
Also located in the Istria province, Rovinj is a little too beautiful for words. We only had a few days to explore, but they were filled with amazing food (you guessed it, more wine and truffles) and some mind blowing scenery.
What’s that, you say? You want another picture of Rovinj? OK, but this is all you get until our post featuring the town is live. Don’t say we never do anything for you.
We’ve already disclosed more than we wanted to. How else are we going to get you to come back and visit us? Keep your eyes peeled for more posts from Croatia. We’ll also have pieces from our recent time in Greece, Slovenia, Italy, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Hong Kong. It was a busy month. But in the meantime, help get the conversation flowing by answering the question below. We’re always intrigued by our readers.
Have you fallen in love with a destination on your travels? Where was it? We’d love to hear in the comment section below.