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Beach

Beach, The Adventure

Heavenly Hamps Life

(Back tracking to November 2014)

We drove from Boston through Connecticut to New London to board the Cross Sound Ferry. This huge passenger / car ferry carried locals and tourists across from Connecticut to Long Island. The ride was a rough one and the kids were hard to keep entertained after being in the car for 3 hours already. The wind blew gale force outside which meant our options were limited to sitting in the family sized booth, watching the ferry roll and bob in the waves.

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Beach, The Adventure

Pebble Beaches & Secret Bars

Most beaches in Croatia are pebble not sand. This was somewhat difficult for the kids to navigate on but I didn’t mind it because it meant NO SAND being dragged home in the car, cossies and towels. We all wore special reef shoes that protected our feet from the rocks.

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One afternoon, James and I left the kids with Marlee and walked along the treacherous shoulder of the freeway to a residential driveway, which led down a path and steep stairs. A windy path along the ocean revealed an adorable little beach bar tucked into the cliff, resting above an even tinier pebble beach with no more than 20 people on it. The bar, aptly named Bau Bar served cocktails, cold beers and toasted sandwiches.

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You didn’t come for the food though, it was the views and the zen that pulled you here. We shared our thoughts over a few classic cocktails before making the walk back to the apartment at sunset. It was such a special afternoon that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

James and I went shopping for fresh fish one morning down in the village. The whole experience was marred with the hundreds of swarming bees covering the seafood and seagulls hovering around for off cuts from the fisherman. I’ve never seen so many bees in all my life. We ran back to the car to discover a parking ticket on our car, just our luck.

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Every afternoon the ocean would beckon and the kids were always asking for ‘one more swim” before dinner.

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Our week was over before it even began. On our final day, we checked out 10am and drove back to Split for our 6pm flight to Athens. We wasted hours in a mall in downtown Split that boasted only 1 great feature which was a slide from Level 1 to the ground floor.

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Upon check-in for our flight, we were informed of several flight delays due to bad weather. We waited for 3 hours in the departure gate hall with thousands of other travellers while a summer storm rolled in with wind rattling the glass windows and cutting power to the terminal.

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Rain soaked the runway and the surrounding mountains disappeared into the misty fog. I should mention, this terminal had 1 bar and 1 gift shop which ran out of water quite quickly. People were charging iPhones at every spare powerpoint, including in the disabled toilets and baby change rooms. We were so lucky to grab some spare seats although trying to keep the 3 kids entertained during the storm was quite exhausting.

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Dinner time came and went without a meal and finally planes started to land again and the terminal cleared out. Our flight to Athens was a very quiet one, as the left hand side of the plane were treated to views of the storm with lightning flashes. Upon landing in Athens, local time was midnight and the kids were at breaking point.

We had a 45 minute transfer to our hotel where Abi and Marlee shared a room together while Ted and Harriet completely lost it and cried as they fell asleep. It was such a stressful way to end our time in Croatia. We really enjoyed our first cocktail once we arrived in Greece!

When I return to Croatia, exploring the Istria region is at the top of my list. I would like to visit in May/June to experience the warmer ocean temps and non peak season tourist numbers.

Thanks for the bluest blues Croatia, till next time xo

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Beach, Gratitude, The Adventure

Croatia – Split & Primosten

From Paris, we flew to sunny Split. Our week long visit to Croatia was nowhere NEAR enough time to see this glorious baltic country. We loaded our luggage into the transfer van and watched in amazement as our driver followed a car out of the car park, not paying for parking and nearly hitting his car on the closing boom gate.  This set the mood for the entire week as things like this happened all the time and we gathered this was a pretty standard way of life for the local Croatians. I was expecting it to be “loose” but had no idea how the locals would be.

We intended to have more time there but extended our time in Italy and France previously and only had 1 week in the itinerary to spare for Croatia.

Being limited with time, we had to pick one place and enjoy our time there. Island hopping really wasn’t an option with 3 small children and all our luggage so after hours of research, I picked to spend 1 night in Split followed by 6 nights in Primosten on the mid north coast.

Our overnight night stay in Split was great, a very friendly welcome from everyone at the Le Meridian hotel.

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Marlee took the older kids down to the hotel pool for a quick swim followed by a delicious waterfront dinner including fresh seafood, dessert and live music while the boats bobbed in the harbour.

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The next morning, the sunshine beamed through the windows. I smiled as I strolled to my long overdue appointment at the beauty salon to promptly remove all hair from my body and have a pedicure too.

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We enjoyed a scenic 1 hour drive up the coast to our little coastal town, Primosten. With only 3,000 local residents, this little town was quiet and almost completely free of tourists. We did struggle to buy supplies and had to venture to a larger supermarket in a town called Sibenik about 20kms north of us. The drive was quite hairy, as locals, tour buses and tourists overtook, swerved and sped around the narrow cliffs.

We had a gorgeous 3 bedroom apartment overlooking the bay and beach. Every night, the sunsets would command our attention as the sun sunk slowly into the ocean. Colours melted on the horizon and it was always a time of reflection and gratitude.

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We could walk down to a little private beach which had ladders directly into the Adriatic Sea. The water was fresh, taking my breath away every time I jumped into the sea. You had to stay moving in the water and your body would tingle all over too. And this was summer in Croatia? Maybe I’m just a wimp.

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Cold as it may have been, the water was so blue and clean. Every time we jumped into the sea, we would spot starfish, coral and fish. We asked the locals if any sharks were in the water and they always laughed when they replied… Sharks? Um, no you crazy Aussies.

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We spent a whole day down on the main beach which was so cliched Euro with techno pumping, free aquatic zumba classes, beer and chips served at 10am in the beach bars and all around, quite loose behaviour. People walking around naked, sun baking topless and changing on the beach too. My kids have never seen more breasts and bottoms in their lives!

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More to come on Croatia.