arriving in dubrovnik on a cruise ship. staying in a cute little apartment in the old town that reminded me of my nanna’s house. the picture above my bed with swans in it. our lovely airBNB host who brought my mum lavender from hvar for her birthday. having a drink at the amazing sunset bar. our waiter at dinner who, when asked why the robotic man in the belltower didn’t ring the bell on the hour replied with, “he’s a croat – he don’t work every day”. getting the cable car to the top of srđ mountain for the view over the old town and the adriatic sea. eating lunch wrapped in blankets provided by the restaurant at the top of the mountain. getting the bus to lapad to escape the tourists for a bit. walking the city wall in dubrovnik and the beautiful views of the whole old town and the sea.

driving from dubrovnik to makarska and stopping at roadside stands and buying mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables and lavender honey and getting back in the car to hear the national playing. stopping for tea in bosnia on the way because part of the land belongs to them and not croatia. getting the ferry to brac and arriving at my godparent's beautiful house (villa rosmarine) which quickly filled up with friends. cooking from scratch every night. baked potato chips with rosemary from the garden. roasted peaches with lavender honey and cinnamon we bought at the spice markets in turkey. whole watermelons, cherries, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries. fresh bread every morning. my mum’s fruitcake, brought all the way from home. vanilla tea. the house manager milka and her mother’s homemade cakes and apple strudel. hydrangeas everywhere. diving from the platform in the backyard straight into the clear, glittering ocean. swimming with goggles and watching the fish. kayaking with my dad in the bay. swinging in the hammock with the smell of pine trees carried in the afternoon breeze.

cutting through the water in my godparent’s boat on my godfather’s birthday with teenage kicks playing on the radio. having a drink at a brigitte bardot themed cafe in hvar that was playing louis armstrong. the incredible palmizana and having a virgin strawberry mojito at a bar with seats up in the trees and lunch at toto’s for my godfather’s birthday, including the best bruschetta i’ve ever eaten. water tubing and taking the boat to a tiny little bay and jumping off the cliffs. my godfather sneaking all the kids out for ice cream on my last night.

the sunset bar, dubrovnik, through the city wall and overlooking the adriatic

the view from the ferry leaving makarska and heading to brac

from villa rosemarine