London to Croatia (Hrvatska to the locals) was a quick trip via RyanAir. Landing in Zadar we were greeted by Von's brother and dad. We were told of some chaos back in town where we were staying, or where we were meant to be staying - this was the issue. Once sorted we were in some home-stay place with an old lady pottering around making sure everything was good. She spoke no English, and I spoke no gibberish, but I got the message about mozzies and keeping the repellent thingy plugged in at night.
Perfect weather everyday we were there 26-36deg meant swimming was required! We picked up a snorkeling kit and splashed around every morning/arvo with the family. Croatia was much like Italy (funny that, its just over the sea) in the way of tidiness. There were lots of 'unfinished' jobs around, piles of dirt, houses with the top level unfinished, etc. There was construction or destruction most places you looked. Von's sister mentioned she heard about property tax being less if your house was unfinished, looks like the locals had jumped on that! Being in one place for a few days with family made the experience much more enjoyable. Von's dad spoke the language and sorted out everything in gibberish for us, and Von's mum was on the ball making sure everyone was happy and fed. Had we done Zadar with just ourselves, I'd be on here complaining about how messy the place was! Being there with family and friends meant all we had to worry about were sore stomach muscles from laughing so hard.
Walking home very late one night with Von, Ange (Von's sister), Greig (said sisters partner) and me - we spotted an old guitar that had been put out for rubbish collection. I'm sure we all had the same thought, but it was Greig who took action. He ran over and picked it up stating "I've always wanted to do this!" - then proceeded to smash it to pieces rock'n'roll style on the road. No doubt the whole street was woken by the four of us scrambling home laughing our asses off.
Another about Italy was their siesta. 2-4pm if I recall right shops shut. Right when we wanted to grab a snack or some food for the day. There was also something about the supermarket closing on Wednesdays or Fridays for some other reason. To an outsider its all madness and frustrating. Anyways, the shops were open in Zadar and everything was cheap!
We had the family 'do' which was good... lots of food, drink, and heat. There was a spectacular sunset that night as well. We saw the locals preparing two of their ragged looking sheep for the nights dinner. Croatian sheep look like scabby dogs. Croatian sheep skinned on a spit look like greyhounds. Now I know why New Zealanders (and Aussies) love their sheep - ours are supermodels compared to these little undernourished buggers!
We said our goodbyes on midday Friday and took off for our indirect trip home. Zadar -> Zagreb -> Frankfurt -> Singapore -> Melbourne. We landed in Melbourne at 6am Sunday with a lovely 4 degrees to meet us.
Its good to be home and back on the bike again. Sorting our photos took me a while (I geotagged them too!) Getting back into training has been assisted by perfect weather. The PT is still yet to arrive, and I have a track bike sorted, so watch out trackies! I'm back at work in four weeks so I'm going to make the most of whatever is left of my free time!
Linkys: Europe 2007 Photos
Von on Cycling Central (red/green shirt, top right from 24sec)