Syden – Literally meaning “the south”, is a common Norwegian term for destinations with a warmer climate.
After visiting Pula in Croatia two years ago and falling in love with the place, the atmosphere, the wine and the friendliness of the locals, we have been itching to go back there ever since. Last year, we were focused on getting our business up and running, so we were more than ready for a vacation this summer!
This year, we booked to stay in Podgora in Makarska Riviera; a beautiful coastal area between Dubrovnik and Split. The weather was perfect, apart from some strong “bura wind” on some evenings! The locals explained how this usually occurs during the winter but this year, they had been experiencing it during the summer. Whilst we were there, the wind speeds were up to 65kmph (40mph)! This sounded intense at the time, but after finding out speeds have been recorded at 304kmph back in 2005, I realise my worry was just an overreaction!
On our second day, we visited the monument “wings of a seagull” for a concert in the evening to celebrate Saint Vincent, the protector of Podgora. The monument, unveiled in 1962, is in remembrance to fallen soldiers during the second world war. There we sat in the filled amphitheatre-style seating, drank some Pivo and enjoyed some live Croatian music.
Last time we were in Croatia, we visited Trapan Wine Station; a vineyard in Šišan and sampled many of their delicious wines along with other brands during our stay in Istria. Since our last vacation, we found that it’s near impossible to find Croatian wine in the UK or in Norway! So we made sure to sample some more beautiful wine whilst we were there.
A few of those sampled were:
- Pošip Čara – Dalmatia
- Zlatan Babić – Dalmatia
- Zlatan Opol Rosé – Dalmatia
- Vina Laguna Merlot – Istria
- Vina Laguna Pinot Sivi – Istria
- Grabovac Kujundžuša – Dalmatia
On our third day, we eventually took the bus to Makarska (three buses never turned up!) and spent the day there, relaxing in the shade before heading to Grabovac Wine Bar in Kačić Square. There we sampled five of their wines, tasted some lovely Dalmatian ham (don’t worry, I’m not referring to a black and white dog!) and cheese whilst learning some new and interesting things about wine tasting and winemaking. Whilst there, Bjørnar spoke to the winemaker and mentioned how we had been unsuccessful in finding Croatian wine back home. Despite the fact they have been producing wine for many centuries and very successfully might I add, they can only produce a fraction of wine in comparison to other countries. The winemaker explained that this was due to the fact Croatia only had 30,000 hectares planted whereas Spain for example, has 1 million!
Another thing I love about Croatia is their Pivo! Their 2% raddlers are yummy and refreshing! However, I was a little bit gutted that I didn’t find the pink grapefruit Ožujsko this year. 😦
As many people know, I hate flying so it’s essential that I have a pleasant and relaxing experience in the airport to help calm my nerves. I’d already braced myself for bedlam after seeing photographs taken inside Split Airport showing how insanely overcrowded the place was. Despite this, we did manage to have a giggle about having to sit on the floor whilst drinking crappy wine served in a tiny plastic cup! 😀
Anyway, goodbye for now Croatia! We’ll be back… 😉 ❤