Dreamer in Rovinj 

Once I had a dream to rent a flat in Italy and pretend I live there. Just for some weeks. Cook pasta, open a bottle of white wine and eat my dinner on the balcony. And just now I realized – I don’t need that anymore. Here I am – back in Rovinj, melting with happiness. Renting a flat. For some weeks. Cooking my pasta. A bottle of local liquor stored. No balcony though, but there is an amazing sunset show just outside of my window. So I open my windows and sit with my pasta on the window sill. Which restaurant has a view compared to mine from the flat under the roof? 
That apartment is amazing too (I am afraid, the word “amazing” will be repeated hundred times in this text, or some other superlative adjectives. Sorry, not sorry). It sits in the top of the old house, with windows in every direction. To wake up to those views of the rooftops and church silhouettes and listen to the seagulls screaming their morning songs – that is a miracle in itself (the header photo in this blog was taken from those windows). 

First night here I was not overwhelmed by emotions – my soul didn’t land yet, though my mind realized the fact. The second day there were no emotions of wonder either – it felt like I came home, so why getting surprised. The sound of Slavic speech feels so native, the sun kisses welcome kisses on my cheeks, the streets reveal houses and windows that I know oh so well. They are forever sealed by my taking the photos and admiring them over and over again while sharing them here on the blog. 

Then there are people. Peter, owner of our flat, that is almost like a family member. We sit again in his flat, drinking kruskovac, sharing our stories in a mix of German, Russian and Croatian (he doesn’t speak English, so it is a language dance every time). Darko, the waiter of “our” restaurant doesn’t work there anymore, but we bump into him on the street. He invites us to the restaurant where he works now (restaurant “Dream”, I give it 5 stars and totally recommend it. Don’t get turned off by the simple name. Hidden in the cozy narrow street it has class and serves risotto with truffles that almost made me lick the plate). And when I show up, he welcomes me with a kiss on a cheek. 

There is the eternal beauty of this romantic town, the sea breeze and schnapps on the house. Pretty dresses, the sound of waves, good food. Add to it a thousand dancers coming here for Summer Sensual Days Festival, making new friends, smiles and jokes everywhere, party nonstop – and you get a recipe for my own paradise. And who would say no? Would you say no? 

At the registration office there is a huge glass full of paper stripes – “take a happy thought”, it says. I love grabbing a couple of them, stuffing into my shorts pockets, take it out when I forgot about them and smile. This year’s message reads like that: “At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling”. I can totally guarantee that I live by this rule here. Getting home at 5 in the morning, walking from the party while the town awakes. When sleeplessness turns out my mind and plunges me into here and now. Listening to the waves splashing at my feet. To the seagulls who take over the town in this early hour like a Neapolitan mafia and scream with their sharp voices. The breeze caresses hair. The sight of boats on water is so fresh. I stand for a while and meditatively observe the flags gently waving in the wind. This sensual days festival wakes up all my senses – in every sense (pun intended). 

Dare to dream, dare to love more and dare to open your heart for more emotions and sensations. This is what makes us totally alive. 

food in Croatia

Split, Spritz and Spagetti. Eating in Croatia

In this post I continue telling the story of my “eat pray love” project that I did in Croatia last summer. This is the “eat” part and the rest of the story you can find under the tag eatpraylove on this blog. I know, I have promised my report of the yoga retreat, and it is going to be that last part, just to make sure you are intrigued and waiting 🙂

The week of  salsa festival was over after the Sunday night party. We didn’t sleep that night because my friend was catching a bus to the airport at 7.30 in the morning. So we decided to dance that night away, but no one was really dancing, not us at least. We were wandering from hall to hall, tired after the week of partying, observing how empty the space was getting. After I walked my friend to the bus station, I slept 4 hours, got up and hurried to the last event: the party boat with Cuban music. That was a great end to the week, such an exclamation mark instead of a full stop.

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Why write?

The work is sometimes done when you don’t see it.

When you meditate and try to keep your mind still, you can get frustrated by the thoughts coming and stealing your attention. But the masters say, that the real work is done not in emptying your mind but in that moment of becoming conscious of your thoughts coming and going.

I’ve been feeling bad about falling out of blogging for almost two weeks. I feel like I can’t live up to my simple resolution of 2 posts a week. And the longer I am not writing, the more difficult it is to get on track (though I keep on blogging on my Russian blog, I guess I have developed a better habit there).


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Celebrating like a local: the National day of Norway

Two days ago Norway celebrated its birthday – National day, also known as Constitution day. But everyone calls it “17 mai” because everyone knows what it stands for. Constitution of Norway was dated on 17th of May 1814 even though Norway was still under rule of Denmark. After Napoleon lost the war and Denmark as his ally had to give up on Norway, Norway still didn’t get independent but was forced into the union with Sweden. Only in 1905 Norway could claim its independence when the union was dissolved. Maybe, that is why Norwegians appreciate their independence so much, both in private and in state affairs. They have been fighting for it for quite a long time.

17th of May, Oslo
main street of Oslo on 17th of May

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Dancing Salsa in Croatia

Last summer I spent three unforgettable weeks in Croatia which I call my personal “Eat pray love” project. There was one week of salsa festival, a week of relaxing, eating and taking pictures in the beautiful town of Rovinj, and a week of yoga retreat on Hvar Island. Yoga would be the pray part, eating and relaxing speaks for itself, and dancing is definitely love. I have shared reasons to love Rovinj here and here, and the time has come to tell its stories. This is going to be the post about the dancing part aka love (you will find more posts about this story under the tag eatpraylove).

I came to Croatia for the first time in summer of 2015 for the salsa festival and it captured my heart forever. On the night of our arrival we were pulling our suitcases through cobblestoned streets, the stones reflecting the light of the lanterns, the old houses towering around us, the laundry hanging from the windows – I felt like I was instantly placed in the setting of a romantic movie, and soon the cameras would roll. The town of Rovinj in the Northern part of Croatia is known as the most Italian town of that region Istria which used to be a part of Italian Veneto for ages. That’s why Italian atmosphere is luring everywhere, in the colorful facades, in the cuisine, in the smiles and jokes of local waiters. And what can be more romantic than Italian atmosphere in summer?

our street is to the right

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Soon it’s time to wave the flag

Norway celebrates soon its National Day, which is also called here 17th of May, because this is the date of it 🙂 Yesterday I read a post by Manja Mexi Movie  about her experience with Norwegian flags, and it inspired me to go outside and take pictures of them. Luckily, in the advance of the great day many window shops have the national flag theme. I also hope that the weather will be kind to us next week and I hope to get outside and take some pictures for the blog. Thanks to the blog that it can kick me out in the inspiration rush because after many years here I am no longer amazed at the parade and use to stay at home to avoid the crowds (or even unpatriotically leave country for a sunnier place).


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My Spring Clean And What I Learnt From It

On Sundays I have digital detox, and it feels so refreshing. As it is great to be back online on Mondays 🙂 I wanted to test this habit for a long time, and at last in March I said to myself that I will run it as experiment: I will keep my Sundays free of all internet. My first Sunday was a day without social media, but then it turned into a day totally offline (with two exceptions: I answer the messenger, and take pics for IG stories which for me is a ritual of appreciating the surroundings. As long as I am not tempted to check the feed). From March into April, and now into May – I am very content with my experiment and I want to keep this habit now.

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spring flowers

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