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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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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The Art of the Swedish Break

This Easter we decided not to fly far away from Oslo, like it is a tradition among many – but to visit our closest neighbor, Sweden. Oslo becomes pretty empty during these days, and already on Wednesday afternoon the streets miss their usual crowds. There are two classical ways to spend Easter here: 1 – you leave country for some sunnier place or a big city rush, 2 – you leave for the cabin in mountains to enjoy the last snow (this must be very Norwegian thing, because who else is missing snow in April? :)), go skiing and read detective stories (the genre is very popular here and even got the name of påskekrim, which can be roughly translated as Easter crime). As you see, in any case, you leave the city, and staying in such a forlorn place, with all shops and cafes closed can feel somewhat sad.

Processed with VSCOcam with q1 preset old neighborhood of Haga in GothenburgRead More »

Reasons to Fall in Love with Rovinj

If you ask me about the best time to visit Rovinj I would say the end of June, of course, when the salsa thing is going on 🙂 The energy is unique, it is like a all-night and all-day celebration going on. But in this post I want to share my reasons to love Rovinj, even if you don’t own glittering dancing shoes and don’t tremble at the sound of the Afro-Latin beat.

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Romance with Rovinj

Do you know this feeling of falling in love with a place? Yes, you do, I am sure. And do you know that the same feeling is still there in your heart and it is easy to get in touch with it? I’ve just discovered that going through my last year’s pictures made me nearly as happy as when I was there. I used to watch my old photos with a sigh “I wish I were there now”, and there would be a taste of sadness in this activity. But today, maybe, because it is a sunny day in Oslo, or because I know I will be there this summer – revisiting the photos of my beloved Croatian town made my heart beat with joy and love, no note of sadness in it.  And I just cannot keep this love to myself! So let’s share it!

Rovinj and its most famous view of the old town

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Barrios of Barcelona: Funky Gràcia

Hello, and welcome to our next stop of Ruta de los Barrios, our tour of neighborhoods of Barcelona. Let me present to you Vila de Gràcia (I learnt to call it Gracia), one of my most favorite neighborhoods in this city. Gràcia has it all: the young and hipster vibe, plenty of bars and restaurants, small funky shops, and the atmosphere that makes you linger with your drink on its square watching the life walking by. Gràcia looks like a little village of itself, having nothing to do with the famous city, and its narrow streets remind me of towns in my beloved Andalusia. And that is no wonder because Gràcia used to be its own village, like many neighborhoods in this city, which was later integrated into big Barcelona with the central part of L’Eixample. And it used to be full of gypsies, so that makes it even more like Andalusia to me 🙂

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