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Vacation in Croatia August 30, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in travel.

I’ve read so much about Croatia in the news — especially through the Clinton years. I always wanted to visit. Well, I’m here, and this is not the Croatia I read about. That would be a different section of the country.

I’m just finishing a week of vacation in the western resort town of Opatija. I am the spouse. That is — my wife is here attending a Physics Education conference and I am along to take care of Julia (I find it ironic that Paula is always complaining that HEP conferences are in much more beautiful places…). As far as a job, it isn’t that bad: I wake up around 9am or so, get Julia up and dressed and then we eat breakfast. Julia, being a girl of just over 1 year old, is a hit in the dining room (well, wherever we go). So I get lots of help from the staff. In fact, I’m reminded of that cartoon of a person making their way through a cocktail party full of people as an example of the Higgs boson: getting from the breakfast buffet back to the table with Juila in tow is slow going as everyone wants to stop her and say hi. And Julia is more than happy to do that. I think she gets that part of her personality from my wife! πŸ™‚

Then we got for a long walk. They have a very nice stone pathway along the sea. Just below the pathway are lots of rocks and pebble beaches. Every one sets up a towel and sun bathes and swims. They don’t really have sand beaches here. I walked as far as a small fishing village one way and the other way was prevented from going as far as I wanted by the tourist trap places that were starting to claim parts of the public path as their own. Still, very nice!

Then a nap. Usually for the both of us (see below for why I needed one!). Lunch – and Julia makes it known during lunch who her favorite parent is: Paula. πŸ™‚ Then a swim, another nap, and then walk around town trying to find a good dinner. The food is a bit bland for my tastes in this section of the world — however there are some sausages that are really good and have just the right amount of kick. There is no way I can spell the name on the menu, however. I initially asked about them because they were one of the only dishes that was listed using the same Croatian word in four languages.

And finally to bed. At that point, I drag my portable outside onto the balcony, and get to work on my poster and talk I’m giving next week at the CHEP conference (so much for a real vacation).

And continuing the saga of bad Internet connections. The policy of the hotel we are in is a bit backward – free Internet in the rooms. You have to get a password from the front desk to access it. And get this — the password expires after about 3 hours. So you are supposed to keep going down there to get new passwords. πŸ™‚ At any rate, I work until about 3 in the morning.

The thunderstorms here are amazing. They are about every other day, and the sky is totally sunny until about 10 minutes before they start. The win picks up — it really picks up, and clouds rush in, and it pours. Sometimes hail. Then about 30 minutes later it is sunny again. The beaches and pools clear — but not for very long.

I’ve got lots of nice pictures, but given the awful state of the Internet back in Marseille (trust me, this will be an entertaining post when I finally have an ending – one way or the other) and the awful state of my talk & poster, I’ve not had time to upload them. My talk is in the afternoon of the first day (yay!) so I’m looking forward to being able to really relax at CHEP.



1. andrew - August 31, 2007

You probably had cevapcici, a Balkan specialty hot sausage with garlic, hot paprika, thyme and other seasonings. Recommended!

2. gordonwatts - September 1, 2007

Yes– that spelling is very similar (but a few less letters, I think). The ingredients you list also match the taste. It was definately quite good. The waiter described it as “I can’t describe it in English, but you have to try it!”. πŸ™‚

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