As I’ve mentioned before, my dad was born in Croatia. My mom and dad took is on a trip to Croatia in 2015, when Archer was just ten months old.
In a turn of events that is surprising to no one, I kept a travel journal of our adventures. The country is so beautiful, I wanted to take you on a tour of our time there.
My first journal entry for this trip reads as follows:
On April 5, 2015, Brad and Archer and I left Vancouver on our way to Croatia to meet my mom and dad.
It was Archer’s first big adventure and he got his first passport stamp when we got to Zagreb.
The following chronicles our trip from April 5 to 24, 2015, when we return to Canada.
April 7, 2015
I remember writing in “The Branya Journal of Travel” almost every day. A fact of which I’m very proud! I most definitely waited too long following our trip to the Domincan Republic and ended up with an overall summary of our time there. Which is fine, there are always the pictures!
This trip to Croatia was definitely busier than any beach holiday we’ve taken, but I’ll concentrate on sharing my memories based around the pictures.
This is where the house my dad grew up in used to stand.
Baka and Dida (my parents, to Archer & Maverick) picked the three of us up at the airport in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. We were staying with my dad’s brother and his wife in Valpovo but took a day trip into Gasinci to visit another one of my dad’s brothers, Yozo, and his wife on their farm.
We got to see the place where my dad grew up, the gravesite where his dad is buried (he was a police officer who passed away before my dad was born) and the farm. They had chickens, geese, ducks, pigs, goats, sheep and a dog, with a large area out back for the animals to roam. The family was so welcoming to us even though they have so little and none of them spoke even a word of English.
It meant a lot to me to be able to meet my dad’s family; his brother Yozo has since passed away. My dad has been able to go back and help out at the farm. I always think of our time there when I know he's going back for a visit.
View from Our Family's Home in Bosnia
Bosnia i Herzegovina
My dad’s sister and her family live in Bosina I Herzegovina, which is where we visited next. It was a bit of a drive, but Archer did really well sleeping in the car, so that was a relief. We were there on my dad’s birthday, so he bought a lamb which the men roasted in the back yard. We met my cousin, his wife and their (now grown) kids. They were so hospitable and welcoming, even with the language barrier.
One of the only family pictures Brad and Archer and I got was on our way to our family’s property near their house in Tuzla. They had a small shack up there at the time, but have now built a bigger shelter. They grow pear and plum trees which they harvest in the fall to make rakija, or plum wine.
My cousin’s son actually came to Canada a couple of years and stayed with us, so it was nice having had met him before. More on that in another blog!
Atop the wall surrounding the Old City of Dubrovnik
From Tuzla, we drove through Sarejevo, towards the coast. Brad and I strained from the back seat of my dad’s town car to catch our first glimpse of the ocean. We had never explored that part of the world together before and will definitely go back and do the trip a little more our way.
The coast of Dubrovnik is breath-taking. The water that surrounds Stari Grad (old city) changes from green to blue to green again. It sparkles with beauty. Brad, Archer, my dad and I walked around the whole wall surrounding the old city. We climbed many stairs up and down and stopped mid-way for a picture of my boys in their Whitecaps jerseys. The Whitecaps had a contest for Whitecaps around the world so we clearly had to participate when we were in such a beautiful place so far from home.
Stari Grad (Old City)
Archer tried Ice Cream for the First Time in Dubrovnik ... he liked the cone better than the cold ice cream!
There you have the first part of our 2015 trip to Croatia! I’m not sure how many more parts there will be, but there are many amazing pictures to come.
Dreaming of Hrvatsaka,