Wow, two weeks went by so quickly! It’s hard to believe only 18 days ago I was boarding a plane to Croatia, and now I’m back to the daily grind. Believe it or not, I missed the routine: Workouts, cooking, and of course, blogging!
I went to Croatia for a friend’s wedding and it was amazing. We started in Dubrovnik, on the southern tip of the country. Why does that sound familiar? Because Dubrovnik is where the Game of Thrones TV show films for Kings Landing (and a few other things)! It’s a medieval walled city the country has continued to rebuild and restore over time. It’s pedestrian traffic only and absolutely beautiful.
Our travels continued to Montenegro, the small country south of Croatia. A day trip showed us miles of beautiful coasts, amazing cities, and spectacular vistas. A recent addition to NATO, Montenegro hopes to join the European Union in the future.
Returning to Croatia, we drive up to Split– the location of Diocletian’s Palace. It was Diocletian’s retirement home built at the turn of the 4th century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site this “palace” forms about half of the old town of Split – the ruins are still in use for some buildings today.
Heading north we reached Zadar, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. We spent a day checking out dozens of ruins and tons of art. One of our best meals of the trip came from here! But really, we were in Zadar so we could travel to Plitvice Lakes National Park: one of the oldest national parks in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This park consists of 16 descending lakes connected by small rivers and waterfalls. It’s the most beautiful park I’ve ever visited. By far.
After Zadar, we headed to Motovun, on the Istrian peninsula. This beautiful city rests on top of a hill, hosts a population of 500 people, and was the location for my friend’s wedding. Using Motovun as our home base we visited Pula, Porec, and Rovinj during day trips. The Istrian peninsula is known for its food and beaches, so we obviously checked them all out in between visiting ruins and ancient churches. Again, an amazing meal or two was had and we learned how to properly taste olive oil. Sadly, I also realized that all olive oil I’ve ever had in the United States was just… BAD.
It was an incredible trip, and I couldn’t be happier that I was able to attend my friend’s wedding. It was worth every moment and every penny– even the horrible flight experiences (I’m never flying through Charles de Gaulle in Paris EVER again). Oh! And I even found a Little Free Library in Porec during our trip! All the books were in Croatian, but at least I knew I was with my people. There are always readers everywhere. Speaking of…
In my On Hiatus! post, I identified 5 potential reads for this trip. Here’s how it went:
Completed! This was a great read for the flight out – an easy read with quite a bit of suspense. Good characters but I was never super invested in the overall plot. 3/5 stars.
DNF at 49%. I just… I know that Albert Einstein wasn’t the goofy scientist we expect from the photos. He’s self-centered and neglectful. But reading about how self-effacing, foolish and dull-witted his first wife is… I just couldn’t keep watching her throw her whole life away. Particularly when this book isn’t really that well researched. Oh well, sorry Big Library Read!
THANK YOU, AMANDA. This book was devoured in barely over one day. Completed and adored – 4/5 stars for capturing a single intense moment in the life of a town. Compelling characters, forward motion, but only a vague plot. It felt like eavesdropping on life for a few months in an almost perfect way.
Well, I did start this book… It’s certainly not a DNF! It will just be slow going for a while – not a great beach read book. In Progress it is then. After all, I’m only at 2%. O_o
The third Anne of Green Gables novel really caught my heart. A strong showing after Anne of Avonlea — completed and given 5/5 stars for experiencing 1900’s college life and romance.
I discovered this series on some of the Top Ten Tuesday lists from the week I left. It’s a snarky Irish novel about a mage detective skeleton. That’s the exact line I used when my friends asked me what I was reading. Seriously. Now imagine each word coming out more and more slowly as I realize the ridiculous things I’m saying. Well, Skulduggery Pleasant was an amazing beach read. Completed with 3/5 stars. …and I will definitely continue the series.
[sigh] As some of you might recall from my May Month in Review Throne of Glass didn’t really do it for me. That said, some of my great bookish friends encouraged me to keep trying. The best suggestion I received was to read The Assassin’s Blade – the novella collection which proceeds book 1. I struggled in book 1 with Maas’s writing – I was told in this book it improves and I get proper character development. And, if I didn’t like this, I should walk away.Well I complted it… And I’m conflicted! 3/5 stars. Full review to follow for sure. I’ve got feelings to fuss out.
Finally, I started to read some of my HUGE ARC backlog! A short story collection featuring Djinns, I am only at 36% at this moment. The stories have given me a lot to think about, and they aren’t all winners in my eye – which means it’s a good collection for me. I can’t wait to finish it!
So, in the end, I completely read 5 books, but two weren’t on my original reading list. I DNF’d one book and I’m working on two more. Not bad reading progress for vacation! All completed books will have future reviews. Keep an eye out.
Whew! That was quite a bit. Now it’s time to do some real catching up. A HUGE thank you to everyone to read the measly two posts I managed to schedule and get published when I was gone. I will be catching up on comments and feedback shortly.
To all my blogger friends– you were quite busy in my absence! As the amazing Melanie @ Grab the Lapels suggested, I won’t try to catch back up with all your posts. But I hope to see you all soon. Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep being AWESOME.
And for my readers who aren’t bloggers, I hope you’ll also forgive my absence. I hope you bring you more book recommendations soon. Keep watching and, as always: