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love2travel

Back From Our Fantastic Vacation In Croatia And Italy!

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It's been nearly a month since I last posted. My husband and I have been on a glorious vacation to our lovely house in Croatia for three weeks. I had SO much fear and trepidation prior to the trip that I had to request Ativan for short-term anxiety. The reason for that fear was knowing the agonizing back/hip/rotator cuff/herniated disc/fibro pain I would have while being forced to sit on airplanes for hours on end. I was also concerned about eating gluten-free but that was the easy part!

From our door here to our door in Croatia is 30 grueling hours without lying down (except on the floor at airports). My doctor recommends that I do not sit for more than 15 minutes at a time so this was a stretch! There was a lot of turbulence which meant I had to remain seated which made things even worse. The pain was so bad I was groaning and thought I would pass out. Plus at the Frankfurt airport several of us missed a flight that we were early for! So, we had to wait an additional four hours. At that point the pain was unbearable. I was totally beside myself in agony. No narcotics or anything even remotely touched it.

We eventually made it to Croatia. The next day I had an excellent massage which made a dramatic difference. One thing I was so scared of was the long-term toll this would take on my body. After three days I was still in lots of pain but coped - went for long walks in the woods with my husband, explored tiny ancient villages, communicated with locals and had tons of fabulous adventures, seeing many interesting snakes, scorpions, lizards, kunas, jumping spiders and so on.

Whenever I showed my restaurant card the servers nodded knowingly which is always a good sign. I was so well taken care of. In fact, I found it far easier to eat gluten-free in Croatia and Italy than in Canada. Croatia has very few gluten-free snacks (knowing this I took lots along) but do a lot of grilling of fresh meats, veg, fish and so on. It really was very little of an issue at all. Sure, it hurt when fresh homemade bread was brought to my husband as well as complementary pastries after eat meal but other than that it was fine. I have no clue whether I got glutened or not - nothing happened to make me feel as though I was.

An interesting thing in Venice happened - I tried to purchase limone gelato but the guy told me it was not safe and recommended a blood red orange granita instead. He showed me the ingredient lists. Here I thought many gelatos were safe but obviously that is not the case. Plus when I did have it (only twice at safe places) I asked that the scoop be scrubbed and that the gelato was scooped from the far end that had not yet been touched to avoid CC.

Our trip was amazing. It was extremely difficult to return here. I love the Croatian way of life - so slow paced and relaxed and traditionally old fashioned. The beauty is absolutely astonishing. When we left Canada the snow had just melted and everything was drab brown. In Croatia the so-called winters are extremely short and the vegetation was just unreal. My climbing roses were about 12 feet high. We did a lot of foraging in the woods (our house is in a hamlet of five other houses) and cooked with wild asparagus, wild garlic, thyme and so on. We spent a lot of time on and by the sea and exploring old ruins. We've been to Europe many times but each time is like the first - Croatia is an exceptionally lovely place. We feel more at home there than we do here - we can relate better. We're very outdoorsy and love the fact that the slow food movement is so prevalent. Instead of the 100 mile or more thing many konobas (rustic traditional family-owned restaurants) grew their own ingredients. If not, they got them from the neighbour or at most 10 miles away. Salt-of-the-earth people abound there. When we walked to the nearest tiny village, if someone was picking cherries for example, she would place them in our hands. Another lady gave us the wild asparagus she had picked. Although we do not speak much Croatian and they no English it made no difference. They are so real and genuine.

Our flights back were extremely painful but neither of us had trouble with jetlag either way. We are already looking at booking in October, in spite of all the pain. So, it was still soooooooo worth it.

If you are thinking of vacation or doing something that is challenging but feet you cannot because of celiac disease or pain, do not despair. It CAN be done. If I was able to do this trip with all my back trouble anyone can do it. Please do not limit yourself. Put that fear aside, take a deep breath, and DO IT. It really is a remarkable world we live in and we do not experience enough adventures. There are so many wonderful trip stories to tell but that would take hours! :D

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It sounds like a wonderful place and I am so happy for you that you had a nice time dispite the back issues. Got a suitcase big enough for me to hide in on your next trip? :lol:

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I'm so happy you had a great trip! Yay@ Sounds wonderful, thanks for the post.

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It is miraculous that I was able to walk the day after the trip. I'm so pleased because I did something incredibly scary and feel it was such an accomplishment. I wrote notes in my journal so I would remember this for the next trip and avoid all that icky fear.

There just are no words to describe the sublime beauty of Croatia. I would fail miserably even attempting it! I remember our first trip vividly and how we fell in love with it, looked at each other and said "This is it! This is where we want to live someday."

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Your place there sounds amazing! I'm so happy you went--thanks for sharing :)

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Your place there sounds amazing! I'm so happy you went--thanks for sharing :)

It IS amazing - to us, anyway! It would only suit those who love seclusion in solid forest and vineyards with unending birdsong and old stone houses with shutters, exposed stone interior, original exposed beams and gigantic indoor and outdoor fireplaces. It's small, not luxurious or pretentious at all, but just as we like it! Packed with character and charm. The garden is truly delightful. From our garden we cannot see another single house or soul. Just solid vegetation. Although it's taken awhile, we've come to understand that having scorpions inside the house is natural! Lots of critters seem to love the stone as much as we do. :P It is truly home.

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It IS amazing - to us, anyway! It would only suit those who love seclusion in solid forest and vineyards with unending birdsong and old stone houses with shutters, exposed stone interior, original exposed beams and gigantic indoor and outdoor fireplaces. It's small, not luxurious or pretentious at all, but just as we like it! Packed with character and charm. The garden is truly delightful. From our garden we cannot see another single house or soul. Just solid vegetation. Although it's taken awhile, we've come to understand that having scorpions inside the house is natural! Lots of critters seem to love the stone as much as we do. :P It is truly home.

Heavenly! Sounds like something I would love :)

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I would love it all - except, I think, for sharing my home with the scorpions :o I love that in New Zealand, like Ireland, we have no snakes, although I enjoyed seeing the gopher snakes in California going down the gopher holes and there was one who used to wrap himself around a rosebush :D But the prettiest (and fastest) one was a California racer who had a turquoise belly.

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I loved reading this! I've been to fatigued (etc) to travel but have a 10 day trip I've booked this summer on the other side of the US. The trip will (only? lol) take about 11 hours, then we'll have a car and can stop at a grocery store. Of course, I plan to lay down on the airport floor during the l=) I have very limited sitting tolerance, too (20-30 minutes)...terrible back pain... but heck, if you can do 30 hrs, I can do 11... =) I'm anxious to get back on the other side of the world. Maybe next summer.

Thanks for sharing!

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It sounds like you had a beautiful time. I just spent a week in colrado doing what I love myself. Gold prospecting. It was slow going, with my fibro it had to be. But it was fun. In the back country, national forests. Oh it was beautiful.

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I am soooo happy to hear you had a good time! :)

I knew you were worried about the flight and with my chronic back, shoulder, neck and pelvic floor pain...I can so relate. Sitting is excruciating, but I, too wish to travel as soon as I can.

You are one brave cookie!

Thanks for sharing . Right now, I live vicariously through others :) ...and I could picture it all.

Glad you had a safe trip and that you could enjoy yourself! yaaaay!! :)

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