Mum (alone) Travelling with two toddlers

As I have family in my motherland Croatia, I wanted to use the fact that I will get free baby-sitting and possibly get some sun and beach time with my two boys. The only problem was, I needed to fly there; by myself with Luca a 3 year old, and Sebastian my spirited 20 months old child.

So, armed with good will and optimism I embarked on an impossible mission to travel the longest 2 hour flight to Croatia, all by myself.
mum travelling with toddlers

mum travelling with toddlers

So geared with combat trousers, one rucksack with entertainment and snacks,one pram to fasten the spirited leader of the gang and a walking kid willing to please, ( mostly as he noticed the determination in my eyes, and a few war stripes on my face. )I WAS READY.

First step; security check.
I asked the nice Stansted attendant if a mother and two toddlers in allowed to use the quick, fast track queue, she swiftly moved me to the ‘normal’ long one, without explanation.
Ok, we can do that boys.
After I managed to divide the liquids, computers and snacks in few trays, we had to go through the metal detector, all 3, separately. Oh dear. After emptying the pram from crumbs and hidden snacks from probably a year ago, Sebastian was due to cross the metal detector, alone. Two inpatient, busy airport attendants were hurrying him with fake irritated smiles, trying to get him thorough the detector, he stood there teasing and waiting for more smiles, they were sweating and calling him, he walked, he touched the sides of the detector,  ”don’t touch anything, we’ll have to search you! just walk straight” I said: “he is a baby”, they say “we take our jobs seriously” he walked another step,  touching the sides, they screamed a little more, irritated smiles, I whisper flatly; “he is a baby”
He passed the test. no bombs there.
travelling with toddlers

travelling with toddlers

My turn, it beeped. They put me in a metal detector ‘cage’ boys alone outside with the crowds, still beeping, ok they have to search me. Boys holding my legs. ‘Don’t touch her, she says, otherwise well have to start again’  however they both attached at my legs.

I pass the test somehow.
Bag searched, milk poured and tested, we leave this hell, walking into the shopping area, eyes open, sweating, searching for kid friendly places, there is none.
Even though the Stansted website, which I researched thoroughly suggest few baby friendly rooms, there are none. We go to Giraffe, where a lovely waiter entertains them with pancakes, and suggest he will be mad at them if they try to run around. (he winks at me) they obey, for 2 minutes. I manage to have half coffee before they start their sugar rush mayhem of touching everything with blubbery sticky hands.
We go to baby changing facilities. I breathe and rest for 1 minute. They cannot run anywhere, I rest even though it smells of sweet baby poo. oh dear.
travelling with toddlers

toddlers on a plane

Battle No2. airplane

We reach the terminal on the other side of the world, we walked, but they are not even remotely tired.
Before boarding they run around and create mayhem, I am out of energy already and don’t care what anyone thinks. Get it out of the system, they might sleep. But,little did I know they never will.
We fly, Easyjet, they promise a family friendly attitude so I hope they will help me, somehow, maybe adopt the children for few hours.
We are the last ones to board the flight, no one suggested us boarding the priority queue…ah well.
After boarding the packed Easyjet flight, we’ve got sited in two miniature seats, the three of us. My neighbor looked annoyed, I understand, they were both jumping on me, and opening the closing trays for the next hour. I ask the flight attendant to get a better seat,
‘sorry there are no empty seats’ . Ok, kindle is on, crayons are out, snacks and treats are out, we can survive this, its only a 2 hour flight.
Its ok, for 19 minutes, until Sebastian has a explosive poop that dirties his trousers and needs a complete change of clothes. OK three of us, walk to the miniature toilets and with open doors, I manage to change my humongous toddler into clean clothes.
We walk back, and i notice 3 empty seats, with suitcases stack underneath them. Clearly the suitcases had a priority to a mother with two angelic toddlers. Ah well. We’ll survive this. Another 1 hour and 12 minutes and  the ordeal is over.
We land, and I start breathing again, they are exhausted but not sleepy.
Passport control. Luca and I pass the door, and the glass door closes behind us. where is Sebastian? Turn out he was chatting to the policeman, in his baby language amused, pointing and saying ‘aeroplane’.
After picking up the pram, car seats and two suitcases I walk out into the fresh air, pushing it all alone, and say; we survived. granpa’ is here. he can take over now….

 

Villa M – villas with pool to rent in Istria

Exclusive villa with pool,

Modern state of the art villa with pool available for rental for summer 2017 rental. 5 bedrooms, 5+ bathrooms, large kitchen dining area with a stunning living room and a state of the art fireplace.

A collaboration between UK and Croatian Architects and designers this is a villa for the style conscious. Placed in the small and interesting village of Smoljanci, the villa with pool is 20 minutes drive to the stunning town of Rovinj and only 8 minutes drive to the ancient town of Svetvincenat with its many restaurants and local shops.

The village itself has a bar and a local shop.

The guest can enjoy the beautiful infinity swimming pool, with a shallow area for sun lounging or children play. There is a couple of pushbikes , children toys on the premises, ready to be used.

Why Pula should be your next city break

Recently The ‘Rough Guide’ published a great article on Pula, so we are posting it here for you:

So you’ve circled Dubrovnik’s city walls and wandered the ancient alleys of medieval Split? Then the laidback and cosmopolitan city of Pula, home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins outside Italy, should be next on your list.

While some Croatian destinations along the glittering Adriatic coast can sag beneath the weight of the tourist multitudes in summer, Pula retains a refreshing sense of authenticity – its compact historic centre is as picturesque as any in Croatia, yet the giant cranes of its shipyard, the only profitable one in the country, are an ever-present reminder that this is a working town.

It’s also an ideal hub from which to explore the hinterland of Istria, an enticing region of Venetian-built towns, olive groves and fragrant pine forests.

What should I see?

Pula’s highlight is undoubtedly its first-century Roman amphitheatre, whose imposing outer walls are the best preserved after Rome’s Colosseum. Booking up an evening performance in the arena is the best way to connect to the ancients – it provides the spectacular setting for summertime events from gladiator fights to the glitzy centrepiece of Pula’s annual calendar, the two-week film festival.

Elsewhere, Pula’s languid old-town streets reveal a fascinating historical jumble, from Byzantine chapels to weatherbeaten Venetian townhouses and grand Hapsburg palaces. The most graceful Roman remnant stands proudly in a corner of the bustling Forum, Pula’s main square for over two thousand years: fronted by tall, slender Corinthian columns, the Temple of Augustus is one of several ancient sites providing the backdrop for the summertime Spectacvla Antiqva, a slightly surreal, toga-clad celebration of Roman street theatre and food.

Where can I hit the beach?

Once you’ve had your fill of classical antiquity, pick up a bike and pedal out to the secluded, pine-forested Verudela peninsula, 5km south of town, where a sequence of fine white-pebble beaches fringes the aquamarine Adriatic waters. Verudela is home to several big hotels but development is discreetly tucked away from the shore and the coves are as popular with townsfolk as tourists.

The so-called Holy Rock at the peninsula’s western tip is a dreamy vantage point from which to take in the sunset, with dolphins often glimpsed just offshore.

Where should I go for a day-trip?

To find a stretch of beach all to yourself, jump on a ferry from the pretty nearby village of Fažana to Veli Brijun, main island of the idyllic Brijuni archipelago. Protected as a national park, and ringed by pristine coastline and blissfully clear waters, the islands will forever be associated with Yugoslavia’s erstwhile president, Maršal Tito.

A cult icon of the Cold War who – unique among Eastern European dictators – retained a popular appeal that endures to this day, Tito’s tireless diplomatic machinations are recalled in the oddly obsequious Tito on Brijuni photo exhibition, by Veli Brijun’s ferry dock.  Pictured entertaining foreign dignitaries and film stars from Fidel Castro to Sophia Loren at his Brijuni base, the dapper, handsome, ageing statesman cuts a genial, avuncular figure: more late Bond-era Roger Moore than Cold War villain.

Elsewhere on the island there are Roman ruins, cycling routes and forest trails to explore, and you can even visit the remaining denizens of Tito’s private zoo.

What’s on the menu?

With a strong Venetian influence and an abundance of local ingredients, eating out around Pula is a joy. The region’s truffles are justly famous, and so rich in flavour that they’re best served simply grated over pasta.

Istria was recently declared the top olive oil-producing region in the world. A revelation if you’re used to supermarket brands, the genuine article unleashes a warm, spicy kick at the back of the throat; long-living locals swear by a spoonful a day.

Local chefs, meanwhile, proudly proclaim Istrian waters as home to the densest concentration of seafood in Croatia; typical dishes include brodet sa palentom (fish stew with polenta), stuffed squid and crni rižoto (risotto with cuttlefish ink).

Good central restaurant choices include the Dolce Vita-themed Bistro Alighieri and the breezy vine-covered terrace at the ever-popular Pizzeria Jupiter, though for the best Istrian cuisine you’ll need to head out into the suburbs and nearby villages.

In a gorgeous position overlooking the bobbing yachts of Pula’s marina en route to Verudela, upmarket Ribarska Koliba is famed for its seafood, while Fažana’s standout choice is the simple, budget-friendly Stara Konoba, right on the harbour-front; don’t miss their njoki s tartufima (homemade gnocchi with truffle).

What about the local drink?

Highly drinkable, Istrian wines run the range from crisp, floral Malvazija whites to the deep, rich reds of the Teran (Terrano) grape. For a tasting session pull up a stool at the welcoming Brajda wine bar and work your way through the forty-strong menu. A short way off the tourist drag, smoky Skandal Express is a grungier, more alternative drinking hole, though no less inviting.

Craft beer aficionados should make for the congenial beer garden of Beer Club, 2km south of town, where Croatian microbrews on offer will normally include several from Istrian brewer San Servolo; look out for their powerful, hoppy APA.

Finally, where should I stay?

Pula’s smartest hotels and apartments are clustered on the Verudela peninsula. With a more intimate feel than most, and handily close to the lovely Havajka (Hawaiian) beach, top choice is the recently renovated Park Plaza Arena.

Homely Scaletta and arty, backpacker-oriented Pipistrelo are good central options, while literary types should make for the newly opened Boutique Hostel Joyce, so called as it occupies the language school where the struggling young Irish author once taught English; it’s a supreme spot from which to survey the remarkably well-preserved Arch of the Sergians, Pula’s most ancient Roman monument.

Norwegian fly to Pula from London Gatwick twice weekly between March and October. Ed stayed at the Park Plaza Arena hotel (doubles from £91). Explore more of Croatia with the Rough Guide to Croatia

Read more: http://www.roughguides.com/article/why-pula-should-be-your-next-croatian-city-break/#ixzz4DBDdAn9a

Stay at our wonderful villas:

http://istrawiz.com/istria-croatia-for-rent/villas/

New Flights to Istria

 

More great news for tourist travelling to Istria next summer!  Norwegian airlines, a low coast airline,  will start its flights as early as March 27th from London Gatwick and they will run until late October, a week longer than this year. The announcement is the latest in extra flights and routes for the Adriatic coast, which looks set for a bumper 2016 tourist season.

Pula Airport also recently diversified its routes to include more Scandinavian flights, Easy Jet, Aer Lingus, thereby providing a more diverse base of passenger arrivals.

Get booking your Holiday Villas with Istrawiz now, and get the best prices available for summer 2016!

Croatian Christmas


St. Nicholas on the 05th December – Croatian children are visited by St.Nicholas an old saint who brings them sweets if they were good, but if they aren’s then the evil Krampus, who travels with St.Nicholas, will bring them a tree branch, suggesting spanking!
 

bozicna-psenica

 

13th December, St.Lucia – Croats plant wheat seeds in a small bowl, which usually grows by Christmas. The christmas Wheat is often put under a Christmas tree symbolising ‘the new bread’.

 

 

Christmas Eve-  Most Croats have a fish based dinner and go off to the midnight mass. Younger generations carry on celebrating in bars and clubs until the early hours of the night!

Christmas-tree

Christmas day – Similarly to many countries, Croats indulge in nice food and spend Christmas together with families, exchanging presents.

06th January – the end of the holiday season, when Croats celebrate the Epiphany (the feast day of the three kings visiting Jesus). The christmas decorations are being removed.

 

 

WGP Volleyball to be held in Istria

POREC MAJOR SERIES | 2 – 7 JUNE 2015

If you like Beach Volleyball, don’t miss the Porec Major Series taking place early June, in Istria.

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Porec Major will be the first of four Major Series events on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2015 calendar, which this year features a record purse of US$9.3 million in a season that extends from late April to mid-December.

TheFutureOfBeachVolleyballToday

If you need accommodation for June, we can offer some serious discounts for our holiday villa or apartment rentals

Contact us on info@istrawiz.com for more info

Ten things you didn’t know about Croatia

 

  • Dalmatian dogs (seen film: 101 Dalmatians) got their name after Dalmatia, a south coastal region in Croatia

hum istria

 

 

  • Croatian mercenaries in the French service, were wearing their traditional small, knotted neckties. This influenced the fashionable Parisians, who liked it and named the necktie  after the Croats, ‘Cravat’.tesla
  • Nikola Tesla was born in Croatia in the village Smiljan.  Rumours have it that Tesla and Edison were the original recipients of the Nobel prize. Neither was given the award because of their animosity toward each other; that each sought to minimize the other’s achievements and right to win the award; that both refused ever to accept the award if the other received it first; that both rejected any possibility of sharing it; and even that a wealthy Edison refused it to keep Tesla from getting the $20,000 prize money.
Arena

Arena

 

  • The most preserved Roman amphitheater is actually located in Pula which is the only one in the world with all 3 rows completely preserved.

 

  • The White House was built using stones from Croatia’s island of Brac.

Venice

 

  • Venice Island was built on a foundation of Croatian tree trunks. 1200 years later, those same trunks still support almost all of central Venice.
  • Over the course of two years, James Joyce taught English in the Croatian city of Pula.
  • Eduard Penkala, who developed the first solid-ink fountain pen, was born in Croatia.
  • tartuf The largest truffle in the world, which is 19.5cm long, 12.4 cm wide and 13.5 cm high, was discovered near Buje, Croatia.

Events in Istria, August 2014

Classical Summer Labin: Journey through european musical and vocal tradition

20.08.2014, 21:00 h,Labin, Župna crkva (Church)

Concert: Katja Markotić: mezzosopran/Maroje Brčić: piano

TZ Labin-Rabac, Aldo Negri 20 T.

Street Art Festival

21.08.2014 – 24.08.2014,Poreč-Parenzo

Festival of Street Performers

A well known fact is that Mediterranean life prefers the outdoors, especially streets to the indoors, houses. Streets have always been the site for conversations, courtship, arguments and singing, and although perhaps people were not aware of this, streets and squares were in fact a kind of stage. The new era has brought along new customs, but the desire for liveliness in the streets still remains. Street Art wants to bring to life once again the streets, squares and promenades of Poreč filling them with dance, street theatre, installations, film projections, video installations, music. During the month of August, on the streets and squares of Poreč you will encounter numerous artists who, inspired by this lovely town, will display their works and imagination.

Karigador Fish fest

21.08.2014,Karigador (Brtonigla-Verteneglio)

Gastro event

Taking place in the attractive sea atmosphere on the pier of Karigador, it is a real fishing experience for all guests seeking an authentic experience of local customs. Fish specialties, music and presentation of traditional products of local manufacturers.

 

Hand Made Fair

22.08.2014, 20:00 h,Medulin, Waterfront

Fair of original Istrian souvenirs

Handicrafts fair of original Istrian souvenirs that are directly sold by their producers and designers. The fair is unique because of its offer of original, traditional products and over the last few years it has regularly been held in Medulin and Premantura. The purpose of this event is to offer guests an alternative to cheap bazaar goods that are mostly sold under the name of souvenirs.

TZ Medulin, Centar 223, Medulin

 

Festival of St. Bernard

23.08.2014 – 24.08.2014,Funtana-Fontane, Rotonda (Rotonda)

St. Bernard is a patron saint of Funtana and his day is celebrated on the first weekend after the August 20th: during the whole day lots of fun, good food, music, sport and recreation games and other entertainment is guaranteed.

The food offered for this occasion is intentionally typical and a special offer of Istrian cuisine.

 

Valbandon under the baking lid

23.08.2014, 18:00 h,Valbandon beach

Competition in preparing dishes in a traditional Istrian way, under a baking lid čripnja, tasting Istrian wine and olive oil, Watermelon festival

Covered with live coals, the baking lid čripnja/peka conceals a variety of ingredients for the remarkable encounter of lovers of delicious, traditional Istrian cuisine. To be proclaimed master of preparing dishes under the baking lid is recognition of true knowledge and skill, so that each year there is an increasing number of chefs participating in this event in Valbandon. Lamb, donkey, mushroom, octopus, ray, different kinds of fish… an entire menu of creations and experiences awaits under the baking lid.

 

Music on every corner

26.08.2014,Novigrad-Cittanova, starogradska jezgra (old town)

Experience musical entertainment program that welcomes you with the performance of klapas, vocal ensemble, small acoustic instrument bands and other similar musical groups that will perform at several different locations in the old town of Novigrad (Veliki trg, Venecija Pass, Mandrač, Porporela …) during the evening and transmit by the music the atmosphere of the Mediterranean town in which music is heard “on every corner“…

Istra Gourmet

26.08.2014, 20:00 h,Medulin, riva (Waterfront)

Gastronomic event

At this event producers present typical Istrian gastronomy products such as truffles, prosciutto, cheese, olive oil, wines and different homemade brandy…

 

LAR: night tour

26.08.2014, 21:30 – 23:00 h,Labin, stari grad (old town)

LAR – night tour of the Labin old town starting at 9:30 p.m. in front of Tourist info point in old town- re-live the history of our ancient town told through myths, legends and stories.

Tourist guides will help make this tour an unforgettable experience. Your visit will end in front of the Alvona gallery at 11 p.m. with a complimentary glass of delicious homemade wine served by torchlight.

Info: Labin Art Republika, Titov trg 11, Labin

 Traditional evenings at Fažana’s waterfront

27.08.2014, 20:00 h,Fažana-Fasana waterfront

Hand Made Fair and Istria Gourmet: display of Istrian souvenirs and gourmet products

At Fažana’s waterfront, together with the beauty of folk costumes and traditional folk dances, the fair of autochthonous gourmet products and Istrian souvenirs will surely inspire you to choose anything you like from Istria and take it back home to remind you of the wonderful holiday or as a gift for a dear person, presenting a more complete picture of Istrian tradition.

Bartulja

28.08.2014 – 30.08.2014,Žminj

Bartulja in Žminj is the best known and the most popular today’s folk festivity in Istria with at least centennial tradition probably reaching back far into the past. It used to be celebrated on St. Bartholomew’s Day on 24 August, but in time people started gathering the last Saturday in August to meet in large numbers.

Nevertheless, St. Bartholomew’s Day is still celebrated with a mass held in the church of the saint right at the entrance to Žminj. The point of every Bartulja, both in the past and today, is actually the gathering of people from Žminj in their native place. It is the day when they return to their homes in order to gather around their fireplaces, meet their relatives and friends, have a talk and take a walk around the place. Older people recall that just before Bartulja they would clean their house every day after the harvest and after working in the field so that it would look nice and ready for their relatives and guests.

 

The Festivity of St.Pelagius

28.08.2014 – 30.08.2014,Novigrad-Cittanova, Veliki trg, Porporela (The Large Square, Porporela)

The celebration of the Town Day and the Novigrad Saint, the patron of st. Pelagius

The celebration of the Novigrad patron saint St. Pelagius. It is a three-day festivity that proposes a wide range of cultural, entertainment, sports and other programmes.

The central part of the festivity is the weekend, from 23 to 25 August, when major entertainment and music events take place – concerts and dancing music, sports competitions, culture programmes… all this accompanied by a rich gastronomic offer at the stands along the town’s harbour, Mandrač and Porporela.

Info: Grad Novigrad, TZ Novigrad, Mandrač 29a, T: +385 (0)52 757 075, info@istria-novigrad.com

 

5th XCO Izgubljena Ovca

31.08.2014,Grožnjan-Grisignana

Bike race class UCI C3

The 5th edition of XC Race by the interesting name ‘The Lost Sheep’ will be held by the beginning of September in Municipality of Grožnjan through which the sheeps has wandered. It passes along the route of the former railway Parenzana!

Info: Brdsko Biciklistički Klub Grožnjan, Trg Ruggiero Paladin 3, Grožnjan T: +385 (0)98 927 3443, bbk.groznjan@gmail.com

 

Rhapsody in Blue

31.08.2014, 19:00 h,Fažana-Fasana, Fažanska riva (Fažana’s Waterfront)

Event dedicated to the azure sea

The batane and sea will be transformed in a unique gallery of mobile art installations accompanied by a cocktail party, cocktail show, program for children, light show and the sounds of pop, rock, blues, evergreen and country music.

 

Villa in Istria Dolce Vita

Villa Dolce Vita is an attractive newly built rustical villa situated in the peaceful village Ruzici in the surroundings of Porec. The village consists of a few houses and is surrounded by beautiful woods and cultivated fields. Villa was built in 2008 and it is equipped with an attractive rustical and partly antique furniture which offers to uts guests a special atmosphere and comfort. Situated on its own enclosed property of 510 m2 with beautiful maintained garden, Villa Dolce Vita offers to its guests an outdoor swimming pool of 22 m2 with sun loungers, a covered terrace with large table for an outdoor dining, barbeque, an outdoor shower, and next to the garden there is a private parking space for four vehicles.

The villa is for max 8 persons with a total living area of 180 m2 situated on three floors . On the ground floor there is a living room with an antique table and chairs and several exits to the terrace and a small, fully equipped kitchen – all in the same area, an air-conditioned double bedroom with one double bed and shower/toilet. On the first floor there are three air-conditioned double bedrooms with double beds between which a shower/toilet available directly from each room, shower/toilet in the corridor. At the basement floor of the house is sitated an attractive tavern with fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and a large dining table for 8 people.

Holiday villa Angela e Giovanni Istria

Casa Angela e Giovanni is an old istrian stone house located on the edge of the village Zudetici above the river Mirna valley with panoramic view on the picturesque towns Motovun and Groznjan. The house is situated on its own semmi enclosed property of 300 m2, surrounded with green fields and trees, where the guests have on their disposal an outdoor swimming pool of 24 m2, terrace with sun beds with a table and chairs, parking for 3 cars. Casa Angela e Giovanni was completely renovated in 2014 and equipped with a beautiful rustical furniture.

 

Holiday house for 6-9 persons with a total living area of ​​244 m2 situated on three floors. On the ground floor there is a tavern/dinnig room with fireplace, large dining table and one shower/toilet. On the first floor there is a kitchen with dining area, air-conditioned living room with closed fireplace and satellite TV, a double bedroom with a double bed, one bedroom with two single beds, bath/toilet and one open room with two beds.

On the mezzanine between the first floor and the top floor there is a double bedroom with a double bed and private bath/toilet.

On the second floor (attic) is a small living room, a large air-conditioned double bedroom with a double bed and one extra sleeping couch and shower/toilet.