We began to fall into a routine for breakfast; sit on the terrace, order some coffee, food found in shifts, we took turns choosing things for Conway.
The cool ambience of the morning, just the right temperature in the shade, was met with songs of blackbirds, and Conway spied on them wherever he’d spot them. Great seagulls also patrol the tables, circling high above nonchalantly, until someone goes away and leaves a plate of food unguarded. Someone brought out their heaped plate of breakfast, then returned inside presumably for a drink – an opportunistic seagull swooped in and proceeded to swallow as much of that food as possible – bread and vegetables and all going down whole, until a waitress shooed it away. The guy returned to scenes of a bird food fight.
After such a big breakfast there wasn’t much else to do but sit by the sea and relax. The waves were gentle as they lapped the shore, I put some music on and we made ourselves comfortable on the sofas beneath a parasol. We had ice cream and smoothies brought to us.
Then of course we had the obligatory family nap time, wherein we sleep and cool down in the comfort of air-con. Accomplishments for the day were a short trip to Lidl to get water and picnic supplies while Sam got a portion of chips from the seaside bar.
On our meanderings we’d seen a big sign, “Restaurant Rosemary” it said, hanging over a driveway. No menu or restaurant in sight, it looked a little odd – you need to walk through a couple of gardens and past some holiday villas to reach it. We called ahead to book a table and to check they had baby seats.
The restaurant sits neatly on a terrace overlooking a Mediterranean garden. Butterflies flit amidst olive trees and pink oleander overhang the tables. The low sun dappled it all with a warm evening light.
Our softly spoken waiter showed us to a table with baby seat, and he brought out a set of shiny spoons for Conway to play with. It was quiet, and we’d arrived before most other diners. While we thumbed the menu choosing what to eat, Conway nibbled on the pages, before being distracted by something shiny. He was well behaved all evening, and with his rice cakes and crackers he was satisfied until he became sleepy and fell asleep on Sam’s lap.
We thought the tasting menu would take too long for us, so ordered a selection of dishes to share instead:
The pasta dishes were sublime, the thick homemade pasta infused with truffles for one, and a rich seafood flavour for the other. This rich creaminess complimented our refreshing fish and lamb choices. And we left space for quite excellent homemade desserts.
The whole experience was quaint and magical, a little secret garden-esque. A perfect evening out with baby.
With Conway wrapped up asleep in Samantha’s cardigan, we casually strolled home in the twilight, stars shining above the pine.
Conway was awake in the night, screaming at the top of his lungs at 2am. We’re thankful we brought some Calpol, it was hot in the room but we think it was teething.
Today we made a change for breakfast and opted to sit in the garden courtyard. For breakfast we asked to get Conway a smoothie, which included cashews and walnuts, Conway’s first sample of nuts. We ended breakfast with two glasses of pink bubbly which we took out to the terrace to enjoy. It was romantic bar the seagulls circling above us that kept dropping bits of croissant our way; I’ve never known it to rain french pastries before.
The hotel was in full preparation mode for a wedding; the platforms beside the sea were set up for the ceremony and drinks, and a room close to the terrace was made up for the wedding breakfast. Near the front entrance the salon was commandeered by a florist, the room was filled with all the cuttings and petals that didn’t make it.
We escaped the bride and groom and took our buggy North along the gravel path that hugs the coast.
Today was the weekend, and local families filled every pocket of beach. The water polo pools hosted competing teams, and fans cheered from benches. The referees whistle pierced the air. We spotted a large corvid hopping about the treetops.
In the hot afternoon sun we lathered ourselves and Conway in factor 50 sun lotion. I held a big glob ready for his nose, but an unexpected head bob and the glob was in his eye. Cue one of us holding Conway’s head while the other tries to wash out the cream with water, obviously he wasn’t best pleased about this.
We pushed on along the coast. To our left the sea hugged rocks, little rock pools formed and bathers found the few flat bits to unroll their towels and dry off. On our right the pine forest continued, small shrubs peaked out from a bed of pine. Where the sun slipped through the canopy its rays caught a hundred moths and butterflies, little dust trails could be seen following the bright bobbing dots.
Around the peninsula there’s a holiday camp with comfortable looking chalets. We stopped at Kredo Bar for pizza and Pepsi. There was that pleasant sound of children enjoying summertime as they squealed and splashed in the sea with their inflatable toys.
After walking back, the return route is always faster than the outward one, we went to Buffet Trojka for dinner. Sitting besides a football training pitch and some tennis courts, it specialises in meat cooked with fire. We ordered pork and lamb and two big tankards of Ožujsko – often the only Croat beer available.
The platter was huge; Sam picked meat from the bones while I fed slithers to Conway on my lap. We asked for the bill and they brought us another beer – the first time in all our travels that the universal sign for the bill (that hand gesture where you pretend to scribble on your hand) has been misinterpreted.
At the beach bar the locals gathered for Croatia’s opening game of the World Cup; Croatia vs Nigeria. We considered joining them to partake in the party atmosphere. In their red and white checked sports jerseys they chanted raucously, the Croatian football anthem, Srce Vatreno by Nered, played loudly and one madman ran around with a canister of red smoke. Perhaps too noisy for a sleepy baby, we retreated to the sea – where the water was calm and earth’s shadow was rising.