Mali Lošinj, Croatia

Ending with jellyfish lights

We were on to our last full day in Mali Lošinj, so we ordered minute steak for breakfast. We’d seen it on the menu a few times but had always preferred eggs until now.

All morning we relaxed by the swimming pools, we took Conway into the tiny pool with jets, and then the big indoor pool. With all the swimming and water we tired him out, he slept for half the morning giving us adults time to swim, read and relax. I managed to read a whole chapter of my book – Commander Hadfield’s biography. We had a giant tuna steak sandwich for lunch, and in the coffee we had a little DOM Benedictine added.

Packing with all our baby stuff is a day’s activity in and of itself. And this is where Samantha excels. While she packed all the things into vacuum zip lock backs I carried Conway on one last tour of the hotel, walking to all the bits we hadn’t seen yet – or more precisely, being a bit nosey and looking at the suites on the 4th floor.

For dinner we’d considered at last trying the hotel’s evening restaurant. We’d avoided it so far because 5 courses is a lot with a baby, and so were the prices. But tonight we wanted something easy, and had burgers by the pool, foregoing our last opportunity. The reviews said it was overpriced and average anyway (though I do doubt that a little). Sat on little wooden tables beneath the pines, we ate our burgers and drank dark beer and mocktails as the sun went down. Conway sat in his stokke high chair and made a mess of cream cheese and crackers on the floor before devouring the wedge of grapefruit that came with Sam’s drink.

Portraits by the sea
Portraits by the sea

For the last time we sat on the sofas by the water’s edge and watched the sun go down, the clouds suggested the sunset might be a little more dramatic, so we recorded video and took photos, but the red cloud merely glimmered before it grew dark and the jellyfish lights turned on.

For one last hurrah, we sat outside in the warm night by the bar to have one more fabulous cocktail each. Rather than going for the classics we know and love – which we knew were made to perfection here – we tried something new. Samantha has a tip here, which she learnt from her cocktail; avoid any cocktail that has watermelon liqueur, unless you want a drink that tastes sweet and sticky like some bad alcopop from the 90s. Suffice to say, Sam wasn’t a fan of her choice. Meanwhile I had the “Happy Afternoon”, a touch of absinthe, sparkling white wine and passion fruit, served in a champagne flute – this was magical and did indeed make me happy.

Jellyfish lights and sunset
Jellyfish lights and sunset

Our adventure ends

And now our adventure, perhaps we can’t call this one an adventure, maybe more an extravagance, was coming to an end and it was time to go home.

We finished packing at 6am, had an early breakfast feast one last time then jumped into our minibus transfer back to Pula. Thankfully Conway slept for much of the return trip, and was awake to enjoy the ferry transfer.

We flew from Pula back to Gatwick and EasyJet were good to us again, they moved our seats and put us in a row to ourselves, giving us space for all the baby things. Conway was overexcited for the entire flight, chatting loudly to himself and anyone who might listen, “da da da da, na na na, aaaah, ah, ah, ah”, he said, over and over, with the odd high-pitched squeal of delight in between, bouncing on our legs, reaching to grab and crumple the paper ads stuck to the back of chairs.

We arrived home to a glorious English summer unlike any we’ve seen for years. The blue skies persisted, and we eked our summer holiday vibes into the following days. England would go on to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, where they would lose out to Croatia. Clear blue skies and temperatures in the high 20s carried on, unabashed, from June through to August.