Oh, what a pleasure!

If I could do anything useful (something universally applicable of which can be lived solidly), tomorrow I would move to the sea. It is one of my favorites, and therefore most commonly used sentences. Although I no doubt utter it almost daily, the repetition nevertheless becomes more frequent as winter recedes, and the vision of the blue seas promises so many longing days of rest and enjoyment. Predictably, I admit, but my God – it’s a conditioned reflex of us continentals, almost as reliable as drooling of those Pavlov’s dogs. Because the rules are simple – to the sea we go when school is over, the sea means summer and peace of mind. I do not know what parents from the Adriatic use for such purposes. But for us who see salty water in a pasta pot more regularly, going to the sea is the perfect tool for blackmailing young children after Santa has finished its work.

If we neglect this reward component (the effect of which is consumed over time), the question remains why some of us, whose ancestors may have gotten their feet in the Pannonian Sea, obsessively crave for the Adriatic 365 days a year. For example, I could refer to much more specific genetics than that of Balasevic. Unfortunately, I do not have any Dalmatian on any accessible branch of the family tree, which (unfortunately) implies that no one left me at least a very modest property on the coast. But that is why my great-grandfather, a purebred Hungarian, in his early days, from Budapest, tried to escape to Rijeka and board an overseas ship. To his misfortune, the woman who gave birth to him was powerful, capable, and not at all willing to allow such an adventure. So the intention failed miserably, adding only a deeper line of melancholy to his already delicate nature.

Love for the sea then skipped one generation, but already my parents were ready to set aside the last coin so that at least once a year, with the wholehearted help of unions, recourse, K15 and other means of social sensitivity, we visited some nice places for swimming, sunbathing and the mandatory extensive tourist sightseeing followed by maniacal photography. When I mastered all those bird and bee stories and considering the date of my birth, it became clear to me that some sea stone from the Zadar area was the godfather of that happy event. Well, since I gave up my science career myself, maybe once someone else gets a Ph.D. on the thesis that – the embryo remembers too.

Even when I had baby teeth, it was clear that I was quite social – I would hang on the fence every day while older children would come back from school and invite them to come to play with me. That line of sociability, which, with the addition of a tinge of subtlety, I have maintained to this day, still has never implied that I was a wicked party girl. This especially comes to expression in the summer, so I am sure that even in my younger days, I would not look for the perfect time in Zrce or Ibiza. I completely satisfy the need for going out and socializing during the year, and for my vacation, I choose islands and empty beaches. As my mom once beautifully said – a place where you can hear silence. One might even conclude that with temperatures above thirty in Dr. Jekyll’s manner, I’m turning into a completely asocial alter ego that shuts down the cell phone and the Internet, and for days I don’t need to say a word, but I can’t help it (and, let’s be honest, I don’t want to). I love spending my precious vacation time united with nature – getting up and lying down with the sun, swimming in the morning calm, listening to crickets, eating fish just taken out of the sea, and ignoring the news of daily events. The return to reality regularly follows before I wish.

Where there is a will, there is a way – a popular saying in whose authenticity is often doubted, guided by our own experience of stumbling on the way towards the realization of desires. However, this summer, I somehow managed to achieve a holiday of my own, just as described, even in one of the most visited tourist centers – Dubrovnik. Thanks to the kindness of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels, after a very pleasant duty at the Dubrovnik Film Meeting, I extended my stay in the town at the foot of Mount Srđ in the Palace, one of the pearls of this top-class hotel group. Located in Lapad Bay, the Palace is far enough from the hustle and bustle in which, if you wish, you can find yourself in just a few minutes thanks to a shuttle bus that will take you to Stradun. What’s next – it’s not easy to choose. Walking around the walls is a must if you’ve never been to Dubrovnik – but try not to do it at noon because your brain will boil. As of this year, you can once again experience the cable car ride to Srđ, and at least one concert or performance of the Summer Games is an unavoidable experience. Although you will certainly not go wrong with top restaurants, don’t miss out on two great gastronomic delights tailored to the people’s pocket: simply made impeccably fresh seafood on Peškarija and the already legendary Prosciutto ham and cheese sandwich at the Škola (School). When you spend another hour on the rocks and have a drink in Talir and Troubadour, you will understand why world stars love Dubrovnik. Being a Beyonce for a day – oh, what a Pleasure!

TEXT – Barbara Kolar