List Item: Visit all EU countries
Weird fact time: from a very young age I have always had a soft spot for Croatia. This meant always wanting to vote for them during Eurovision (something I grew out of when my music taste developed more… but their 1998 song was pretty good), cheering them on during every international football match and having Goran Ivanišević as my favourite tennis player. To my knowledge I have no ancestry in this area (since Slovenia and Serbia also have also have this support) and I am guessing that it was due to the news coverage of the Croatian War of Independence when I was really young that shaped this affinity.
So in 2001 I finally visited the promised land of Croatia with a week-long stay in Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian Coast. This marked the first holiday where it was just my mum and me… which also meant it was the first holiday where she alone was in charge of directions. Aside from Dubrovnik we also visited the nearby island of Korčula which was beautiful but typified why I have not since gone somewhere as part of a hotel day-trip; boring guide and no time to actually explore (which is what I love to do).
Aside from Korčula and a visit to Lokrum we spent most of our time in the old town of Dubrovnik. Since we got to know the area really well it has been really odd watching Game of Thrones since many locations for the King’s Landing and Daenerys storylines are shot there. The downside being that during important scenes I am very much aware that I have been there.
Since Croatia had yet to join the EU when we visited (and it had only really just recovered from the war) everything there was very cheap. This explains why we were able to stay in the five star Hotel Excelsior which now asks for hundreds of pounds a night.
The above photo of me is hideous, but it illustrates a time when I checked this particular item off of my bucket list. It was taken directly after my mum dared me to eat most of a jug of pepper sauce. I think a slice of bread was involved but, anyway, I think the picture speaks for itself.