Thursday, August 9, 2007

Croatian Dreaming

A few months ago, you may recall that I posted about my good friends who have been delaying their wedding for months -- well, in fact, years. He is an American living in Zagreb and she is a lovely woman born and raised there. They've been together many years but a series of events, including the formation of their own business, has delayed the wedding time and time again. They attended our wedding in Italy a few years back and I've been friends with them both since the days when I lived in Croatia. There have been rumors of weddings taking place before but this time they have finally decided on a location, the date, the food menu and even "hired" her assistant to help with the planning. So, they will be married on September 22nd in a beautiful town near Pula and I'm already longing to go. Problem is that the flights are outrageously expensive now.

But I am already dreaming of where we will stay -- Villa Astra along the coast in Lovran. It's a lovely villa that I visited in May. My husband, daughter and I sat outside near the pool, with a warm ocean breeze and got to know the owner over a glass of wine. He struggled mightily with the bureaucracy and Communists to buy the 7-room facility, which is now amazingly situated in a flowering garden with views of the Adriatic. It was once the summer home to Austrian-Hapsburg royalty and you can almost hear the sounds of violins and piano melodies when you walk through its high-ceilinged salons.

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