Downstairs – a restoration photo story

March 30, 2013
walls gone, so plenty of open space in Kovaci, Istria

Long, long neglected, the downstairs of our Istrian house originally had three rooms: entrance, kitchen and living room. Our plan was to turn it into an open plan kitchen-diner with a loo under the stairs and a snug library tucked behind. This major undertaking involved gutting the whole floor, stripping it back to the bare...
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The barn – a restoration photo story

March 29, 2013
Front of barn before work began in Kovaci, Istria

A picture’s worth a thousand words and here’s the barn’s restoration tale. Even though it had four strong, straight walls and an old, but intact roof, it was no small undertaking transforming it from a storage dump into a cosy holiday home.  Also see: The restoration tale continues with the house – Downstairs and Upstairs, and Outside Compare...
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Getting your property classification

February 14, 2013
The all important sign - Proof of permission to rent in Istria, Croatia

In Croatia, every rental property for tourists must be inspected and registered before it can be legally let. Like a hotel, it receives a classification depending on its level of facilities, and the certification plaque must be displayed. This process is normally only done once, at the start of the property’s rental life –...
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And that was that!

February 12, 2013
Kovaci property garden, ready and waiting inspection in Istria

At last we are ready. The formidable Tourist Classification lady visits, as we take the plunge and apply for our tourist rental licence. Websites are created and, with Kovaci close to being declared ‘ready’, our restoration project draws to a close. It’s been a long, hard slog. Was it all worth it and …...
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The final push

January 27, 2013
Master bedroom in Kovaci, Istria, all ready

After the watering ban set-back, it’s a week before I can face Kovaci again. But I can’t put things off for ever. So with August going into its second week, I resume the battle. The air-co’s fixed … sort of … and Miro lends a helping hand; I play with furniture and go shopping...
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Deserted Dvigrad

January 27, 2013
The streets of Dvigrad, Istria

Lying above the Draga valley, at the head of the Lim Fjord, is Dvigrad. An important settlement since pre-Roman times, it was abandoned in the 17th century and today is an atmospheric ruin – a wonderful place to while away a few hours and a great setting for a picnic. Although easily accessible, it’s...
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Istria is beautiful in May

January 27, 2013

May is the perfect time for a sight-seeing holiday in Istria. Everything’s green, the tourists are few and the weather’s usually warm but not too hot. Possibly my favourite time of the year, it’s a time few people visit – fools! If you’re not tied to school holidays, it’s definitely worth thinking about, as...
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My Istrian garden awakens

January 26, 2013
Pink peony flower in early April

Istria lies on the edge of the Mediterranean climate belt. We get lovely warm summers, but we also get proper winters with sub-zero temperatures. Being relatively far south, though, our winters are short – often only December to February, and the temperatures rarely drop far below zero. But it’s still a true winter with...
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A cut above the rest – my hair-cutting solution

January 26, 2013
Scissor nightmare - long hair being hacked short

Expat life in Istria throws up many challenges. For me, one of the biggest has been finding a reliable hairdresser. Yes, I know it sounds crazy and trivial but, with my very limited Croatian, it’s something I’ve put off time and again. After seven years, this small matter had grown into something of an...
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Dvigrad

January 5, 2013

Tinjan

January 5, 2013

Official requirements for rental properties

January 1, 2013

The list of requirements for a holiday property comes in an official government document. It’s a long and all in Croatian, but don’t panic – I’ve just translated it for you into English and added some thoughts. Because of its size (17 pages) it’s attached as a downloadable PDF, simply click on the link...
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Rental certification plaque

January 1, 2013

All Croatian rental properties should have an official rental plaque, which confirms their property has been officially inspected and given a tourist classification. So how do you get one? First you need to get your property inspected. Then, when you have been assigned your tourist classification, you will receive official confirmation with a ‘Rjesenje’....
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Battling with air, water … and furniture

November 22, 2012
Just a few of the rubbish boxes from Kovaci, Istria

As July finishes and August begins, the weather stays unusually hot and dry. The missing bedroom furniture arrives – with a twist (again!) – and I battle on with furniture assembly and dodgy air-co. But the heat’s taking its toll and then, when the water’s turned off …   Furniture: well, sort of …...
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Pool perfect … bedroom disaster!

September 28, 2012
P prepares to go for a first dip in the pool at Kovaci, Istria

With P’s parents safely dispatched back to the UK, I plan to make fast progress at Kovaci, but it is not to be. Instead, I’m in for delays, frustrations and upsets as I battle on in soaring temperatures. Bedroom furniture starts to arrive, along with a host of problems … but at least the...
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