Every big picture is made up of the smaller details, right? Well, Croatia was definitely one hell of a patchwork of small, fairly insignificant events, random acts of un/kindness by both friends and strangers, unforeseen inconveniences and absolutely great times :). If it sounds vaguely manic-depressive in spirit – it’s because it pretty much was! Pictures will be up in the gallery very soon, I swear!
It is year 2012 and the end is nay – that is, the end of the summer. I set off in the direction “airport” to be then transported inside a big, hollow, metal cigar-like thingy with wings in the direction “Croatia”. Specifically – Split. I am there one day before the beginning of the Salsa Beach Splash Festival (read their webpage – it’s an overall great piece of fun literature :D). This would be my fourth trip to the country and my first visit to the city.
Someone has written me on CouchSurfing three days prior to my departure that they would be happy to host me when I arrive to the city – and asking when I will be there and how many people are with me… That I have written that I travel alone and my arrival/departure dates in the original post must have escaped that person’s attention. So did the fact that it could help to actually login back to CouchSurfing to check for an answer any time since writing me a warm potential welcome note…
Day 1, July 23, Split: (un)welcome to Croatia
Airport… Arrivals… Lengthy hang-out at the passport control finally over, I grab my suitcase from the belt, withdraw some Kunas and exit into the midday heat. The Croatia Airlines shuttle driver is trying hard to persuade me into taking a ride, but I ask him where the local bus stop is. He insists the shuttle is better – it may well be all that and 10 minutes faster, but it is also 2,5 times pricier, I say. He gets irritated and waives me off in the general direction of “further away from the airport” with the meta-specific directions of “down” at my yet another attempt to ask where the local bus stop is.
The only thing visibly “down” from the city shuttle stops is a parking lot at the right hand side and a round-about with some minor roads and no sidewalks… I encounter two Czech girls who are equally confused about the location of the stop. One of them is wearing a pendant that I can’t quite see under her scarf but really want to because it looks like a very intricate snake or lizard of a sorts – I like snakes :).
I recall that the airport roof is visible from the bus stop but that it’s not right next to it, so we walk further down to the main road and then see “it”. The girls are going the opposite direction so we say our goodbyes and I wait around a bit till bus 30 shows up. I’m in no hurry and enjoy the journey with many stops and one of the passengers on the front seat happily chatting with the driver for most of the way.
I swap to bus 9 at the local bus terminal to arrive at the Marina port. It takes forever because we are stuck in traffic but in reality it is just a few minutes away. Well, here I am…
I spot a pizza shop and buy a slice, walk a bit up and down then come back to try and check whether my presumed host replied to me. The pizza shop has a computer with internet access that is granted once you drop coins into the machine under it. I have exactly 3 Kuna in coins – just enough internet time to check the message and reply if needed. I drop 2 Kuna in, the computer unlocks and… isn’t working. The keyboard isn’t reacting to anything. I ask for some help and one of the girls behind the counter eventually comes, tries a load of times to press any buttons, none of which help, and eventually restarts the computer. It’s an old machine, you can imagine how long that takes.
Once rebooted, the computer all of a sudden recognizes it has a keyboard and what is the proper manner in which to react to the key strokes. I throw in my last Kuna because I know that the time was ticking while the girl was trying to press the buttons, log in to my CS account, see that the “happy to host you when you get to Croatia” person still hasn’t even logged back in since writing me, and begin to type a message to post in the group for an emergency couch request – just in case. What I don’t expect, however, is for the computer to log me off (without a warning, mind you, as most such systems would normally have – like “you have 1 minute left, would you like to extend your session?” type) mid-way to pressing the “submit” button on the post…
The girl who restarted the computer has vanished. An older woman has appeared and the girl who initially served me the pizza is still there. I say “excuse me, why did this stop working?”, as I presumed the time ticker would be switched OFF while the computer was, well, off (rebooting). I am ignored. I get a bit closer to them and ask them whether they know why the time has run out so quickly. They say I should put in more coins. I tell them I don’t have any coins but I wonder if there is something they can do to unlock the stupid thing for like 30 seconds so I can simply finish my post and hit “submit”. I am being ignored again. I ask a few times what should I do and would I remain logged in to my account (which is unsafe in principle, although CS made a smart move in forcing and auto-logout of all idle sessions of several minutes) and how can I finish my message. I am treated with less attention than the spider web in the far upper corner.
Commandment number 1: thy shall not mess with me when I am tired and hungry.
I raise my voice. After all, a fucking simple “oh, we’re sorry, it seems the timer runs independent of whether the computer is on or off – it’s not the system we actually run… Would you like to exchange some bills for the coins so you can finish?” is all I really expect from the get-go, but this? This is shitty. The older woman finally notices that I exist and starts trying to tell me off, to go away and stop bothering them. Younger one all the while only managed a mumble and a mild shoulder raise. Fine then, I think, you want a scene – you get a scene. I significantly increase the pitch and make sure people walking by outside also hear me inquiring why the timer keeps running when the computer is OFF. The woman starts to threaten me with police. Tough luck – I start demanding her to call the police myself. I am being ignored again, despite the loud voice. I wish I had a local police number – just to give them shit for being assholes. I try to ring the Vodafone infoline to get the number but they’ve changed it since I bought my sim card and it no longer is the info number.
I go outside, walk up to two bus drivers standing there chatting, apologize and ask them where I can find the police (I mean hey – it was HER idea, right?). The younger guy asks me what’s wrong. I said they run an internet service in the pizza shop where you pay for something you don’t necessarily receive anything from. As in, you throw coins in, computer isn’t working, then the timer keeps running while it’s switched off rebooting. He walks into the pizza shop with me and asks them in Croatian why is it such a silly system, etc.
Note: I understand perfectly well it’s an external service to the pizza shop, some other company is in charge of the computer, they probably know less about it than I do and it’s none of their responsibility and business to bother. BUT. But it IS a paid service offered on THEIR premises and the very fucking least I as a customer can expect is an apology for the damned thing not working and eating my coins. Although a good business owner would simply walk up and throw in an extra 1 or 2 Kuna from the tips jar into the stupid machine. Had they done it, I would have ordered a coffee there too :).
But no. So here I am with the bus driver, who is reminiscing calmly with them in Croatian that it is, indeed, a rather silly system with this timer thing running on a computer while it’s off… I think the women are irritated by me enough by that point, so the younger one asks me how much I put in. I said I had 3 Kunas but the ticker wasted 1 Kuna worth of timer on reboot – not counting the first few minutes of playing with non-responsive keyboard that I am willing to forget about (mind you, this is a mindblowing sum of 1/7,4th of a Euro… Ahem… Aka in this shop as “5 minutes of online time”. Oh and yes I’d be happy to actually at least try to post the message on the board, but that has become a tangential objective by now). She finally shoves a 5 Kuna coin into my hand and, as I start turning back towards the evil machine, tells me to go to a different internet shop down the street.
I follow the advice. It’s a more pricy joint but there is no drama. I log in, post the board message (skipping ahead: to which no one ever replies 😉 ), and then go ahead book the cheapest available hostel that I find good reviews about and which is just a few minutes away from the pier and dead in the old city center (Hostel Sunseekers, Poljana Stare gimnazije 1 21000, Split Croatia, +385 91 291 2127), drag myself there, shower, change and walk around the city a bit. At the Marjan hill I decide that going all the way up and around is just too much work and descend.
I meet a few cool people at the hostel to compensate for the initial unfriendly ones. The hostel receptionist even waited a few minutes past his time to leave till I ran downstairs to grab some food in the middle of the night because something was going on with the downstairs lock and I couldn’t open it. Day 1 fades into the night…
Day 2, July 24, Split to Sibenik/Solaris: let it rain
I pack – my own stuff and the three books I picked up from the hostel book bank – and chill out in the common area of the hostel until the time that I need to set off in the direction of Split airport. This time I get bus 37 and the airconditioner is so strong that even though I take out my sweater, I still freeze.
The bus driver is well aware that I need to get to the airport. There aren’t that many people on the bus and I buy the ticket directly from him. However, when the bus arrives at the stop, it takes me a bit of time to wheel my suitcase out – since I have to avoid running it over the other people’s feet. By the time I am at the door, the driver looks in the INNER mirror directly at me, closes the fucking door and drives off. I am so stunned for that crucial second that it doesn’t even occur to me to shout at him to open the door and let me out…
The next bus stop is about 1km off in direction of Sibenik… I get off there thinking I might walk back to the airport, but it starts to rain – slightly at first, then turning into a serious downpour… My laptop is in my bag and getting it soaked isn’t on the top of my to do list, so I stand on the bus stop and wait. I text my friends to let them know that if I am not at the airport in time, they can pick me up there at the corner. About 15 or 20 minutes later I see some other bus eventually show up and flag-stop it. Even though I already have a ticket that is still valid, they try to make me pay full fare for going one stop to the airport because it is a “private bus”. I decide that I can put those 2,5 Euros for better use, tell them I am missing my flight and I have spent all my local money already. They are disappointed but let me off and I make it to the airport well ahead of time. The same bus with the driver who didn’t let me out pulls up to the stop just a few seconds later… Had I known its terminal in Trogir was so close by, I would simply ride it there and back again and avoid the rain and the hustle… Oh well…
The flight is slightly delayed and then it takes the usual forever at the passport control, but finally everyone arrives and we set off towards Sibenik.
Unpacking, dinner, shower, a bit of chilling with “Before I go to Sleep” (pretty great in its own way with a few twists you just can’t see coming, especially towards the end), and here comes the very first party of the week. I forgot to pick up my pass t the registration desk, but somehow get in :). Already there are quite a few people who made it here, but I have been out of the salsa scene for such a long time (I am forever a slave to Zouk now 🙂 ) that I’m finding it hard to be feeling the groove. The music also seems to me rather uninspiring overall and a bit too Cuban for an event where everyone dances linea… I’m wondering what the rest of the week will bring…
I run into one of my friends at the party. They are staying somewhere in Bradarice and also one extra day after the festival. At this point I am still unsure about where I will be staying on the 31st of August myself, as I am trying to make sure it will be near the airport. I say that out loud and contemplate that I can either leave my things somewhere for the night and finish some stuff up online or see if I can find a place, when I am interrupted by “we are full!”…
First of all, am I fucking ASKING for anything? Not as far as I am aware! I am just giving a general update to someone who is supposedly a friend of mine on the current state of affairs – as in, information sharing. So fuck you right back, dear. Second of all, I wouldn’t want to stay near Sibenik anyway because it is way too far from the airport – my plan is to see if I can find a place in Split again or somewhere else nearby. Your fully booked premises in Bradarice don’t qualify for “near the airport”, don’t fucking worry. Lastly, I know you’re someone without any innate empathy and social skills, but for the future: there are WAYS you can convey the same message that would NOT make you sound like an absolute fucking asshole. Maybe next time you can try saying something like “Oh, I’m sure there will be something you can figure out. I’d offer you to join us for the night but the apartment is already full, unfortunately.”
Sometimes I am amazed at how insensitive and mean and inconsiderate people may be – and we’re not talking strangers here… Maybe I am the weird one? In my background and upbringing, helping people out or at least treating them decently and, if needed, refusing them in ways that would not make them feel like they are a piece of shit to you is the norm, not the other way around…
Day 3, July 25, Solaris: Zouk made me lose my jagger?
Day 1 at the beach – yesss!!! Finally some heat and proper sunshine! Kicking the day off with some shisha on the beach may not be everyone’s idea of a good morning, but it sure works for me :). So here I am, fulfilling the daytime agenda of this trip: grilling myself on the local pebbles nearby the HotSpot. Must say that the music there is by far superior to party #1. I finish the book at the beach…
Party number 2 (to which I get still without the pass, which I, once again, forget to pick up during the festival desk opening hours) makes me start thinking that I might have lost my salsa jagger beyond redemption since I got hypnotized by Zouk about 3 years ago – most of the music just doesn’t get me any more! Oh-oh, did I arrive to Croatia only to discover I can no longer find the joy in what used to be so much fun just a few years ago? To think of it – I was frequenting Salsa congresses more often than fast food joints (well, maybe not more often – it’s hard to beat the number of my visits to my favorite KFC 🙂 ) only a short while ago, and now I can’t get in the groove? Then the morning slowly approaches and some better tunes come up and manage to touch a few strings still fine-tuned to salsa in my heart and I realize that not everything is yet hopelessly lost… But it is all over before this hint of a feeling reaches any level of certainty and it’s time to go sleep…
Day 4, July 26, Solaris to Razyne: end of convenience
Completely throwing my plans, budget and mood off, a few things go amiss and I have to change my location for the rest of the festival. The only reasonably priced place that is not fully booked that I discover is hostel Vijur, marked as 45 minutes away walking distance from Solaris resort. I call to reserve the room. Shuttle party buses don’t go there. I wonder how I will ever transport my luggage…
I decide to walk there without all the stuff after the beach and the dinner. At one of the intersections that I thought was the one I needed (judging by google directions/map I sort of scrambled by hand in a notebook), after walking back and forth a bit around it, I decide to double check where I am going. One of the apartments for lease features “information” sign on it and signs of human presence. I walk up the stairs and someone suggests me to ring the bell. The owner comes out – a man by the looks of his well into the fifties and well into the local wines. I ask him about a street name but he doesn’t know. His friend comes by and has a smarter phone than mine (well, at this point I think any phone is smarter than the one I have :D). We look at the map and I realize google failed to show me this particular intersection and the one I need is further on.
Miki (the owner) invites me for a glass of Coke (original invitation was for something stronger, but I declined). I say I came for the festival and, well aware how “highly” many people in the region think of Russians, that I am Czech. Turns out several other people stay at his place for the festival. We have a nice chat and I finally set off for the rest of the journey. I have to call a couple of times to make sure I’m going the right way, especially because at one point I need to walk through what seems to be the middle of nothing inhabited, but I finally make it to the hostel, albeit with a nasty blister on my right heel – simply perfect for dancing :).
A Croatian guy is sitting outside with the receptionist – it turns out he is also there for the festival. We arranged to meet downstairs after shower/rest and walk to the party together. It turns out he knows a shortcut, so we arrive there within roughly half an hour. We also agree to get a taxi back and split the cost. He has a local taxi number – several times cheaper than hotel taxi would be for just two people. By this night I finally start having a good time and the music is much better tonight, too, but I am tired and we leave around 3:30am.
Day 5, July 27, Solaris/Sibenik: rock that city
Walking to the resort in midday heat feels like crossing a minor desert. That, and there is much more traffic threatening to run you over during the day as you walk along the road with no sidewalks on it. But I make it. I need to find out a way to avoid walking back and forth during the day as much as possible – it’s just too bloody hot and asphalt-saturated air is hard to breathe… At least I can shower and change at my friend’s room without having to walk back and forth!
After the dinner and the shower I go to ask about buses to Sibenik city center – there should be an open air concert there tonight. They say the bus had just left but it is possible to take a taxi. One other guy from the festival is there, too. He wants to go even though it costs 130 Kuna (around 20$). I’m thinking if it’s a tenner per person I’d just skip the whole event – I need to watch my money because I don’t have much left on the card. Fortunately, a few other people arrive and, since the taxi is a minibus, we are now 7 and can share the cost so that it adds up to roughly the same price as the shuttle that we had missed. Off we go then.
Things are still in the process of being set up when we arrive. I wander off to search for an ATM nearby and see a little bit of the city. Then finally the band comes on and, after a long sound check, plays a song and gets off stage… They come back a bit later on and play a set. Then there are shows, then more of the band and social dancing. It is great fun at the square :).
At the end of the concert I see some more people from Prague. They arrived to Croatia by car. Since there is space, they offer to get back to Solaris together. First, however, we walk off to see if they can find somewhere to buy some beer or something. We run into a local who tells us everything is closed in Sibenik, and it’s a depressive place where you work and don’t get paid, walks with us till he gets to his flat and we part ways. So we start walking to the parking lot, passing the bus station, where we see some sandwich shop open. I want to buy an orange Tonic and take one out of the fridge, but then I see a vending machine in the hallway 5 meters away. I get there – one bottle costs 7 Kuna. It’s 15 at the shop. I ask Marian if he has any coins – he’s got 3 and I have 4, so I drop them into the machine and press the button. Two bottles fall out. I’m not sure why I find it funny but I do :).
We then finally make it to the parking lot and get to the party. It is almost midnight, but people just about begin showing up – seems like many of them have gone to the city. From this night on, however, I am back: the music is great and the dancers are even better. It helped that they played enough cha-cha-cha and had a few equally in-love-with-it crazy men at the party, too – it got my blood pumping every time. I can’t begin to list all of the amazing people I dance with for the rest of the weekend, but it’s an absolute ball! I even had a chance to dance some Zouk in the second room with Jahoda from Prague and someone else from somewhere else :D.
The walk back to the hostel is actually pretty relaxing without all the heat…
Day 6, July 28, Solaris: random acts of whatever
I keep missing the hostel receptionists because I leave after they leave during the day and come back in the middle of the night when no one is there yet, so I decide to leave a note and payment for the room in the office near the computer and pick up change later on when I check out. I stick the note through the opening in the reception window and put the money inside. Hopefully, no one from the outside will think anything of it and the intended recipient – the lovely evening receptionist – will get everything when she arrives. I write her that I will see if I can find accommodation in Trogir for the 31st and if I manage, I’d check out that day and collect the change but if not, I’d stay at the hostel for one more night.
My friend #1 tells me that I can no longer shower in the room. That after I already take my stuff with me to change into after the beach… Well, THAT sure helps… Not… I mean, never mind that I live about 30-40 minutes away… Later on at the HotSpot I see someone else I know from Prague. I ask if I could shower and change there before the party and it seems to be no problem. If I can do that for the rest of the festival, then only walking to Solaris once during the day and back to the hostel in the morning is manageable.
The party is picking up the pace – it seems more people have arrived just for the weekend alone, so there is more action in both the main and the 2nd room. Speaking of the 2nd room – at one point of the night they began playing MJ and other disco music and quite a few teachers went there and began to show off their skills. It was absolutely mad fun and great fitness! 🙂 🙂 :).
Best crazy part of the party begins when I decide to go back and change the shoes… Some great music comes up, then some more and then some more… Next thing you know it is past 6am and the party is officially over, the remaining few insane dancers are laughing their heads off and there is little time left for sleeping :).
I finally set off to walk back and guess who I see in the street picking up fresh bread delivery when I get to the junction that I got confused at the first time? Miki the apartment owner. He again invites me over for a drink and offers to drop me off at the hostel. Since I already spent much of my sleep time on going loco on the dance floor, it is an offer I can hardly refuse. More than that, he insists I call him when I wake up and he’d give me a lift from the hostel to the junction. I think I asked about 10 times if he’s sure it is okay, but given that he earlier told that all he does all day is sit around, talk with friends who pass by, eat, drink and do nothing much else, I can see he may be bored enough to actually welcome a 10 minute car trip…
Back at the hostel I find a place to stay at in Trogir and leave another note letting them know I won’t be staying there on the 31st. Then I shower and pass out.
Day 7, July 29, Solaris: pool party
To which I pretty much do not make it. I manage to forget my towel and my dancing shoes at the hostel today, and while Miki was kind enough to drive me back to pick up the shoes, I still forgot about the towel – great… Oh and he also kept asking me if I will drop by in the evening so that we can spend some time together because he really likes me… Sure, it is in fact my most cherished wild fantasy to come for a rendez-vous with a well-withered man old enough to be my dad instead of going to the festival that I actually paid for and enjoying the company of much more exciting individuals! Of course! Thank you for picking me up, Miki, but please next time leave your excessively pink shades at home where they belong… Sigh… Guess it’s more walking around now :).
I find a patch of grass instead of pebbles nearby the pool bar and get working on my tan there. Nothing against the party, but I want to get dark :). Some time later a Croatian man strikes up a conversation with me. He gets us coffees and says he may also be going to Trogir on Tuesday and can offer to drive me along. It’s good to know, but we’ll see how everything really plays out.
I get to the pool party around 6pm, enjoy a bit of tossing the ball around, some Rueda, a bit of dancing and then go to dinner. We later watch a pretty cool film at my friend’s room, I’ve seen it before but it’s been a while. It’s where a woman (biology teacher) gets kidnapped because her husband accidentally filmed cops killing some people, and manages to dial a random guy’s cellphone from an apparatus left broken in the attic where she is held…
The party, yet again, is great fun. And just as before, I end up staying till the very end, fooling around with the last survivors and getting myself tossed around by some crazy man :). I mean, what better to do at 6am than some lifts and acrobatic tricks, right? 😀
Day 8, July 30, Solaris: the last Salsa survivors
In the morning Indy invites me and Jacky to join for breakfast. I’m not even hungry because I had a sandwich earlier that night, but it’s good to have a cup of tea and a pastry :). Hotel staff probably stopped trying to keep track of Salsa people by then. We then all 3 decide to go into the room and sleep – which is great because I won’t have to walk anywhere – but Indy, positioned in the middle of the bed, keeps turning around and waking me up. At around noon I get so annoyed at constantly waking up that I leave and go to sleep on the grass. Since I don’t have my sunscreen with me, I end up slightly more cooked than I hoped for on one side, but it’s not too bad and in the end of the trip I even it out :).
I simply chill there all day and then, after the dinner, get back to the hostel, shower, change and make it to the very last party of the week. It’s awesome but the floor is long dead by now. Next year they should really make sure it is secured better, and if I do make it there, I WILL this time bring my own supply of baby powder because DAYMN was it sticky the last couple of days, too!!!
And then it’s over… A load of amazing dances and great fun behind me… The sun is up, final pictures are taken and it is time to say the goodbyes… If all goes well, I hope to make it again next year! As for now, it was time to pack up and get ready to go to Trogir…
Day 9, July 31, Razyne to Trogir: best after-party day ever!
The morning receptionists (whom I see for the first time of my stay) ask me when I play to leave the hostel (I already checked out and am waiting for a text from some other people who also were going to Trogir). I tell them I’m waiting to hear from my friends but they are keeping mum. They say they need to leave to the city and will have to lock the building, so I won’t be able to leave afterwards. I decide that maybe the others won’t be going and say I’d then go ahead set off towards the city. The lovely ladies offer to drop me off at the bus station in Sibenik, which is awesome because I won’t have to drag my suitcase and bag around! Thank them both so very much!
I arrive to the station, get a ticket and wait. Some festival survivors are also there, going somewhere else. Next thing I know the people who were planning to go to Trogir show up – turns out they ran out of credit. We all board the bus and enjoy the picturesque ride along the beautiful Croatian coastline to the city of Trogir :).
Once there, we can’t decide where to stay. I booked a hostel, but they want to stay at an apartment. We first take a taxi to a beach area and try to find a place there, but it doesn’t work, so we take a shuttle boat back to the city center (which has some Salsa playing, so of course we dance a bit 🙂 ) and manage to find a place right nearby that ends up in a similar price range as the hostel. We drop the bags, get our swim gear and take another boat to another beach. First stop is at a cafe for an ice coffee, then we finally start walking along the coast, trying to find a spot. It’s all taken, occasionally by nudists, and in the end we get to a little bay that seems to have all the rubbish in the area collected on the shore. Plus it is in the shadow – exactly NOT what we were looking for… But oh well, it’s swim-time anyway, so we pass the rubbish to the clean water and go swimming. Of course, without the swimsuits – that’s the whole idea :).
Later on we dry off and start walking back. We pass an older man getting some ‘special attention’ from a pretty young guy in one of the rocky enclaves… Oh well – whatever makes them happy :).
There is Salsa playing at the first bar on the promenade. Ilker and Anna mark the spot by dancing there a bit, then we move on. The next pit-stop happens to be at the fig trees – we gather pretty much everything we can reach and have a fig feast. I’m sure a load of people are looking at us going “those crazy tourists!”, but we’re just having too much fun to really care. Finally, we end up at a restaurant by the water for an awesome fish and meat dinner – really amazing cooking! Mmmm!!! The sun slowly goes down and we manage to pay just in time to make it to the boat set back for the city.
Once back, we pay for the accommodation and go to walk around Trogir a bit. The city center is tiny, with a few restaurants, cafes, late night bars, shops and ice cream places. We wander around a bit, get lost (boys lose girls :)), then found, then finally get back to the apartment and crash.
Day 10, August 1, Trogir to Split airport to Prague: all good things come to an end
While Naz and I were packing downstairs, our good fairies went out and brought some breakfast material for us all! Naz and Ilker had a flight 30 minutes before mine, so we all went to the airport together. Anna had to go to Zadar airport, but her flight was later that evening… This is it – the end of the holiday, the final “see you later”-s… I notice while standing at check-in that there is no counter number 13… Would you really want to entrust your life to superstitious personnel? :D. Ah, the little things…
It is evening by the time I get back home in Prague. My mind is still in Croatia under the sunshine, while my body feels as if majorly jet-lagged. I rinse it off and put it into bed, right after getting a bus ticket to Zurich for tomorrow – a Zouk congress I had no hopes of attending up until a few hours ago. I absolutely need to thank my friend in Zurich a load for allowing me to stay over because it was SOOOOO much fun, but that, of course, is the subject of a whole other entry :).
Photos from the whole event keep coming up: dig them all up from the FB page here.