21-11-2010

Međimurje is Super Kickback

This is an article from our archives that was previously run on another site in August, 2007.

Never under any circumstances should Međimurje in the far north of Croatia be confused with Međugorje in the far south of Bosnia Herzegovina. One is religious tourist hell, the other is a refuge from all the business of modern life going the wrong direction. Naturally, it’s Međimurje that I find to be bliss.

It’s an area of Croatia that is the same landscape as that of Slovenia to the west. It sits in a nice little wedge right at the borders of Hungary and Slovenia and for some reason, there is always something cool about border area people. The borders they currently enjoy were never really all that static until the 20th century, so they are people that are from previous generations of those who really learned how to go with the flow and be okay with whatever flag was flying on whatever day.

Then there is the land. There are these lumping, rolling hills that are impeccable and perfect with their long farms running along them in varying rows. There is no trash on the road, dead cars on the lawn, or unkempt areas. The people take care of this land and because there have been very few migrants to the area and these are the same people that have been doing it for centuries. Each till in the earth has probably been done a thousand times before.

Lastly, there is naturally, the wine. While they have next to no reds in the area, they do make quite good whites. There is in fact the Horvat-Hudin winery up there. The grandfather of the family had no sons, thus the gradual name change. My relation to this people goes back at least seven or eight generations and is difficult to find because of that, but we visited them when we were there and they are lovely people.

Admittedly, there is little to do in the Međimurje, which is why I like it so much. It’s a great place to unplug, unwind, and just relax. This and some local hot springs are the reason that a good number of spas have started opening up there as well. So, it will be interesting to so how the area progresses over the next few years. Given that Croatia seems hellbent on only putting tourism money in to the coast; I think it will stay quite relaxed for some time to come.