Last couple of years, swing festivals became our excuse for taking short vacations.
It’s a perfect runaway from day-to-day duties, even if it’s just one weekend, so we try to visit as many as we can.
This was our first visit to Umag Swing Break Festival, organized by Slovenian swing dance society called Vintage Swing in a coastal town of Umag, Croatia. Also, it was a great opportunity to finally try to sell some of the neck ties I’ve been hoarding for years, and get a little promo for our project. Of course that every project has its own project, so we also made a folding tie rack. And yes, there will be a making of post, too.
Anyway, let’s get back to the trip. Swing Break lasted for three days – two days of workshops and four parties. We decided to start our trip around noon on Friday to catch some sun and R&R before the evening party. As it usually goes with plans, our traveling companions Lidija and Ema have been delayed, so when we finally set off, the angry clouds already covered the sun and a light rain started to fall. On the other hand, we had a chance to test an excellent new tires, which are waiting to be installed on Capri. So it was a nice insurance during the trip, together with a fact that fully loaded Colt doesn’t go above 130km/h on a highway.
No hope for us.
What is a road trip if you don’t make a wrong turn and almost end up in a wrong country? Because GPS is for pussies, we used out of date paper maps and got lost like real men, relying on our inner compasess and road signs that have marked directions of all the cities except the one that we’re going to. With that said, there was a slight error in navigation and we ended making a 90 degree turn somewhere on the highway and ended at Slovenian state border, at a place conveniently called Rupa (Hole).
At that point, we kinda realized that we either need to try our luck and navigate through foreign country back to Croatia, or get back to the point where we took the wrong turn. The decision was relatively simple because if we got lost in our country, who knows where could we end in foreign, so we came back the way we came and of course, paid toll two times while turning back. Couple of rainy-windy hours and we arrived at our destination – but got lost again while searching for the bungalows at Katoro Resort. 40 minutes later, we finally arrived, unpacked our stuff and went to the evening party at some little hotel near by.
And yes, girls were debating what lipstick goes with a dress they have chosen and why is it better than the other one… I usually have a system for packing for this kind of events – day before I choose exactly what I’ll wear each day, so there’s no place for any other combination. That way I save a lot of time which can then be used for bragging about my packing superiority.
Fast forward to the evening party. The vintage ambient of the old resort hotel combined with corny decoration was emitting some strange high school party vibe that you usually see in those old movies, so it was kind of cool. As it usually happens with festivals, first party always seems better then the main one, because everybody’s got more energy and they’re eager to start dancing.
There were two dance floors with the same music, but different lightning, which makes perfect sense to me – some people like it brighter, some like it darker and more intimate. I realized that at some point I started evaluating dance floors and this was no exception. There were marble tiles on the floor and just enough slippery for me, the only really small nuisance were so called „hot spots“. It was raining, so eventually you would step onto some moist parts that are either super slippery or not slippery at all, so they messed with my groove 😀 I can’t remember when the party ended, but we decided to call it a day about 4 am, after being totally exhausted after six hour dance marathon.
We took only party passes, so Saturday was dedicated to relaxing walk through the city of Umag and doing nothing in general. While sun gazing and drinking coffee at the beach we were glad that we skipped classes this time and decided to be just party animals for the weekend.
This is how it looks on a bright side.
And his is how it looks when you come to the dark side.
One doesn’t simply take a photo of a squirrel, you need to put it in a gold ratio and then take a shot.
Just Goga’s thing…
Everybody was a little bit tired because they had classes during the day, but that didn’t stop them to dance the night away once again. The super long teachers presentation was very memorable, and who really impressed us were Mario and Andrea – not because they did some wild stuff hundred miles an hour, but they managed to show everybody how precision, subtle moves and styling can make something really impressive and pleasing to watch. Other teachers were great, too, they were very approachable and ready to dance with everyone.
I feel best while I dance to super slow music, like blues or super fast insanity swing (my TM) but since Goga preferes something in between, I’ve learned to adapt. During the evening I got the impression that the music was mostly something in between, so they’re weren’t playing my tunes, but you know what – we were there almost till the end, until dawn
Somehow I woke up at 10 and went to the reception with the idea that they could maybe extend our stay in the bungalow. That turned out not so good, so I ran back and started packing with my little crew. We made breakfast and lunch for later and checked out on time.
We were zombies operating only on our basic instincts. After the packing rush, waiting for our travel companions to be finished with another set of classes, we just copy/pasted the activities from the day before. Sun gazing, coffee and hanging with other zombies.
And yes, we also managed to disassemble the corny wall decoration just to see will the letters still hold…
Thanks everybody in the organization for making this festival so much fun, especially the main organizer Aleš Kolar who kindly let us to put there our tie rank and make our very first sales :), but also Tadej Mulej (Piqant) for this great photos. You can see all of them here.
See you next year!