I CAPTURE THE CASTLE
PREGADA, Croatia I suffer a princessy moment, upon seeing the castle.
I, um, well, wanted a better castle. One with turrets and stuff, like my madcap ex tried to buy except I was the only potential investor au fait with Excel... and had other goals besides "den mother to an artists' colony".
Dvorec Bezanec despite resembling an overgrown prairie schoolhouse was the 17th-century seat of counts. As the website promises, the property remains "the first equipped hotel-castle in Croatia , an active micro example of possible valorization and commercialization of the rest of the 54 onetime-aristocratic homes in Hrvatsko Zagorje."
Which is a posh-speak for: "We sold out first. Welcome, capitalist dollars!"
Our second-rate castle does have nettle soup and a surly pet alpaca, however. Plus some rumors of ghosts and loads of naive art, including a mystic Middle-Earth bath-orgy scene in the conference room.
Later we discover we were the sole guests that evening. What a wasted opportunity! At long last, a Castleman had a castle to call her own ... and edited an AARP Magazine submission, rather than racing around the battlements nude like Cassandra Mortmain in the classic children's novel.
Or, better yet, being locked inside the tower like the heroine's father, who overcomes decades of writer's block in the crumbling ruin.
If only this were a slicker castle, I'm sure champagne, a hamper and inspiration could be arranged...