Friday evening saw the Golden Pen Award 2016 ceremony in Split, Croatia. The Croatian Tourist Board had nominated and invited journalists and bloggers from around 15 countries, and in the evening they all gathered in the basement vaults of Diocletian's Palace in a festive mood.
Award ceremony in the palace's basement vault
Diocletian's Palace was built by Roman Emperor Doicletian in the 200s, and encloses the old parts of Split.
The basement vaults are more or less intact, and in these grandiose premises, all the journalists and bloggers gathered in their formal attire, along with representatives of the Croatian Tourist Board, Croatian TV crews and the musicians and opera singers who provided the entertainment. After some bubbly and snacks, it was time for the ceremony itself.
Each nominated journalist/blogger was presented with a description of their work on Croatia and received a certificate on stage. In our case, they talked about how we travelled two months in Croatia in 2015, from south to north, and all the places we visited and blogged about.
At the end, one in each category was announced as the winner: a British newspaper journalist, a German TV crew and a Polish blogging couple. All had done impressive work, often for major newspapers or TV companies, and it was great to be part of this!
Gala dinner at Re di Mare restaurant
Once the awards ceremony was over, it was time for the gala dinner at the Re di mare restaurant, which was beautifully situated by a marina. The setting was festive and there was music playing all evening. We were served five different dishes and it all felt very luxurious. The timing of the dinner was un-Swedish to say the least (I don't think dessert came in until around 1am), but the participants took the opportunity to dance between courses, so the atmosphere was great!
All we can say is that it was great to be a part of this, and it's great that the Croatian Tourist Board is showing us appreciation for our blogging about Croatia during our European trip!