If you’re like me, then I’m sure you’ll understand how the past holidays have been preoccupying our lives. The necessary peace needed to sort out and decide where to go in 2015 wasn’t there. Between house guests, four grandchildren friends and family….well you know how it is… And if not, then maybe you have had the quiet to organize and compare various travel destinations. If so — then you’re a big step ahead of me. 🙂
But as soon as New Year’s Eve becomes history − something happens. A warm peaceful veil slowly drifts upon our home and covers our lives with a lazy, hazy, snuggly feeling. That’s when Hubby and I put our feet up, sip a glass of wine and finally enjoy our season’s decorations. In no way are we ready to take down the tree, holly and lights − at least not in the next few weeks. I do believe chillin’ after the holidays is the best part of the holidays.
Still, it doesn’t take all that long for the quiet and relaxing days to seem a little empty, maybe even mundane. The next question is unavoidable. Where will we be heading to this year?
The European palette offers more flavors than the biggest Italian ice-cream parlor ever could. Shall we go after those vanilla covered beaches or head for the crunchy mountain tops? … Sorry… I think I’m hungry… I’m okay… I just need to lose those Christmas cookie pounds. I sure don’t want to give Herbert any reason to yell; “Who turned the lights off!” every time I bend over in our caravan.
We have been considering taking a trip to Croatia this spring, for two simple reasons. The climate is about two months further along than the typical rainy, sometimes slushy and cold spring in Germany, and secondly because we’ve been to Croatia before and have only seen a fraction of the beautiful sights the country has to offer.
As far as the spring weather goes, the days are sunny and warm. But just about every night, we experienced horrendous hurricanes. One night it was extremely hefty. Lightening cracked over our camp site, and the pounding rain reminded me of huge thundering waterfalls.
The beautiful camp site, in Vrsar, is built on terraces. Each caravan or RV parks on its own platform, which resemble stairs going up the hill-side.
Two platforms above our camping spot, stood a small igloo tent. That wasn’t unusual; a lot of students pitch their igloo tents at camping sites. But I was surprised to see a really old couple crawl in and out of their tent opening. I swear they were in their late 80’s, maybe even early 90’s. Every day they got their little folding chairs out, and sat in front of their tent, sipping drinks, and looking completely at peace. So far so good − but one particular night, hurricane winds and rain hit us so hard, − it sounded like hundreds of horses’ hoofs were galloping nonstop over the roof of our caravan.
As usual, dear Herbert was in a deep comatose-like sleep, while I paced Moby Dick, our caravan, wondering if the roof would hold out. Every once in a while I looked out of our tiny kitchen window, up to the round igloo tent, praying it wouldn’t swim away with the old folks inside, slipping and sliding in the soggy mud, down the platform stairs.
But the tent, illuminated under the yellow street light, stood strong and sturdy in the wind, not showing the slightest billow or wave in its gleaming canvas.
Eventually towards the early morning hours the rain slowly subsided. Instead of climbing back into my bed to get some much-needed sleep, I kept looking over to the old couple’s tent, hoping they made it through the night without any serious mishaps.
The sun came out bright and hot the next morning. The sky was blue and a warm breeze, from the Mediterranean, swept over our camp site. With my towel and bath bag tucked under my arm, I proceeded up the hill to the rest rooms. Sincerely concerned and laden heavily with guilt about not coming to the old people’s rescue, I paused in front of their tent. Suddenly a white claw like hand pushed the flap back, and the old man’s head appeared through the opening.
“Good morning!” I called, maybe a little too loudly.
The old man looked up and gave me a toothless grin.
“That sure was the biggest hurricane I’ve ever experienced.” I said, reaching out to help the old man to his feet.
“The hurricane, the hurricane last night sure was a big one!”
The old man drew his white bushy eyebrows together and studied me. I suppose I was a sorry sight to see: disheveled hair and red swollen eyes underlined by dark purple rings, sufficed to give me a wild crazy look. And I guess my rant about horses’ hoofs and thundering waterfalls didn’t help much either. He then eyed the blue sky and the paths that were meanwhile dry from the sun. “There wasn’t any hurricane here. “ He croaked and shook his head, which resembled that of a Bald Eagle. His expression suddenly softened and he gave my hand a gentle pat. “It’s all right dear.”
With a red face, not quite sure why I turned red, I turned on my heel and continued up the path to the rest rooms.…. There are, I thought, some advantages to getting old and being half deaf after all.
I scolded; you need to get a life! But I didn’t take that self-criticism very well; thus I freaking grounded myself on that sunny day in Croatia, which I spent napping between reading and eating on our fold out lounge chair. Not such a bad day after all.
A little preview of Croatia – Part 2
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