1 August 2017
Waking up to a view like this sets you up for an unforgettable day. A lake so green and beautiful, it takes your breath away. And in the background layer upon layer of Alpine mountains.
It took three cups of coffee to sufficiently motivate me into action. I could have spent the entire day simply sitting there, looking. Again a photograph cannot do it any justice.
Our early morning run was spectacular. All along the emerald river, right on the water’s edge. Fields and meadows and stone cottages along the way only add to the magic. One can run a thousand miles in places like this. Sooooooooooo beautiful!!
We ended our run with a refreshing swim. Some of us couldn’t even take the time to change and just dived in, clothes and all. I did take my shoes and socks off, though. We spent the next two hours in and out of that glorious river. On a stone wall we sat and had our birchers muesli. And a few cups of coffee. It is literally five steps from our front door. Oh the luxury!!
The owner grew up right there in that very house. Whoawhee!! They run the little restaurant and apartments only in summer. In winter they rest. And yes, they make enough money in summer to sustain them. I am green!! And there goes any possibility of ever acquiring it. Jarik and I have already transformed the place in our minds overnight. Oh well… They would be crazy to let it go, anyway.
We finally managed to tear ourselves away and off we went. Goodbye Julian Alps, hello Istria Hinterland! Green, windy roads brought us to a completely different landscape. Drier and hotter. Beautiful, but very different. Mountains are replaced by hills – many of them! – with vineyards everywhere. The little villages are tiny and only a few kilometres apart. Most villages are a mixture of old rock buildings, abandoned and dilapidated, and newer, more modern homes. Tuscan looking. Only very few of them have a shop or a school or a restaurant. I find it fascinating.
It took a long time to find accommodation, but in the end, at 7pm, we find the perfect place. Again. Our arrival is somewhat unexpected, so the owners ask us to give them an hour to prepare the place. We drive back to the lovely restaurant where earlier, after telling us all the accommodation in that village is full, a friendly man referred us to the village where we found our spot. He is happy to see us and find out we have a home for the night. We enjoy a delicious dinner (all except Esto, who has a tummy bug) and head back to our village.
No sooner do we get out of the car, or our host informs us that there is a musical performance in the village we just came from. A once off session with musicians who come from all over the world and then teach one another their traditional music. Their grand finale is a concert in the capital city the following night, where they perform all they’ve learnt. Well, we cannot possibly miss an opportunity like this! Sick child and a great desire to get to bed aside. So we bundle everyone back in the car and off we go.
The festivities take place outside, so we park the car nice and close to us and leave Esto on the backseat to sleep. The artists, as well as the audience consist of all sorts of weird and wonderful people. Very interesting indeed! The leader of the band / choir wears nothing but a t-shirt and tight black boxer shorts. Others are dressed up or over the top with everything from shiny shirts to breeches to puffy pants and waistcoats. But the music is impressive!! These artists know their stuff!! Violins, tubas, accordions, mouth organs, mandolins, basses, flutes, drums, guitars, trumpets, percussion instruments and voices. I can hardly believe what we are experiencing.
Meanwhile, back in the car, Esto is lights out. Only until we’re all squeezed back in there with him. With a violent roar he vomits all over Kali (who handles it extremely well and graciously) and the backseat. We end up creating a bigger spectacle than the musicians. My, oh my!
Finally back home, way after our bed time, the chaos continues for another hour or so. We finally flop into our beds, only to be woken up again. The vomiting has now turned into diarrhoea. I shall end here.
It has been a very long, beautiful, memory packed, surprise filled, crazy day. Our hearts are once more full to the brim. How incredibly blessed are we?!
– Mariza –