31 July 2010

Croatian Road Trip-Day 12: Cres & Beli

Eleonora, Marko & I took the ferry to Cres today so I could visit Beli & my aunt and uncle, and so Eleonora could visit her parents on Mali Lošinj.

It was wonderful to be back on Cres again. Everything was just as I remembered it, except there were far more tourists this time around.

The first day we only stopped in Beli for a little while because I wanted to get to my aunt and uncle's house relatively early after changing my plans to see them several times already.

I'd been to the town of Cres before, but only briefly and I didn't really remember it. This time around, I fell in love with it.

I've been through hundreds of cities, towns, and villages since I moved to Europe, but very few have that something special, that kind of magic that (for example) Füssen has: but Cres does. I regret not taking a swim there or spending more time in general, but I will most certainly be back. I would even consider living there a few months out of the year if I could manage it somehow.

From my journal:
"I'm in Cres and I LOVE it. This is a great town. Sea, mountains, great architecture, and that intangible quality that great towns have. Walking around here tonight I could totally see living here. Teta Andrica & Barba Fabijan's place is cute and it's great to see them again. Naturally, they stuffed me the moment I got there. Tomorrow I will get up early, explore more and then go to Beli once more. We were there today. It was very familiar but didn't affect me the way I thought it would."

I had a wonderful evening. After dinner, I went for a walk which is when I wrote the above entry. I expected the town to be dead because it was a Monday night, but the air was electric. Gotta love summer nights. On to the photos.

Ankica is cute and all, but I took this photo because of the tourist with the knee socks and sandals in the background.

From the cliffs of Cres down to the sea.

Beli, the village where my father grew up.

Glavotok in the distance.

The town square.

Marko, Eleonora & Ankica.

Eleonora & Marko demonstrate how producing olive oil is hard work.

A nighttime stroll around Cres.

I love the way the stones on the ground reflect the light in this one.

I heart Cres.

Photos are available for download in higher resolution here.

30 July 2010

Croatian Road Trip-Days 8-11: New friends in Opatija & Volosko

I'm combining a few days because I didn't take many photos during this period, the reason being that I was enjoying the company so much that the scenery was secondary. I don't know if it was luck or my obsession with trying to find the perfect hosts when I Couch Surf or a little of both, but I met some great people in Opatija and Volosko. The funny thing is I had two hosts, both couples, and they lived within 20 minutes walking distance of each other. It worked out great! I got to spend time and make friends with four awesome, dynamic people, each interesting in their own ways. I basically just chilled out, ate awesome food with new friends, and went to the beach a lot. I could not have asked for a better experience. I should add that they were all really knowledgeable about the area and shared so many cool facts with me that I can't hope to relate them all here. All I can say is that I will go back and keep going back until they get sick of me. I just hope they make it up here to see me as well.

Eleonora had a concert one night (she plays violin & viola), which was a lot of fun. She plays really well, as one might expect from a professor.
Before the concert we went to this out-of-the-way "fast food" place called Vietnam. They had the biggest
Ćevapčići I have ever seen. The food was delicious. We had a comical encounter on the way there when we were forced to ask a stranger if he knew where Vietnam was. Haha.

Here are some photos from Opatija and the small village of Volosko.

From the ceiling inside of the hallway of Eleonora & Marko's place.

Their back patio.

The poster for Eleonora's performance.

The lovely Eleonora is in the middle.

Walking along the seaside to Volosko.


Paco & Kika.

Photos are available for download in higher resolution here.