Translation:
Shirl: Thoughts & Shots
Rowan: Paroxysms
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Sunday
Jul222012

Our Croatian Respite

OK, so we met a guy in an elevator our hotel in Brunei (northern part of the island of Borneo), in the first week of December, 2011.  And we asked him where he was from, and he said Croatia.  He works overseas for two months at a time (two months gone and then at least two months at home in between trips) and was working in Brunei at the time.  We said we were going to be in Croatia in the summer of 2012, and he said "I will find you a place to stay."  Now, when you travel like we do, you meet a lot of people. And it's always, "Let's stay in touch," and "I'll keep you up-to-date," and like that. So, you don't really expect people to follow through.

This is Andrej in Croatia.

And more than six months later, he followed through with arranging an apartment for us to stay in Rijeka, which is on the Adriatic Sea, and a great place to chill out for a month.  He set us up to stay in the downtown apartment of Ermano and Daniela (here they are with Andrej at their house in Brsec, about a 40 minute drive from where we stayed).

L to R: Daniela, Andrej, Ermano

Here are some pix of the apartment on a hill with great views of the sea and, thankfully, great cross-ventilation.  Croatia had an incredible heat wave in the first part of July.  If we had a Croatian Kuna (about 16 cents) for every time people said, "This is a really hot (cold) snap and unprecedented for us," we would return home rich. 

Various rooms in our Rijeka apartment.Not only did Andrej do that, he invited us on tours of the coast of Croatia on two separate days.  On the first day, we saw the coast from Rijeka to Brsec, where he lives.  The first is from the shore at Volosko, on the way to his house...

...and this is the view from where he lives!  You can see Rijeka far off in the distance.  It is far away visually and emotionally. 

On a second day, we swam with Andrej at the Brsec Beach (you would never be able to guess his age!), where he swims twice a day in the summer when he is home.  Here are Andrej and Vesna in their back yard in Brsec, where they live.

Andrej and Vesna took us on a tour of their town, Brsec (here is the beautiful coast)...

...as well as Labin, an old town up high on a mountain in Istria. Here is the church in Labin, vintage 15th-16th Century:

The care they took of us was just amazing.  Andrej was even our official photographer -- here is just one of his masterpieces, of us at Opatija

We have really come to appreciate the kindness of strangers on this trip.  Thanks, all!

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