We arrived in Rijeka about two hours ago and Jud is softly snoring next to me. Thank God our mattress is a little thicker than the last one! I loved our place in Prague but I think I will sleep a little better tonight!
Have you ever noticed how hotel rooms and houses are a little bit different in every country? It's the oddest little things. The beds are a little shorter, the chairs are a little narrower, the bath tub is tall and narrow has tiles around the sides and the shower head is on the side instead of the front! Kat's hide-a-bed is like nothing I have seen. It is leather and lovely...just very different!
We are on the third floor (which is just above the floor we entered) and our room overlooks the Adriatic Sea. As I am writing, the sea gulls are calling to me as the sun is setting and I can see two ships in the distance. I opened the door for a little air and I can smell the salt water. As I look down to the sea, I can see some steps where I could walk down into the water and go for a swim but that doesn't sound very attractive at sixty degrees! What I need is a glass of wine and a long sit on the balcony!
We were picked up in Venice by Zoki, or Zora, Petar's best friend since kindergarten. I remember the stories of "wild and crazy Zoki" and was told by Petar that Zoki had been warned not to drive too fast or too recklessly. Petar assured me that they had both "grown up" and did not drive and party like they did in their younger days. I remember Kat and her cousin, Adam, singing as they walked up the hill to our vacation home during out last trip to Croatia eight years ago. It was usually at about six in the morning, after partying at the local bar with Petar, Zoki and all of their friends. Then the two of them would sleeping the day away.
Zokie has grown up. He is taller and older and was so thoughtful to make this three hour trip to get us. He has always been a sweet man and was the person Petar sometimes called when he was a little bit homesick.
Zoki drove beautifully (I didn't gasp once!) and took us to dinner at a restaurant along the road outside Opatia, the resort town of Rijeka. The food, incredible. I had pork stuffed with Italian ham and cheese with grilled eggplant, yellow peppers. tomatoes and zucchini (sliced very thinly and tasting freshly picked from the garden). The best part, though, was the olive oil and homemade bread. The oil was incredibly fruity and better than any I have ever tasted.
We saw about four people along the road, selling something they had sitting on tables. I thought they were perhaps selling apples. They turned out to be truffles! As in, the pig- sniffing kind! I hope we can buy some on the way home but I am not sure you can bring them into the country.
Petar will arrive soon and Jud is arising. I can't wait to see him. They will be leaving to make the trip back to pick up Kat at the airport. It will be great to see her!