We had a wonderful time at the wedding party. The men huddled together in a circle, drank Meditza, and hugged and kissed each other on the cheek. They are such a handsome lot! In fact, both the men and women are a beautiful people. The women danced and the children joined them until they fell asleep on chairs pushed together.
We had many more fun times in Croatia. We went shopping in Downtown Rijeka, a very elegant place to shop (especially considering this is a city with only 150,000 people) that has many designer stores. We again saw the National Theater, where Petar's mom, Zrinka, has been an actress for thirty-five years (the yellow building to the right).
Jud and Kat joined Petar in Trogir, a Roman ruin, with a castle on it's shore. Kat says this was her favorite way. The group ate several platters of the freshest fish.
They got chewed out by the vegetable and fruit lady, who told them, "Why don't you just buy something instead of taking my picture?" She didn't know they understood Croatian! Actually, Petar translated later.
We went to one of my favorite places, Trsat, the medieval castle above Rijeka.
From there you can view the river which divides Rijeka, that used to separate Yugoslavia, on the left from Italy, on the right. Rijeka actually means "river."
We went to my favorite church, the Church of Our Lady of Trsat, where people create pieces of art to thank Our Lady of Trsat for interceding on behalf of their prayers. There are hundreds of pieces, ranging from carving to oil painting to embroidery.
We were able to see this beautiful photograph of the Pope John Paul II, now enlarged and hanging on the outside wall of the church. The picture was taken by Jani, Petar's father, who died several years ago. He was a lovely man and we are so happy that we got to know him on our last trip there. Petar, now a photographer, also had several pictures of the Pope's visit permanently exhibited. We are so proud of him.
We dined at Zrinka's house again. She spoiled us with wonderful, fresh food. She made the most fabulous dessert of a rolled custard-filled cake, covered with chocolate. She does not speak English (and I don't speak Croatian) but we have been able to share our love for each other and our respective children through letters translated by interpreters.
Jud went to work with Igor, Petar's brother in law, who manufactures boat covers for yachts and sailboats. He works at the seaside town of Krk and introduced Jud to a friend who was building his own boat.
And I mean, really building his own boat. This was all done by hand!
Igor and Petar's sister, Ana, took us out for a wonderful day of eating, shopping and hiking in beautiful Rovinj. We trudged up the windy, cobblestone trails to the Church of St. Eufemia, named for a Sister who was eaten by a lion.
There we were scolded by a crabby Nun for making too much noise.
Kat went home a day before us, in order to get back to school. Jud and I spent the last day of our trip in Venice. This is a picture of the buildings, taken from the water cab.
Isn't this one unbelievable? I love those paintings on the front.
All too soon, it was time to go. We were sad but filled to the brim with feelings of love, happiness, gratefulness and a sense of enrichment from our trip. We love Croatia and we love our Croatian friends and family. We hope that someday, Kat will have a little "Petar" who will come and live at her house and go to school in the USA. Then, in turn, her child will go back and visit the beautiful country of Croatia.