It’s a Sunday morning. Everyone reading this knows exactly what that means. Movement and effort today just like every Sunday should be left to a bare minimum. I say should as today was an exception. Today it changed.
The phone rang and suddenly the taste of adventure was in the air. Covers off, shower, bags packed and out the door we head. My mind working over time with the possibilities of what the next few days hold. The only obstacle in our way right now is the distance between our flat and the car hire. Not to worry. One quick slide of my phone and a map of all the bike stops in the city are displayed beneath my fingertips. Let the hunt begin.
Stop found. Bikes out. Route found. Pedal.
Beads of sweat slowly crawl down my forehead as I catch my breath. The bikes now re-racked and out of the way. To my relief as soon as we walk through the doors of Atet Car Hire a wave of ice cold air hits us. Their obvious attempts to relieve customers from the harshness of the humidity outside.
I have to state for the record that if you are ever in Ljubljana, Slovenia and you want a car, Atet is the place for you. Always a pleasure to deal with them. They go above and beyond for their customers. Always providing a constant flow of easy going conversation and service assuring you’re left satisfied.
This is it, keys in our hands, our home for the next 3 days. A beautiful cloud white Volkswagen Caddy, 7 seats. Although 3 have been folded up front and 2 have been taken out completely. Turing the floor in the back to a semi-comfy looking bed. Keys in the ignition and of we go.
Croatia here we come.
Some time has passed and I notice the car beginning to slow. We approach what could only be border control. Not to panic, we are okay. Just drive on through, get checked and carry on. Wait…. a quick glance to the left and there on the other side of the road is a Euro to Kuna exchange shop. KUNA? Please tell me we didn’t forget to check the currency of the country we’re entering. Yeah, afraid so. Useless. With panic in our eyes, we sit and wait for answers. Border control was surprisingly really helpful. On passing through they assured us tolls can be paid for in euros and there is more than enough ATM’s to grab Kuna out of once we settle at a destination. Panic over, back to the soothing cruise of the car as we make our way to the coast.
Next stop Rovinj.
There’s a darkness drawing near, white clouds tainted with black, we realize today just isn’t the day. Pulling onto the seafront front of Rovinj, there’s a horrifying crackle and a flash of light. Danielle and I catch eyes. It’s raining. We know this to be a better chance than any to take advantage of the rain. Oh, beautiful rain. I’ve missed you so much since being away from the UK, making this far from discouraging. The waves smashing the shores trying to escape the ocean. Rain taking over everything in sight. We jump out racing towards the nearest shelter. There isn’t one. The rainfall, now an out of control storm. People fleeing in the opposite direction. Are we mad? The cool, fresh water running down our cheeks. Clothes clinging to our bodies link an extension of our being.
I wish I could say Rovinj was a beautiful place. I wish I could show you pictures of the beautiful architecture and coloured buildings. But all I can do is wish. The moments after we left the car consisted of nothing but water. We were soaked from head to toe. Our feet dancing in puddles.
Eventually, enough was enough and we ran back to our VW Caddy for refuge, contemplating our next move.
Hours have passed and miles have been covered. The decision made earlier was to move further in land, and that we did. Thankfully the weather picked itself up and we found ourselves circling the streets of a historic Croatian town called Rijeka. The mission now, find a place to park and sleep for the night.
Down the winding roads. Passing tall stone structures and broken down houses. These buildings offering maturity and stories of different times. Both of us sharp-eyed looking for a place to park up. Slowly we move in the direction of the sea, expecting to find an empty space at the side of the road. Shock hit us when we were met with a huge abandoned looking car park. This is the place. We park the car as close to the shoreline as possible. Fling the boot door open, hang our damp clothes out, sliders off, socks balled up, shorts on and within minutes we are in the ocean. The water warmer than the showers at home. I feel the worries of today slowly float away. This is paradise. If only you could see it for yourselves. The rocks, the water, the sky. Everything so picturesque.
The day now sadly drawing to an end, the sky turning from grey to pink to black. The sun setting. I lay down on our makeshift bed, slightly damp. Head back, eyes closed, boot door still wide open, I listen to the calming noises of the waves. Breeze carrying the taste of salt through my lungs. The ocean’s lullaby has me trapped. I drift in and out of sleep. This is perfect.
This is peace.