Day One

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.





Chris Hemingway · July 13, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Love this Tommy. I would love to follow your blog. X

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you Chris, I would love for you to follow it also x

Samantha Winchester · July 14, 2017 at 11:46 am

Wow, to be able to just travel like that! That would be amazing 😊 Beautiful shots too!

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Freedom whilst I still have it. Thank you for reading, I’m glad you liked the shots.

Helen · July 14, 2017 at 11:51 am

This sounds like a fun adventure, though it’s a shame about the weather!

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    It was so so fun, even with bad weather.

Helen · July 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

Oh I want to do this now! I’m not sure I could ever manage an impromptu trip, but I do love the sound of it. And of just pitching up somewhere lovely and sleeping in the car. Lovely photos.

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Just get in the car and go! It was a beautiful experience, both thrilling and memorable! Thank you.

Rachel Neal · July 14, 2017 at 1:25 pm

This sounds like such a fantastic adventure. The pictures you have taken are beautiful.

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you so much, it was such a beautiful place.

Samantha Bye · July 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm

That looks like heaven! You’re a great storyteller, too. Really enjoyed reading this!

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    It really was. Thank you very much, really glad you enjoyed the read.

Ramona Spires · July 14, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Seem like you had a really great experience except for the rain. Your photos are beautiful.

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Thank you, I really did. It was all amazing from start to end.

Talya · July 15, 2017 at 8:00 am

Wow serious wanderlust going on over here right now! What a fantastic adventure and loving the look of the VW Caddy which looks like the perfect partner in crime for roaming free across Croatia!

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Get yourself on an adventure. The VW Caddy was literally the perfect car for a trip like this one. Great partner in crime.

Elinor Hill aka Beach Hut Cook · July 15, 2017 at 9:43 am

What a fabulous adventure. It’s made me long to travel more. Elinor x

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Hopefully one day you’ll be able to do it. Thank you for reading.

Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs · July 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Fantastic photos. Looks like you had a wonderful adventure!
(Hubby helping out)

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you, we really did.

five little doves · July 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Oh WOW!! Your photography is absolutely stunning! What an amazing adventure you had!!

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you so much, the adventure was incredible.

Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... · July 15, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Beautiful shots of a lovely country. Love the bit about the currency panic 🙂

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you. That moment was a very intense and scary one ah!!

Baby Isabella · July 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm

That’s a great vehicle to go off and explore with. Sounds like you are enjoying your adventures!

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Really was a perfect little machine. Thank you, I am really am. Don’t want them to end.

Amna Tariq Shah · July 17, 2017 at 3:19 am

You’ve a very engaging style. Loved the post 🙂

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Really appreciate the comment, thank you.

Sandy Dobbs · July 17, 2017 at 4:06 am

Loved your writing! Helped me be in your story.

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Wooo, that makes me happy. Really want more people to jump in and experience it with me. Thank you for reading.

Kara · July 17, 2017 at 9:14 am

What an adventure. Such a shame about the rain but looks like you made the most of your visit

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    It really was, thank you. Yeah, we didn’t let it get us down.

Laura · July 17, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Lovely story telling writing style

    Thomas Sanderson · July 17, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    I’m glad you liked it Laura, thank you for reading.

Elena · July 17, 2017 at 9:40 pm

I really enjoyed reading this post. I am a travel junkie so I am always happy to come across stories told by real travelers.

    Thomas Sanderson · July 20, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Awe thank you, it’s always nice to have the support of fellow travelers.

Jen · July 18, 2017 at 11:02 am

Croatia has long been on my list to visit. Someday. Looking forward to it. I love the storytelling style of writing.

    Thomas Sanderson · July 20, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Someday, make sure you get yourself there. Honestly was such. beautiful place. Thank you, Im glad you liked the style of writing.

Jane · July 18, 2017 at 11:17 am

I love traveling, reading this and looking at the pictures got me feeling a little bit jealous of you…great post, Thomas

    Thomas Sanderson · July 20, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Thank you Jane, I’m hoping that jealousy will make you go and do it. You wont regret it.

Rose Kehinde · July 18, 2017 at 11:48 am

Love Love Love!!!!! Spontaneous travel is one of my favorites!!!! These were beautiful pics and I’m excited to put Croatia on my list of places I MUST go. Thank you for sharing.

Jenni Petrey · July 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm

I’m reading more and more about Croatia at the moment as I have several Croatian children in my care at work. It sounds like a lovely country.

    Thomas Sanderson · July 20, 2017 at 6:59 am

    That’s great, it really is. The scenery, the people, the weather. All so nice and wonderful.

helen · July 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm


    Thomas Sanderson · July 20, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Thank you Helen, Im glad you enjoyed the pictures.

David Meldrum · July 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Its always a bonus when you find a company that are really good and reliable (in this case car hire). Its a bit of a bummer that Rovinj had rubbish weather when you were there! A nice article. Your photos are also great!

    Thomas Sanderson · July 20, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Always a bonus, you are right! They made the experience so much more. Thank you, I suppose we managed to make the most of the weather, it helped add to the story.

Novella · July 25, 2017 at 3:47 am

WE ԜILL.? They each shouted and they ran to thе bed room
bickering about who gets to go first.

    Thomas Sanderson · August 6, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Almost as if you were there with us! Thank you for reading.

dieter · August 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

wow … so nice made and written. I was so many years back there, to be exact it was 1993 and it seems time has not changed over there, thanks for sharing

    Thomas Sanderson · August 6, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you so much. WOW it’s been a while then. Sounds like it was as beautiful of a place then as it is now. Thank you for commenting. · August 6, 2017 at 7:21 am

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Croatia: Beauty at My Fingertips - Life Of Sandy · July 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm

[…] out Day One & […]

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