... over two days.
24.06.2011 25 °C
Since it was a holiday there really was not much to do. I am sure there were many touristy places to go to, however, everyone wanted to stay home and relax. Chores needed to be done and snoozing was big on the list today - by everyone ... now THAT is indeed an important chore imho ;0) I mean, with the lovely heat of the sun and gentle breezes wafting lightly across our faces and the scenic mountains in the distance, how could we not sit back and simply soak it all in?! It would be sinful not to.
Irma had paperwork to catch up on, Laura went to rest and dad certainly snoozed on and off most of the afternoon while sitting under the canopy of grape vines. As for me, I finally decided to venture to Brajdice to suntan as I had planned a couple of days ago. I waited till the heat of the sun was a notch less than scorching, then headed up there with beach blanket, lotion, spray bottle (to keep me lightly misted in this heat) and water bottle to soothe my parched throat as the sun dehydrated me slowly but surely - lol. It was an experience I am not willing to repeat - at least not in that area.
I thought the land was much flatter than it appeared. It was not easy finding a spot where I would not be lying at a weird angle - not conducive to suntanning let me tell you! In addition I had the pleasure of being in the company of ants - ugh. Not many mind you but just enough to detract from enjoying the experience of lying in the sun. I tolerated this for an hour then gave up. Next time it will be the beach - rocks and all ;0)
I was curious as to why that parcel of land was nicknamed Brajdice and of course the answer was simple. In the days prior my grandparents this land was worked as farmland to sustain the family - and land worked is a loose translation of the word Brajda. In following years it came to be used for other reasons as explained earlier and nicknamed Brajdice.
Now I thought I would show you a few pictures around the house so you have a better idea of what it is I am experiencing. I don't have pictures of the inside yet but you can imagine the outer walls of the house are two feet thick and the interior walls are about 18 inches. You know what that means of course? Air conditioned house - the natural way - lol. The dog Morica has this figured out very well. When she is too hot she begs to go in to cool off ;0) Here is the view of the house from the bottom of the 'driveway'.
Imagine in days gone by that steers would pull up a wagonload of hay up this driveway and hang a right past Brajdice till they reached the barn. And when I say wagonload - I mean it was so high that one could never climb on top of it - it was at least 10 meters high. Once the barn was reached my grandfather would get on top (with the aid of the ledge at the barn site) and start pitching the hay. I have very distinct memories of this from when I last visited and was in awe of how high up he was. Of course being a child made this feat appear much more magical than I guess it was.
This is the family house where we are all staying. Over the years it has been renovated in order to keep it functional. After all this house was built around 1928 and upgrades are needed in order to keep it from falling to the ground. It was built as an add-on to the original house that is easily over 200 years old.
Here is the view from the back looking to the front. You can see the original house and the new house built on. The old house must be maintained as to destroy it would compromise the integrity of the new house. Between the old and new is where the chicken coop used to be.
When I open my windows in the morning this is the scenery what awaits my viewing pleasure.
After everyone was well rested and tummies full after supper we all relaxed under the bright stars of the night. Morica was ever faithful in protecting us and every so often would jump up and run into the darkness chasing away whatever she felt was encroaching on her territory. At times she can be so funny. The neighbors love to give her treats and she proudly shows them off to us then it is serious business in finding a place to hide and/or bury her treat. She finds a place during the daytime but then retrieves it at night and begins the ritual all over again. Back and forth she goes until she disappears into the inky darkness only to return empty mouthed - yeah ... success - now no creature can steal her treat!
At 10pm Croatian time I asked dad if he wanted to listen to news from back home. So undercover of darkness under the twinkling stars I connected to the internet and hooked into the radio station CJAD 800 back in Montreal. We were surprised to hear that it was going to drop to 16 degrees celcius that night --- brrrr. I will take the balmy scorching 30 degrees here anyday -lol. And so this ends this day.
Now is Friday and I will say happy St-Jean Baptiste for those who celebrate this day back in Montreal. If nothing else, having a stat holiday on a Friday means a long weekend ;0)
Today Irma and Laura left the house early to attend to important matters and to do shopping. They are looking at buying a washing machine and potentially a new fridge. This left dad, Morica and myself alone at the house to enjoy the day in whatever way we saw fit. Today is the first overcast day since I've been here. We keep hoping for rain but nary a drop in sight ;0( The bora (eastern) winds are blowing .... brrr. Not that it was really cold, however staying in the shade meant I had to warm up whenever the sun peaked out. Other than that what a pleasant day it was. This is clearest I have been able to see the valley as most days there is a slight haze so the view is not as clear.
After breakfast dad decided keep limber and do some exercises. Morica was busy doing her exercises as well - HAH = snoozing next to him ;0) As for me I played around with the camera and tried to remember on how to work the self-timer. It has been a long time since I used this feature. I also brought with me a tiny adjustable tripod. I was anxious to try it out so I wrapped the three legs around the fence - pointed and activated the self-timer ... perfect!! This mini tripod is great for getting different angle shots where a straight tripod would not afford the same opportunity. I will be testing out this tripod for some evening shots where a real steady hand is needed. The only thing is that with a heavier camera one must position it carefully or you might end up with lopsided pictures as the camera tilts due to its weight. For smaller cameras it is perfect.
Now I am getting itchy feet to do more exploring, however, I understand that household duties come first and I must be patient. It's hard though I must admit. So to occupy my time I started flipping through my Tourist book "The rough guide to Croatia" and went to the Istria (Istra) section. I am getting a feel for where I would like to go. My father was curious and asked me to read descriptions of certain places he was most familiar with.
After a while we were both becoming parched - Beer time!! Oh yeah I like beer, however I must be in the mood to have one as it tastes even better when one sort of craves it. My father is more of a wine drinker but he was in the mood for one as well. We bought a couple of types of local beer - one from Buzet and the other from Zagreb. Didn't we finish both!
I have to say that I much preferred the beer from Buzet versus Zagreb. It was more flavorful and smooth on the palate. The one from Zagreb was a touch harsher/stronger tasting and perhaps a tad watery (this is of course my personal opinion). As we always say: eat and drink locally and in season. Well, Buzet is certainly more local than Zagreb and as for in season - well ... beer is ALWAYS in season - LOL
And so the afternoon passed quickly and soon enough Irma and Laura returned after visiting no less than ten places in just a few hours - whew! After supper Irma and I discussed what places we could visit in the upcoming days and I felt better knowing we would be on the move again ;0) Tonite we ate in as the bora winds (coming from Mount Ucka) created a chill in the air that would have made it unpleasant to eat under the stars. We all had a lovely supper inside and as everyone was pooped we all tucked in fairly early and so tomorrow is another day.