Želite li mačku?
(would you like a cat?) the old wrinkly faced woman asked me as I walked past her home. I will remember Croatia for many beautiful things, but the one, I think closest to my heart will be all these beautiful tame little kitty cats running around so friendly and sooo loving. Perhaps leaving a bigger mark with me because I miss my little felines back home, or perhaps because i’m just a baby. Either way, I’ve really fallen in love with them!
To start from the beginning the true beauty of Europe I’ve seen so far started in Slovenia. I think that speaks for itself being that Europe as a whole is just really really breathtakingly beautiful. But for me, it slapped me in the face just as I arrived in Slovenia. As the home of the beer fountain, how could you go wrong! Slovenia has this beautiful rustic town feel. The people are great, I mean friendly beyond imagination. The ones we met at least, have this automatic family feel to them. Generous loving souls. Travelling to new places, it’s one thing to have these beautiful cities, or towns or beaches filled with treats, but nothing means quite as much as the generosity and kindness of those you meet along the way.
Being a bit over hostels, we’ve been booking Airbnb private accommodation for the last few weeks. It goes against my usual travels, but i’m getting older and I just want quiet and peace.. 🙂 In most places, the hosts are kind, the places are clean but that’s about it. Then we got to Slovenia! It’s a whole different story here, it doesn’t compare! The host messaged us and offered to pick us up at the bus station, not an offer I would ever refuse after a long bus route and 30lbs on my back, but it didn’t end there. Once in this clean, spacious apartment that smelled like a lavender garden, our host offered us some freshly made homemade soup which we obviously didn’t refuse and yes it was yummy! Luana saw her first snow fall ever, we hiked mountains, walked along small shy roads and ate great food.
It was a quick transfer to Croatia where we continued to be spoilt and where we fell in love with soo many of the little roaming cats. Croatia (well at least northern Croatia where we visited) is extremely rich in Roman ruins. From Amphitheatre to Arches and city walls. But the best part is, especially in slow season which just happens to be now, is that there is almost no tourist here. We get to visit and photograph these sites with no stranger, NOT ONE stranger in our view. It’s peacefully soothing! The buildings are pealing their layers and in need of rest, but just like an old lady that smiles instead of frowns, they call our name and invite us in.
Notes: 1. I don’t speak the language and I have no ideal if the translation above is correct, but I did my best….
2. To my dearest host in Maribor (name withdrawn for obvious reasons), your genuine care and your remarkable hospitality has left an impression on us that is not to be forgotten. Thank you!