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Adventures In Europe Part 003

Croatia

Adventures In Europe Part 003

I didn't intend to post so much on this trip but every week I discover more about this little Island. We have more adventures and more experiences become stories. This is the beginning of our third week of basically living here. I say living because we are working, we are walking to the markets every few days to buy groceries, we are hanging out and having nothing days. This is different from us doing tourist things like we have done in other places we ventured to.

There is such a difference I find from staying in one place for long enough to begin to get the flow and vibe of the town and the people. Though I am Croatian and of course I have had more time to adapt to the lifestyle here because I have been lucky enough to visit every few years and even lived here for 4 months when I was 19; it always takes a bit to start to understand how things work. It always takes a few days to finally sink into a new type of lifestyle.

We have done both. We try to do less tourist things and try to just imagine ourselves as if we were living in some of these places. Airbnb has become our favorite way to live in some of the places we travel to. It allows us to feel like we have a home even if just for a little while. It's welcoming showing up to a little apartment or house that feels like a home rather then some place where you feel like a guest or just a passing presence.

However, we aren't free from the tourist attractions. It just makes sense that we would want to see and experience some more of the tourist locations. We just try to blend the two together. I prefer a nothing day or just strolling though a town or a garden in the middle of somewhere rather then elbow wrestling with 100's of other people to get some generic photo of some monument.

This weeks been interesting. 'A' and I still hadn't gotten used to the time change and would find ourselves giggling and listening to music until 4am. Every night we would tell ourselves it would be the night we went to bed early and tomorrow we will walk to the markets and get pizza at the local pizzeria but the next day we would wake up too late and 'A' would work for hours and I would edit or help my grandmother with errands and cooking.

I walk arm in arm with grandmother every few days through the village. She is getting older and it's become increasingly harder for her to walk far. The exercise is good for the both of us and it's nice to see her get out and have the chance to see familiar faces.

She knows pretty much everyone ("well at least all the old people" she says to me) She screams their names from down the rock paved streets and they slowly but surely approach each other. They chit chat for a few moments. The conversation goes something like this "This is my granddaughter, see how she helps her old baba walk around town. My knee's are sore" to which someone will reply. "Oh yes, my knees are also sore and my back. Oh look at this wound on my leg". I smile and enjoy the banter of these elder grandmas and grandpa's. I know my day will come too when I am talking about how many grandchildren I have, who just went in for surgery and which part of my body is aching.

That same evening it's Virgin Mary day. Or something like that. My grandma explains it to me in Croatian but I still don't get it. The town is streamed in handkerchiefs. Decorated for Mary. Little statues and memorials are put up around town and candles are lit. People take pictures and gaze at all the decorations.

'A' and I decide it's about time for us to get up and do something exciting. He has been working almost everyday so the extent of "fun" we have together is our nightly strolls and the one time we went to the bar. We decide to visit a near by national park.

The park has a beautiful board walk and waterfall that you can swim in. We at first thought that it was another national park that we visited last year with my sisters family however we were wrong.

As we passed similar looking paths and trail spots 'A' pointed out that he felt as though he had been there before. Once we made it to the waterfall there was no mistaking that it was indeed the same park we visited the previous year. We thought it was quite funny how it was almost to the exact date that we were there last year.

We passed by the familiar spots. The bridge, the little caves with smaller water falls. The outdoor dinning area where Juby had fell and hit her head. It was much quieter this year. We wondered if that was because it has been bit chillier this year then last or maybe because we came on a Sunday later in the evening. If we had waited another 30 minutes we might have practically had the falls to ourselves.

I jumped in the water and it felt like ice was surrounding me. I gasped for air and shrieked as the cold touched my skin. I was soon able to recover and didn't mind swimming for a few minutes. 'A' snapped some pictures of me but decided not to get into the water this year.

I sat on the rocks and snapped pictures of the falls as unsuspecting kids and people stood in front of my lens and I did what I do best and captured the photograph anyway. I always feel a little awkward taking pictures of strangers but it is what I do. I see people possibly in ways they may not see themselves and I see moments. Beautiful moments. Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to tell people that I'm a photographer and ask them if I could photograph their beautiful moments and send them to them.

But I don't. I inconspicuously snap my camera like some kind of creep.

The park was beautiful this time of year. Small little white dusty plant pieces like dandy lions were falling of their branches and floating around all around us. It reminded me of little snow flakes drifting passed my face. It blanketed some spots and made the little greenery around the waterfalls and caves look like fresh snow. It was unreal and magical. I remarked on how magical and whimsical it looked several times. I am sure 'A' was annoyed with me. I just can't help myself. I am always imagining that I am living in some kind of fantasy land.

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