The first evening. Split.

We walked from the bus station to our apartment up the hill. We had been warned by the tourist information lady that a taxi would take a very long route because of the one way system, so up the hill we trudged. We found the street. But not the house. I’d chosen to stay here because it was on the same street that my cousin lived and it seemed like a good omen.

And it was! I rang the owner of the flat who explained how to get there – and as soon as we arrived at the right gate there was a woman lurking outside. Cousin Maja. She had wandered up from her house to ours just as we arrived. Wonderful. She inspected the little flat with us, and had a long chat with the landlady. Turned out she knew all about her.

No sooner had we put our suitcases down than she ordered us to wash our hands and come with her. It really was an order.

We went, braved the dog at the gate, and with some trepidation went inside. I say trepidation because I hadn’t actually seen her since 1968, when I had stayed with her and her adoptive parents together with my father and a friend of his.

That trip was an exceptionally significant one for me. I was about fifteen and very impressionable and so I remember a lot. But Maja hardly remembers us coming at all.

So we didn’t know if this first evening would be our last with her or just the first.

She gave us some delicious apple pastries which she had made herself, and explained her adherence to an almost vegan macrobiotic diet. She explained that she converted to a very healthy way of life after her mother died and she was left alone. It is serving her well.

She talked a bit about her life – this may be a separate post- and then it was time for us to go. I was wondering how to broach seeing her again but there was no need to worry. She insisted she would come the next morning at ten. So we agreed. the first hurdle was over.

But it was earlyish and there was lots to explore.

We were also quite hungry for something savoury. The World Wide Web is our friend and Andrzej found a bar just up the road. Firstly, though, we went to a little supermarket – most places were closed as it’s a national holiday here, 1st November, but we bought some basics for breakfast. And then we set off to find supper.

And sure enough Bar Baraka loomed in the distance. Three minutes later we were seated on chairs very near to a rather high fire pit/ table affair and drinking out first Croatian wine and beer.

The weather was balmy, the place was pleasant, the food looked good and all was well with the world. Could have been anywhere. I suppose, but it seemed quite special! The view was interesting.

Note the pipe work

The interior, however , was devoted to the spirit of HarleyDavidson: a great big mock-up I think of the famous motorcycle, guitars etc on the walls. Rather good music blaring from the sound systems. Nice loos. Very important that, as you know.

A couple of hours later we found our wsy home. The next morning Maja was coming at ten.

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