It was such a pleasure driving through the Croatian countryside, aside from getting lost on our first evening, ending up in the middle of no where and having to ask for directions from drunken men chain smoking in a small house turned pub. It was so dark - country sort of dark with scattered street lights and narrow roads that made for difficult driving in a large van. There were five of us plus luggage after all. We learnt to love roundabouts and to tolerate the sound of our GPS. Perhaps there were also a few tears and quite a bit of swearing but what is travel without getting lost right? Oh and there was that time where we didn't think we'd be able to drive the van out of an underground car park in Provence without serious roof damage. We piled a few extra people in and even considered letting the air out of the tyres to make it out unscathed. Unscathed we were, but only just and laughed and cried in relief once back in the hot sun.
These photographs are of my uncle and aunt's property, just a twenty minute drive from the centre of Pula. Pero is actually quite a funny man, so this serious photograph of him probably doesn't reflect his true character. While struggling with reduced eyesight, he proudly showed us around this garden, garage, vegetable storeroom and protected apple tree. We also got treated to a feast by Emma; homemade bread, fresh pasta with foraged mushrooms from the fields that surround them, a delicious apple cake and chicken soup that we had missed since leaving home. Off we were sent with left over cake, figs and a laden bag of apples from the garden that we struggled to get through before we left the country. Not long after leaving Pula we drove to Plitvice National Park, arriving in the late afternoon. It had been a lovely but cool summer's day, with the light of the day fading as we made our way around the lakes and waterfalls. For the most part, we had the national park to ourselves. Don't miss it if you're in that part of the world, I've never come across so many shades of green.
Plitvice National Park