Note: My friend Jeanine Barone who writes J The Travel Authority, recently visited Croatia. Today and tomorrow she shares with the Traveler’s Library her discoveries in this largely undiscovered country which were enhanced by her reading of a Croatian writer.
Book: Croatia by Tony Fabijanic
Dreaming of Croatia
I spent four weeks roaming through Croatia on foot, by bike and on a bus. Before I started my journey, I read a lovely travelogue by Tony Fabijancic. In Croatia: Travels in Undiscovered Country, Fabijancic returns to his family’s homeland to explore the nooks and crannies of this varied landscape and its people. When I wrote the four vignettes below, I was inspired by some of the dreamy qualities of his often poetic narrative, such as: “…the hazy stillness of the afternoon has put the town peacefully to sleep and I circulate alone, happily” and “…when we enter the interior, houses appear like forlorn orphans — shutters closed, roofs sinking and people long gone…Then Hvar appears below as if in answer — a sudden awakening to culture and tourism.”
I sit alone at a table for two on an outdoor terrace. At the few adjoining tables, couples chatter and stare deep into each other’s eyes. They’re oblivious to their surroundings: we’re atop 13th century fortress walls surrounding the medieval hilltop village of Motovun. While they wait for their dinner, they don’t bother strolling to the edge of the battlements to peer far below at the vineyards, barely visible now as the night begins to cloak the meadows and fields dotted with lavender. I sit alone under a full moon that illuminates the old watchtower that was once used to spy for any Turkish assault. Oblivious, the couples seek the hand of their partner across the table that’s empty except for tall wine glasses. A soft wind brushes against my cheek as my dish arrives: a simple omelet with black truffles that the chef’s dogs dug up this morning. I take a forkful and taste centuries of love. Continue reading Four Meals in Croatia Part I