Posts Tagged ‘croatia’
I got off the bus an hour to midnight. Waving goodbye to Bapsi through the glass, a chapter felt finished. Cycling into town the moonlight shone over a sign that read “Zadar”. The temperature was perfect, a warm summers day had left a heat in the air.
I peddled around for an hour or so, looking for Charlie, but enjoying the friday’s festive atmosphere too. Meandering down the coastal boulevard, I could hear the sea organs, a musical sculpture which hums and bellows as the waves lap at the land. Past the streams of tourists, up against the park wall, lay two loaded tourers, asleep. Still no Charlie and ready for some slumber myself, I join the line and lean my bicycle beside theirs.
At 3 am the sprinklers wake us with a cold wet welcome, but allow me the chance to meet these two wanderers. We spend the early hours swapping maps and stories in excitement. They had travelled from Barcelona to Croatia then onto Athens and I was about to set off on the same journey, in reverse. We whispered until 6, the darkness hushing our voices. At dawn the two left on a ferry, and I finally got some shut-eye, a couple of friends richer.
By 5 that afternoon I had met up with Charlie. A sparkling smile under his still rough beard, but a shorter haircut… he looked more beautiful than ever. We shakely held eachother under the clock tower in the mainsquare. His smell the same, his hug the same, his voice a well-known tune. A close heart, on a long road, home felt nearer just by his presence. Two months of history untold, we set straight to story-telling, our adventures recounted over beer at a local cafe. A swim in the sun, a dry in the shade, our eyes continued their discourse as we cycled on towards our host Iva’s house.
No one around, we nestled into the couch and carried on our tales, the beer adding to our giddyness. We remembered. How close we could be, how much love there was, how fun flowed when together. It’s a hard thing to say no to, and indeed, we couldn’t. Our bikes would find company in eachother on the road to Barcelona.
It has been a long winter.
The last time I swam in the sea was January this year. The last time I swam in the sea and enjoyed the temperature was almost a year ago. Today I immersed myself in the cool liquid… floating slowly on… blue skies without a cloud, ripples lap lap lapping at the shore.
Sure, winter fell away long ago, but this summer breeze has only just reached me. I made it to the coast of Croatia, and lying on the pebbled beach, alone and soaked in sunny rays, a smile involuntarily crept under my skin. The heat radiating off me refreshes my spirit. The water so close to stumble into, calms my head and flutters my heart. I am so happy to be here. A familiar friendly face and warm converstaion over cups of tea set my inner candle to flickering. It is a good time to be here. I am eternally in love with simply the sun and the sea.
I´ve reached Zagreb! Peddling into the city, it´s not long before Croatian hospitality rolls out the red carpet, loud and clear. I almost have a head on collision with a fellow rider, and decide to take the opportunity to ask him for directions. Before long I am being escorted all around the town, in search of an internet cafe, but via the museum, the cathedral, the main square…
I bid farewell to Ivan, do the net thing, then carry on to meet my couch surfing host. A few blocks down the road a breathless cyclist skids up to me, asking for a few minutes of my time. Do I have a place to stay? Is there anything I need? Something for my bike? Any help at all? His name is Marko, truly a Croatian sweety, and the next day sees us meeting up again, for coffee and a city tour. He has riden his bike from Croatia to Beijing, among several other tours, and is somewhat of a celebrity cyclist here. His keeness to help is unmatchable and I finish the day with valuable knowledge, a great tiny portable stove, and several exciting stories richer.
(un)Fortunately I have already organised a place to sleep. As always, I havn´t arrived when I said I would, but my hosts are as welcoming as ever. Also keen bikers, and great comedians, I am now living it up in a fancy apartment with polished floors and couldn´t ask for anything more. A cycle to the coast on the cards, and an old friend in Zadar to meet up with… Croatia is proving to be just as cosy and crazy as expected.