December 15, 2011

Birthday Thoughts and Memories



I'm fifty two today and I wish I could transport myself to where this photo was taken just a few months ago.   Nicole took this picture.  The day was nearing it's end and I remember feeling fabulous and free in what has to be one of my favourite places in the world.  Rovinj.

It's a very popular travel destination for Europeans in the know.  Seriously.  It's beautiful.  It amazes me that the western world hasn't woken up to the beauty of Rovinj.  Western travel obsessions always seem to include France and Italy.  The Europeans however - they know about this little gem of a place.  And they come. I was even surprised to see a few Americans there this time.  Perhaps, they are waking up to the Romance of Rovinj.  Next time you are in Venice, consider ferrying your way across the Adriatic Sea to the coast of Croatia.  Rovinj is virtually straight across the waters from Venice.  About 4 or 5 hours.  I didn't take the ferry, but in the summer season it runs frequently.

It's impossible not to feel moved by this place.  I raved about it incessantly to the girls before we went there,  to the point I felt certain they'd be let down.  You know the feeling - when someone goes on about something so much, that when you experience it for yourself, it doesn't quite reach the expectation because such a high standard was set. I needn't have worried.  They fell in love with Rovinj.


They too were entranced by the old, cobble stoned alley ways weaving through the town.  The sea lapping against the walls of the town.  The art.  The crafts. Rovinj is the place where all the artists in the land converge to showcase their works during the summer months.  Nicole was beside herself.  If there was ever a place we needed an empty suitcase, it was here.  We could of filled it up in no time, with all kinds of original works, some reasonably priced, some not.  It's an artist's wonderland and the location is like no other.

At one stage, Larissa, Nicole and I parted company.  We all went our separate ways and we decided to meet up again in a couple of hours.  This is the kind of place one needs to be alone.  To feel truly part of the place; to wander; to breathe; to admire; to soak up the atmosphere; to feel lost and yet to feel completely free.

I recall meeting up with the girls.  They looked radiant.  They sat underneath an umbrella at one of the coffee shops down by the sea.  They seemed totally relaxed.  Their faces satisfied.  Rovinj does that.  Solitude and calm immerse your body.  I remember feeling wonderful and confident and happy to be alive.  Nicole, once again, your photo is marvellous.   You captured your mother well my dear.  It brings me joy and it reminds me of a truly special time in a truly special place.  At my age, what better way to celebrate a birthday.

I'll never forget the brewing storm.

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