In an effort to be more dynamic (!) and current in my despatches from afar, I’m going to try and alernate between what’s going on now and places from back down the road.
So right now! Or rather, yesterday…ok maybe the day before. we visited a really special place in the Croatian mountains. I’d been feeling somewhat jaded of late, ‘road weary’ is as good a description as any. The inconveniences and frustrations of living in a tiny space with one’s nearest and dearest, with ne’er a moment of peace (not to mention the homesickness) was proving a challenge. This is nothing new. Throughout this long journey, there have been many moments of questioning, days of tension and enough bouts of sadness to have fully excorcised the idea that this was some kind of extended holiday. These moods always move on eventually, often helped by a large dose of travel wonder.
Travel wonder is what I’m calling the feeling brought on by coming across a place that gives you a fluttery stomach, when you can’t stop grinning, or in my case can’t stop making hyberbolic statements every two minutes. And I have found it again here in Kuterevo.
Kuterevo and its neighbouring settlements are tiny little villages nestled in what can only be described as fairytale surroundings. Being here is like being in a timeless pastoral tableau. There are weathered women, all skin, smiles, and dark twinkling eyes, wearing scarfs around their heads, herding little groups of bell wearing sheep across the hills. Many of the long roofed buildings are made from ancient reclaimed wooden boards and in their gardens, antique embroidered textiles hang from the washing lines next to fruit trees heavy with red and purple jewels. There are bears roaming in the woods and fairies I’m sure, in the dips and dells of this rolling place.
We drove here to find a bear sanctuary I’d read about but have found so much more. Amongst these forested hills we’ve noticed the shortening of the days and felt the almost imperceptible tilt of the year. A few crisp golden leaves litter the grass here and there, shadows are longer and although the days are still uncomfortably warm, the cooler evenings have found us grateful to be able snuggle under a duvet once more, like the true Northern Europeans we are.