Back in the garden again, second and last night in Rastoke,
It is a beautiful place to write. Loring is wandering around the garden, out of my sight, taking lots of photos. It is hard not to, it is so picturesque at every turn.
This morning we headed up the hill to the village above, in search of breakfast. There are numerous cafes here, but most serve only coffee and other beverages. The restaurant where we ate last night did not serve breakfast. The cafe down here didn't either. The pizza place had only pizza and lasagne, which they were apparently willing to serve at any time of the day. I am not a big pizza fan, and in the morning it seems even less appealing than later in the day. So up the hill we went to the larger village above, which we wanted to visit anyway. Bea had told us that the weekly market was today.
In Sludj, though, we could find no breakfast either. Plenty of cafes, with plenty of people in them, but no food. I wondered what the tourists like us do for breakfast. We eventually noticed that a number of people had crumbled paper bags on their tables , and realized that they had bought pastries and brought them to the cafe. But we couldn't find a bakery either. We decided to go to the supermarket,, where, right inside the door was a bakery, with a separate cash register, perhaps a separate business located inside the store.
The young woman behind the counter spoke no English, although most young people here seem to, but another customer offered to help us. I wanted something with chocolate, and got a croissant, Loring wanted something with meat, and got something that had some, plus a second thing. We sat in the cafe and ordered our coffees, and tried to linger and drink them as slowly as possible, as the Croatians do. That isn't easy, especially with an expresso.
A man about our age guided a frail older man, clearly his father, into a seat opposite us. We tried to make room for the son, but he indicated that it wasn't necessary. He left, but came back a few minutes later, with a package of cigarettes for his elderly dad, then left again and didn't return. We wondered if this was a form of elder day care, that the son would return for his father at the end of the day. When we left, I smiled at the man, and he smiled back wanly. Or maybe it was happily, it was hard to know.
We've now moved from the garden back to in front of the house, where we still have a nice view, and can dash inside if it begins to rain. It is already thundering and lightening. Did I tell you that you get to and from the garden by a secret door? Well, it's not really secret, but feels like it. You go thru the garage to an old wooden door, which is pretend locked, and covered with a broom. It makes the place feel even a bit more special.
On the way back down to our village, we stopped at the market and bought peaches and plums, which we have been eating throughout the day. They were incredibly cheap, just as Bea had told us. The plums, about 20 of them, cost about fifty cents, total.
Later, we went to the swimming spot, a calm section of the river with grass banks on both sides, a bridge crossing from one side to the other, and steps at intervals leading down to the water. There were a number of people in and around the water, but it was by no means crowded. There were a few little changing booths, material around a frame, and a small snack stand. The water was clear, with lots of little fishies, and pretty warm. Loring did a few lazy laps up and down the river, and I floated around a bit with my favorite toy, my underwater mp3 player.
After a nap, a trip to the second restaurant that we had not visited the night before. It was perhaps five or six o"clock, hard and unneccesary to keep track time in places like this, Dinner is served until late, about 11, but there seem to be customers patronizing the places at all times of day. I had mushroom soup, and then a pasta dish with smoked trout. The trout was actually blended into the sauce, and it was delicous, though rich. I asked the young waiter what was in the sauce, guessing that it was cream and a little tomato sauce, plus the trout. He didn't know and went to ask in the kitchen. He came back, said it was smoked trout plus secret ingredients. I don't know if they really wanted to protect their recipe, or if it was made from something packaged or was ketchup or something like that. It was rich, as I said, but I managed to eat it all.
Only problem, after all the delicous rich food, I had no appetite saved for the dessert I had envisioned, back up to the second restaurant. So back it was to our little house, and our little room, amidst the running falls and streams.