Croatia

 

Krk is a beautiful Croatian island in the northern Adriatic Sea, near Rijeka and we did a long drive there in Peaches from Bratislava one summer. 

It has quite a diverse, rich cultural history: once ruled by the Romans, then the Croats before returning to Italy under the control of the Venetians.  After the decline of Venice, the Austrians took control, but subsequently Italy briefly tried to take it back during the second World War before Nazi occupation.  Yugoslavia and then Croatia were the post war rulers.  It is a rocky, hilly island and also a lovely location to camp for a while.   Today the Middle Chakavian dialect of Croatian is the primary dialect used on the island. Up to 1898 (the day the last speaker of Dalmatian language, Tuone Udaina died), five languages were spoken on the island: Middle Chakavian, Venetian, Croatian, Dalmatian, and Istro-Romanian.

After queuing to get over the famously long concrete bridge to get on to the island we set up camp on a rural seafront site and I started to cook the dinner while the girls went off to explore the beach front.  I enjoyed the cooking and sat down to read for a bit.  I read quite a lot.  Then I fiddled about on the guitar.  And read a bit more.  Beers were drunk and I started to get a bit annoyed at the time they had been gone.  Then worried.  Finally, a man on a moped pulled to a halt outside the camper.  “You must come with me.  Your daughter is hurt.  I have been looking for you for a long time.”

It was a shock.  The site was quite large and he had only been given a description of Peaches, for Tash had no idea of exactly how to describe the location, having only just arrived and meandered this way and that towards the sea.  So I sat on the back of this moped, wondering just how bad the injuries were.  I found them in a seafront bar.  Iona had tripped and gashed her forehead on a sharp bit of the undulating, uneven concrete, depositing bits of gravel into her skin and had been bleeding profusely.  An ambulance had been called and turned up very soon.  It was hard to assess the extent of the injury due to the amount of blood that had gushed from her forehead.  The paramedics were delightful and spoke good English.  They were kind to Iona and manged to calm our fears of a serious injury.  It involved a couple of butterfly stitches and keeping an eye on her for the next few hours.  They drove us back to Peaches.  We had no money to pay the bill, but they told us where to go the next morning to a cashpoint and then a medical centre to settle it.  So all in all the Venetians, or Romans, or Austrians, or Yugoslavs, or Croats, or Germans or whatever it was that these people were, looked after us well.  We enjoyed the rest of our time on Krk.

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