Four Dead Sheep and Fig Schnapps
Croatia, © 06.Jul.2002 gM
Photos of Croatia
Introduction to Croatia
Four Dead Sheep and Fig Schnapps
View from Stara Baska
Characteristic turquoise waters
View from Stara Baška (left) and characteristic turquoise waters (right) / © gM
Our trips with very good old friends to the island of Krk in Croatia entail long car rides back and forth from Austria. Traveling to Krk, the roads get ever smaller and windier the closer we get to our final destination. Some may say it is hair-raising, some may say it is exhilarating, but it is certainly exciting and it is a pleasure to ride with experienced drivers who know the local roads very well. The one spot which, almost guaranteed, makes your heart stop for a moment is on the island of Krk close to Stara Baška, along a stretch of road where the cliffs to the right as well as the mountains to the left are high and steep, where the views of the Mediterranean Sea are stunning, and where guardrails are missing. A sharp left turn on a slightly uphill road gives the impression that the asphalt ends abruptly but that the road still continues on straight into the ocean. Especially if you are driving this part for the very first time, your heart tells you to keep going straight. Your mind tells you to go left but there is this split second ... that could take you down the cliff. On our way back long after sunset, we slow down because lights are flashing ahead of us. We have to navigate around four dead sheep which are lying on the road along an invisible line - a quiet, stark, motionless testimony of how hazardous the roads can be.

Premuda / © gM
Silba / © gM
Once aboard the catamaran, we do not have to think about these dangers anymore. Ahead of us lies a different world - a relaxing week of sun, wind-filled sails, deserted beaches with clear waters, good company, and great food. There is hardly anything more refreshing than to take off all clothes and jump from a boat into the cool ocean. Some people, of course, prefer the slow approach, torturing themselves for minutes while inching into the water body part by body part with a speed of approximately 15 centimeters per minute. Everyday we move to a different bay and let the day go by with being lazy, swimming, and playing bocce, soccer, beach ball, UNO, and board games. In the evening, when all of us are happy that, even with our unexperienced help, our skipper brought us and the three-cabin, two-bathroom, one dining room/kitchen, 11.5 meter catamaran safely to the next harbor, the crew members transform themselves from Adams and Eves (before the apple!) into presentable customers for that special small restoran right next to the water. We are always looking forward to wonderful smokvica (fig schnapps) which is sometimes served on the house in a big bottle full of figs. We delight in tastefully grilled fresh fish and calamari, tomato salad with onions, octopus salad with potatoes - both salads served with maslina (olive) oil, šurlice (handmade pasta), beef tartare, and scampi busara. I can still remember kN's big eyes when beef tartare and scampi busara arrived at the table the first time kN visited Croatia with my friends and me. Raw meat, even if it is prepared right at the table, and prawns that look at her with big eyes and have to be ripped apart are not kN's idea of great dinner. I have learnt to make sure that prawns come without shells. With regards to beef tartare, however, any help is too late. I should have never told kN what beef tartare is made of because she actually liked the taste until the thought of raw meat made eating beef tartare impossible.

Introduction to Croatia  /  Four Dead Sheep and Fig Schnapps