I can’t say that the only suitable season for me is summer. “Nature doesn’t have bad weather”, as it’s often said in Russian. Naturally, after winter’s sleep, greyness and slushy streets, cold winds and monochrome landscapes, which are generously gifted to us by winter, everything seeks light and warmth, and always impatiently awaits first clear sunny days.
But now is not the winter at all, only the autumn reigning. It’s painted the leaves in golden and blew half of them off to the ground. Air became cold and transparent, the skies went up a bit higher… And finally on one of these mornings you notice that the mountain peaks are covered with snow, and that autumn has finally taken over the city. We still enjoy the warmth and light, squinting at the sun, but already wrap ourselves up in shawls. I like autumn.
Therefore, the offer to go to the Croatian coast for son’s fall break wasn’t immediately met with an outpour of emotions. Yes, it’s warmer down there, after all 1000 km (~625 miles) in southern direction. But here, in Slovakia, it’s also really beautiful. And all the more so past summer wasn’t lazily spent – sultry Indian days, roads, hotels, luggage. And all of this, again?!
Okay, let’s go! Because there, at the seashore, it’s still almost summer…
On the road again – the day doesn’t dawn for a long time, deserted highways and headlights from oncoming cars. Then sun goes up and already Austrian autumn waves to us through the window.
But the post isn’t about the road or the seasons of the year.
It’s about the moments and the magic, which is concealed in the places, where you don’t wait for them.
Because those three days on the Čiovo island became an entire life for me, woven from magic.
I like the off-season time at the resorts. It’s the time of quiet sighs: as if everything were sighing with relief after guests’ overflow. Silently sighs the sea, caressing the rocks with waves.
Somehow very quietly yachts rock on the waves – they don’t call anybody to go out in the sea under their oblique sails.
Empty villas are sad, with wind throwing falling leaves through their white cobbled patios.
There are a few patrons in the cafes and pedestrians on the streets, gift shops are wrapped in tight tarpaulin.
Morning… The air is still cold, the sun has gone up above the horizon a few moments ago. I sit on the balcony, wrapped in blanket, with a cup of hot tea in my hands and look at the dawning sun’s light painting the houses on the opposite side of the bay in blindingly white… I don’t want to hurry or think about anything – I want to remember this light… It seems silly now, but only two mornings ago I didn’t want to go anywhere, spend unplanned amounts of money. It now seems insignificant.
Afternoon… The sun is high and warms, it calls for sunbathing. It’s +21°C. We’re walking in light shirts by the forest footpaths along the coast.
Resinous smell of pines oozes through the warm air.
There’s not a living soul around! Only rarely we bump into the likes of us (late summer aficionados) with blissfully laid-back expressions on their faces. We decide to have a photo-picnic. We have to work. We choose the place for shooting, pull out the props from the bag, set the camera…
Soon the props are used in the way they are meant to.
We find a place in a cozy bay, hidden from sight. The water in sea is unreal – it calls for bathing. We plunge our feet first… It’s that cold after all. Come on! And a few minutes later we’re already diving (almost naked, because nobody thought about bringing swimming suits) into cool water and squeal from excitement.
And again sunning ourselves.
The evening is approaching. The embankment of the city Trogir and the marble fortress walls are gilded by the setting sun, the shadows of the ships and palms and the walkers are lengthened.
The light bouncing off the sea surface hurts the eye. We’re drinking coffee on the embankment (beaten place, yes, but only from here can you see the sunset) and soak in torrential gold.
There are two fish lying in the trunk of our car, bought from the local fisherman. We so wanted to cook fish for dinner, but the fish market had been closed when we arrived, as had been the shop – it’s off-season after all! And we were left to walk along the shore with a sad thought of not having fish for dinner.
But at that moment we met Him! He threw fishing nets in the bay, not far from town, and then pulled them out.
And it was He, who sold us two silvery flapping fish, right from the seine (forgive us all the vegetarians!).
Late evening… The light of the day has completely disappeared and the air became cool as in autumn. We’re in the patio of our villa. The fire flares up un the hearth.
There are survived props on the table and the trophies from the local market – homemade olive oil and yellow tangerines with leaves. There’s magic all around.
Bonfire cracks, dark wine is poured in glasses, care-free chatter spills awaiting the delicious dinner. There are only people, who are infinitely important and dear around.
It dawns on you that it’s the last evening here – that’s why you want to carry and remember all the simple enchantment of this place. But there are no regrets – everything comes to an end sometimes. All you have to do is take everything life offers you in full.
And we honestly say to life – “thank you”! Thank you for spontaneous decisions, for the opportunities to make them happen, for all the people met on the path, for sunrises and sunsets, for splash of waves and freshness of the wind, for tasty food and warm bed. For illuminations and revelations, which it saved for us…