Properly speaking this blog entry should be called Croatian and Montenegrin kindness for we have been showered with good will in both countries.
I was simply looking for an alliterative title.
Croatia and Montenegro are undoubtably filled with areas of great natural beauty. Cities walled by ancient fortifications are filled with historical buildings and artifacts. Museums, art galleries and archeological repositories abound.
We have done our best to describe our grateful encounters with the small fragments of these countries that we have been privileged to have travelled through and stayed in.
Imagine a foreign country full of such splendours that you could visit and probably be warmly welcomed by a local speaking your native tongue.
This is the glory of the Croatian people.
Proudly multilingual, welcoming, friendly, eager to communicate, philosophical in nature, kind to their pets and children, prone to random acts of kindness towards strangers.
Who could find fault with their national approach towards international visitors?
Whilst we are sitting under the outdoor enclosure under radiant heat lamps listening happily to the rain fall overhead in the bar on our last afternoon/evening in Zagreb Pam and I list spontaneous acts of kindness sent our way during our travels in these two countries.
Of course there was much more everyday kindness expressed during our day to day interactions with locals. People were gracious and patient even when we were hard to understand. Never once did we encounter hostility or rudeness.
Perhaps in the saner, humaner future world that I sometimes catch glimpses of in my dreams, it will be ‘kindness makes the world go round’ rather than money.
As we write this list there is a bit of ‘smoke in our eyes’ for we are truly saddened to be leaving this fantastic part of the world.
There is no narrative beyond this point, no photos. Just a simple bare list of welcoming kindness expressed by the lovely people we encountered.
P.S. Should any readers not be familiar with the Australian vernacular, the word ‘shout’ is often used by Aussies to describe the act of providing a gift. It is very commonly used in conjunction with the consumption of alcohol.
As in ‘hey Mick, it’s your shout’.
Should you ever encounter me in the real world and greet me in such a manner I would be all too happy to buy you a drink.
Mick and Pam
Zagreb – Samabor Books donated by landlady’s mother for us to read.
– Taxi driver spending an eternity with meter off to help find closed IGLU store
– Pharmacy assistant calling cab to help us on her phone
Samabor – restaurant waiter spending a long time conversing with us and ensuring a special off menu vegetarian platter for Pam – shouts us local Blueberry Schnapps liqueur
Pula – Cafe closed on Jazz club night – still made a meal for us
Zadar – Shots of Cherry Liqueur shouted by friendly waiter at Bruchettas
– Liqueur shots shouted by waiter at place we had dinner before Plitvice
– Dejan and Ivica taking us to Church of Croatian Martyrs and Old Bridge when they could just have taken us straight home
Split – super friendly and helpful energizer bunny landlord giving great tips about Split and where to go.
Brac/Bol – Landlords shout us a platter of meat and cheese along with a large jug of white wine
Hvar-Jelsa – unasked the landlord comes to pick us up from ferry meets us halfway
– landlord leaves basket of fresh oranges from trees in yard
Hvar-Hvar – bus driver calling landlord on his own phone without us even asking for help
– Landlord Jure walks to bus terminal to guide us back to apartment
– Jure going out of his way to make sure we have a great stay, arranging trip to fort and driving us there
– Shots of local liqueur shouted by waiter who has had trouble in past with drunken Australians
– Jugo taking us on personal tour of Spanish fort – refused to take payment
Korcula – avuncular chatty landlord fills us in on island sites.
Dubrovnik – Landlady – liqueur on table, two refills, lollies on table, beers and OJ in fridge on arrival, Cake on Christmas Eve
Montenegro – Kotor – Waitress in bus terminal calls taxi on her phone, refuses payment
– Cakes from landlord brought to us by daughter on Second Xmas Eve
– Huge bag of oranges from trees in yard donated to us by landlords
– Rino offered one walk or the other all too happy to take us on both – Rino shouts refreshments at restaurant does not ask us for money
-Landlords Mihaela and Igor happy to stop many times to let us take photos on return from monastary
Montenegro – Budva – Help to the Captain by local older gent – greets us in street later
Zagreb – Lavender bag, late B’day present from lovely landlord
– Personal Tour of Ivan Mestrovic museum granted from enthusiasm for and interest in the artist by lovely curator.