Late summer (anytime after August 15th) is a little like the bottom of the 9th inning. Everyone knows what the score’s gonna be, it’s just a question of waiting it out. The smell of autumn is here, with the winds setting in late afternoon. With this laid back mentality in mind, I decided to take a much anticipated, long-postponed scenic walk.
My daughter takes this path on her way to training when no one is available to give her a ride. I had heard that it was lovely, so now it was time to see for myself. It won’t be the last time, that’s for sure.
We live on dry land, but surrounded by water. From what I understand about Croatian geography, there are only three cities (towns really) that fit that description, surrounded by water I mean – and they are Vrana, Pakostane and Drage. Nestled between the gorgeous blue Lake Vrana (which means Crow Lake) and the Adriatic sea, they are country towns with lots of rural unruliness – overgrown brush, dry stone walls and country trails.
How to describe the 3.8 km lakeside walk back to Drage? A real treat.
First of all, the road is paved. I was wearing summer sandals, and no problem whatsoever. I am itching to buy a bicycle now, it would be faster and more fun.
Lots of great sites: views of Lake Vrana, explosive looking clouds, Vrana itself (a small village named after the lake) – cool and creative forms of habitation, camper homes, storage containers for shipping goods from overseas (from the US?) converted into homes, and funky little shacks, all clean and orderly. I passed millions of figs – wild blackberries on thorny bushes – and the olive harvest looks promising, too. An interesting rope fence resembling a sail boat.
I was surprised and satisfied to see that I wasn’t alone. Besides being passed by a United Nations variety of license plates – mostly from Western and Middle Europe (every five minutes or so I had to share the road), there were bicyclists, some old, some young, some, like a family of 4 were wearing bike helmets, many others were not. One old man in a tractor smoking a cigarette and looked at me as if I was breaking the law for picking and eating the wild blackberries. HA!. Two older ladies walking and talking and totally enjoying. Some photographers trying to capture the late afternoon hues and perhaps photograph the sunset. A German campground with German – speaking children playing in an olive grove.
Kind of secret paradise!
Back to the wild blackberries, their real Croatian name is kupina (Ku-pEE-na) growing along the roadside. They are small (due to lack of rain) and potent! Beware of their thorns – many people use them as a “wall” to protect their property! I picked only a couple fistfulls, but each piece was a explosion of flavor – sweet and tart combined. The darker and the riper they are the better.
Once home, I soaked them in dessert wine for a sauce to pour over vanilla ice cream. They make excellent jam too..
There are definitely worse ways of spending a summer afternoon 🙂