Croatia is a stunningly beautiful country. Decades of time here are layered in clear relief: Renaissance structures sit atop pre-Roman ones, graceful Gothic windows are built into rough-hewn 5th century walls, and modern plaster joins marble floors smoothed by several centuries of walking feet. The history is palpable–tangible actually–you can lean on a pillar built in 300 A.D., then reach the other way and touch a sculpture from 1400. It struck me yesterday, as the Croatia Flotilla participants took a walking tour of Trogir and Split, that it will be impossible for me to describe what we’ll be seeing and experiencing here. Croatia is like a tapestry, with strands of history and culture woven all about each other to form luxurious patterns and textures. My account, if I’m lucky, will pick up perhaps one or two single threads of this experience. I hope that the many pictures I’ll be posting will add thousands more words of value.
We’re off to the market this morning to provision with fresh fruit and prosciutto–we embark this afternoon and will enjoy a sunset sail to our first port of call on Milna Island. But meanwhile, I’d like to share with you an incredible moment we witnessed yesterday in Diocletian’s palace; it gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. This group of men gathered as we were walking through an atrium and sang traditional Croatian music, a capella. Their voices rang out from the ancient walls, and although the words were unintelligible to me, it was one of the most moving things I’d experienced in a long time. (I have a wonderful video of this, but it refuses to upload on this connection, so for now pictures will have to suffice!)
I know how these flotillas go. I’ll make a conscious effort to save my superlatives, because as overwhelming wonderful as Croatia is at first blush, I’m sure that Croatia by sail is going to blow me away.