|We woke up Sunday morning in Croatia in the city of Rovinj – a couple of hundred years ago it was an island until it was joined to the mainland by an ambitious engineering project. Hilary led us in our morning yoga on the top deck of the yacht as we sailed into the harbour and put an anchor down near the shore. A few us did our two-mile walk around the deck and then a trip to the gym for some weights. Are you impressed? Me too! I really hope I can keep up an exercise program this summer to balance the eating and drinking.
After breakfast on the veranda and a quick shower we went ashore in the tender with a walking tour map in our hand. We joined four other friends and followed the suggested walk up a cobblestone street that turned into a steep hill very quickly. I’m glad I wasn’t back in the Netherlands on my bike as this would have been both tricky and uncomfortable. I did see some bike riders but they were dressed in tight lycra with fancy clip-on shoes and touring bikes, so they’re used to tough conditions.
It was Sunday and the church bells were ringing, the church was full and the families were out and about in the streets. It’s hard to imagine this was a county at war twenty years ago, but it was. My impression today was one of prosperity and positivity and that was based on what we saw in four hours – perhaps things are different further into the suburbs.
I don’t know how anyone could be strong enough to walk past the sidewalk cafes on the ocean front without sitting down for some refreshments – I know I’m not which is why the six of us had a break for some adult beverages. Procesco for the girls and local beer for the boys -- very nice it was too!
When we got back on the Wind Surf I changed into my swimsuit and went to the marina at the stern end of the ship. This used to be called the Sports Deck but now it’s the marina, same thing, different name. A few people were out in kayaks, a few others were sailing, but the majority were playing on the slide and that’s where I wanted to be. The water initially felt like a melted iceberg but of course the ole body adjust quickly.
The slide is part of a blow-up trampoline affair – circular with a hanging ladder to climb if you can picture that – and there was a huge floating mat attached to the side to lie on (if you can stop laughing long enough to climb onboard). When I climbed up to the trampoline I first laid down and enjoyed the heat of the sun before climbing up the slide—an important part of this story. Getting my foot on the first “rung” of the blow-up slide wasn’t easy but I eventually managed and when I crested the top of slide I laid on my belly and got ready to slide head first into the water. Except I didn’t: I was stuck. The slide was dry and so was my swimsuit!! Can you picture me on the slide trying to force myself down, squeaking as my skin stuck? It wasn’t a pretty site.
A few friends on the back deck spotted me, called over some others and soon a crowd was cheering me on as I attempt to make my way head first down the slide millimeters at a time. Frank swam over to rescue me by splashing water on the slide and I think that is what allowed me to finally hit the water. After that I swam onto the mat and hoped everyone would forget the incident. Huh, fat chance! It seems the cameras came out although I haven’t been given any photos yet – I suspect they’re being held for future blackmail.
That night we had dinner with our dear friends Bob and Karen who have been on all the Windstar trips with us. A fitting end to a perfect day.