Monday, June 5, 2017
Good morning Lovrana!
A peek out our balcony reveals that the terrace will be ours alone for breakfast. Packing up must be done because we have to leave here and move forward into the interior of Croatia. But first, breakfast.
The spread here is simple, yet elegant. We make our selections and fight our way to a table on the patio.
The apple cake with mint cream sauce is especially delectable.
It is difficult to tear ourselves away from this paradise, but we have miles to go today. Our journey will take us along the coast and then inward to finally end up at Plitvice National Park. You can see our route HERE.
The drive along the coast is gorgeous.
When it is time for a break to get gasoline we pull off the road into a nearby petrol station. This one just happens to be on the water. Now this is the way it should be when you have to fuel up.
We were only stopping to gas up, but then a cafe was discovered around back of the station. We linger.
Moving on the road finally turns inward and the terrain changes to thick green trees and farmland.
We wind past several entrances to the National Park (which we will be visiting tomorrow. Our B&B is around the backside of the lakes and is deep into the mountains. We drive and drive seemingly into the middle of nowhere. Not seeing anything that even looks like a guesthouse we are starting to wonder where we will be staying tonight.
When we get almost there we are met head on by a huge Mercedes truck that is delivering building materials. Can’t get around him on this one-lane road.
The workers scurry to unload the materials and then motion us to the side (where we almost dropped off the cliff…). They maneuver around us expertly and Villa Sumrak is just up ahead.
Villa Sumrak is a traditional family home where we will be hosted by a lovely family. We are greeted by Marina and shown to our apartment.
We have two bedrooms, a sweet kitchen area and a small balcony. The apartment is spotless, tidy and will be great for tonight.
One of the two sons tells us to meet him downstairs after we get settled.
Marco brings out a carafe of local white wine and proceeds to show us some secrets to visiting Plitivice National Park while avoiding most of the tourists.
We notice a smoky smell coming from somewhere out back. Investigation uncovers an awesome outdoor oven. Would we like dinner here tonight? The father will be preparing “something special” on the BBQ. We think for only a split second before answering a resounding YES!
The plan for tomorrow is to spend all day exploring the park. Marco convinces us to take a short (1 hour) hike this afternoon before dinner as a “sneak peek.” He shows us a trail on the map and we are off.
I have seen photos of the park/lakes but I really don’t know what to expect. The sneak peek whets our appetites.
The walk along the green surrounded path is good enough, but then we come upon this:
Unbelievable. If this is merely a “peek” I wonder what we will see tomorrow?
On our way home we come across this cute little guy:
Dinner awaits so we make our way back to Sumrak to check on Miro (father) working over the oven. He tells us that the large covered pan on the grill is called a Peka and he is cooking lamb, veal and chicken in it.
When dinner is ready we are shown to one of the 3 tables on the patio. The other 2 are occupied with some German tourists who are repeat guests.
The dinner is wonderful. We are served a huge platter of meat from the grill (lamb, veal and chicken – all local), a beautiful salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, potatoes and bread. Of course there are a couple of bottles of fantastic olive oil on the table. We are told to put it on everything! They also have set down a little bowl of Ajvar. Janel is familiar with it but we are not. Ajvar is a Serbian red pepper sauce made from roasted red peppers and eggplant (but we didn’t tell that to Rich until later). It is fabulous. All is washed down with a Croatian Syrah. We are happy.
We feast. After dinner we are offered some of the local plum brandy as a digestif. Both Janel and Rich seem to like it. It is too sharp for me, but smells great.
After dinner we sit for a while and talk with Marco and Matthew. They are great “kids” and very well versed in English. Talking with them makes me miss my Johnny.
We will attempt to make an early start in the morning – breakfast at 8:00. Sleep will come easily up here in our mountain home.