Last full day of our Croatian trip. We didn't have much planned but Kirsten was excited because today we were scuba diving. Our guide picked us up and we left Opatija and headed over to the island of Krk. Our travel agent/trip planner Jen is from this island and she was planning to meet us at the dive shop this morning. She is a lovely woman and a great planner! She knows her stuff, so if anyone is planning to come over here, get her details from Kirsten, she's amazing.
The dive shop was pretty small, and we should have known something was up when they didn't have many sizes for dive suits. Kirsten wore a lovely 2 piece number, while Chester was in a something about 3 sizes too big. And our dive guide even said they don't have many large women who dive. Thanks! We finally get all the gear and we walk down to the marina. Chester took her Dramamine so all should be good. The boat was a tiny raft like boat and we didn't have to travel far to get to the dive site. The driver and guide wedged the boat in between a few
rocks and tied it down. It was quite the experience trying to get into our wet suits with the boat bouncing all over the place. Finally suited up and Chester is trying to remain calm. Kirsten was already in the water ready to go. However, even she had an issue with equipment, her mask flew off on entry into the water. The water was crazy choppy too, so it was not the easiest wait for our guide. Finally everyone is in the water and our guide has us descend into the water. We were diving on a wall looking for fish and anything else down in the deep blue sea. Kirsten and Chester are down a few meters and then, out of nowhere, our guide is gone. This should have been our indication that this outfit wasn't the greatest. Our maybe our second or third indication. So we are headed down the wall and Chester is already struggling. She was not comfortable at all, but was trying to remain calm. We headed down the wall, and there were some fish, but it was nothing like other places we have dove. Everything is working, but again Chester is struggling to keep
her position. With a too large suit and tons of weight on her she struggled. Kirsten also struggled with her equipment, but as a more experienced diver she was able to manage. At one point, one of Chester's fin's fell off and that is when all hell breaks loose. Chester grabs her fin and just starts screaming. As much as one can scream into her regulator. What seemed like forever, but was probably only 5-8 seconds, the guide swam over and helped Chester with her fin and calmed her down. She clung to the guide for the rest of the dive. The bad thing was, she had sucked up so much air, the dive just didn't last that long. She definitely needs some refresher courses before she goes diving again. After about a 25 minute dive, they popped up to the service and Chester could not wait to get out of her gear. She didn't get sick though, so that's a bonus.
Back to dry land to our guides and Chester could finally calm down. We said thanks to Jen, again who is a great planner, and she gave us lovely gifts. We will see if Dan gets his
gift. To our hotel for our last night in Croatia, we showered and changed quickly and hit the town. Toure took us around and to a few smaller towns about 25 minutes away. The first town was on the beach and we walked along the promenade at all the kids getting into the water. Lots of schools had field trips to the beach. We didn't have any of those. For lunch, we had the Dan Special. Sorry Dan, it was donner kebabs for us! They were delicious. The next town was tiny and quaint and another beautiful place on the sea. Lots of churches and narrow streets, so narrow in fact, that the narrowest street in the world was in one of these small villages. Kirsten and Chester did their best to walk through it facing forward, but at one point, they both had to turn sideways to get through. It's these damn hips! We toured the narrow streets and stopped and had glasses of wine in a few places. The region is known for its white wine, so Kirsten was in heaven. The weather wasn't the best, so we were ok with walking around and taking in all the
last bits of culture we could.
Since Chester considers her near-death experience a card to be played, so talked the guide into heading back to the hotel so she could watch the Croatia vs Senegal soccer game. Toure was happy to watch with her, Kirsten got a nap in. Everyone wins!
For our last dinner is Croatia, Toure made a reservation for us at an off-the-beaten path restaurant. The weather was ominous and the clouds, thunder and lightening were upon us. Toure turned off the paved road onto a gravel path. Chester noted how every horror movie starts out this way: storm, driver taken a "short-cut", and then the car runs out of gas. Toure was pretty low on gas too! Finally we arrive and it doesn't even seem like a restaurant. The owner welcomes us with open arms and is glad we came. Had we shown up 10 minutes before we would have seen the most beautiful sunset, but the rains came and actually everyone left. So the patio was all wet and we ate inside the office room. It was actually pretty awesome, we called it the private dining room! We were in for a traditional
Croatian meal. We started off with bread, olive oil, olives and fresh prosciutto. It was so fresh that the chef was cutting it right then off the leg. It was kind of cool to witness. The owner came over and showed him how to do it. By the end of the night Kirsten was also cutting her own fresh prosciutto. So typical first course of meat and cheese. Then we ordered the fish, sea bass with mixed vegetables, and a craft of white wine. When the meal came, it was actually 5 fishes, all grilled with the heads and everything still on them. It was amazing. We separate the heads and cut the bones out and then you eat with your hands! It was so much food and all three of us did our best to eat everything, but by the end, we had to hid the last half of fish from the owner. He said he wouldn't take our plates until we ate everything. Toure did his best to eat half of the last fish, so Chester quickly cut the rest up and hid it under the heads of the other fish. It worked! For dessert we had chocolate
filled crepes and then a last shot of red wine. Delicious. incredible meal and great evening talking with Toure! He is a great guide and we recommend him to anyone who wants to come here to visit.
The rain had stopped and we were off back to our hotel. It was a great last night!
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