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Nine Green Bottles



Nine Green Bottles

Julia Molden reports an unusual start to day one of this year’s Croatian Language and Culture trip in her first blog:

You  know the song.   So now we are re-enacting it in reality in Lovran!  There were meant to be eight of us at the beginning of our latest adventure.  And that was many fewer than normal thanks to the ravages of Covid.  But here we are on Saturday night.  First Marina announced that she wouldn’t be arriving until Monday so we were down to seven.  Then Leo, newly returned from the USA,  had a nasty cold and felt it best to stay away at least for the time being.  Donna had run into trouble at Heathrow with her Covid test, the results of which only arrived thirty minutes after her plane had departed, so she wouldn’t be arriving until tomorrow.  And then Sarah felt that she might also be brewing the same cold as Leo so she too decided to keep her distance.  After all, in the current circumstances who knows what is a cold and what is Covid, so best to leave it a day or two for the fog to clear.  So swiftly our eight green bottles have been reduced to four.   If we carry on at this rate there won’t be any of us left at all by tomorrow night but for now four intrepid travellers are still going strong and we had a very lovely welcome reception between the four of us feasting on food and wine bought with eight in mind!

John and our ever patient teacher, Linda, had arrived hot foot from Lošinj.  Dr John and I had been doing a bit of exploring ourselves which had included a visit to a model mining town, built by Mussolini during the time he had designs over this area,   Amusingly for anyone with English as a mother tongue, its name Raša Arsia did sound remarkably like the arse end of Russia, which in a way it was!  Then we moved swiftly on to a cement works picturesquely situated on a beach where children were playing and people were bathing.  Whatever floats your boat!  We had a brief pit stop at the hill top town of Labin for a pizza lunch, before moving swiftly on to our rendez-vous with Linda and John, in our lovely Villa Peppina bearing food and wine for this evening’s festivities.

This is the strangest start to a summer language and culture trip yet, but nevertheless very amusing and enjoyable.   And with a bit of luck we just might be back up to full strength by Monday.  Meanwhile we are all off to bed to be up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, for our first excursion tomorrow with our, as yet, unsuspecting guide Nada (she’ll soon find out!).  But not before John reappeared knocking on the door of Linda and my apartment to tell us the glad news that he had just retrieved his jacket containing all of his money, passport and other important documents from the back of their car which had been left unlocked all evening.   With us in charge absolutely anything could happen so hold on for the ride!

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