Croatia – Day 3 September 23, 2021

Travel overland to Opatija, with a Croatian farm experience

We traveled to to the seaside city of Opatija through the Croatian Highland .  On the bus, we learned that Croatia will move to the euro as their currency in 2023.  Nikola Tesla, who was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system, was born in this area when it was Austria Hungry. He emigrated to the United States where he was awarded some 300 patents. Serbia and Croatia both claim rights to him, even though most of his work was completed in the US, and it is expected that Croatian euros will carry his likeness. A reporter once asked Albert Einstein “what is it like to be the most intelligent man in the world?” Supposedly, he responded I don’t know, you”ll have to ask Nikola Tesla. Elon Musk named his electric car, the Tesla, after him.

As we moved into the highlands, we moved definitely into the plains, flatter terrain, smaller rolling hills, tilled fields for agriculture – all dotted with small villages.

We stopped at the farm estate of the Kezele family along the way. We enjoyed a tour of the property, including the stables where livestock are kept, a small museum of vintage artifacts, and the wine cellar, where we savored a tasting of the family’s excellent vintages, including their Skrlet. We were  also be treated to a tasty lunch of farm-raised delicacies, made in the family’s traditional kotlovina style. The lunch was prepared in a huge pan with all the ingredients added at various times to cook to perfection.  Our lunch began with a serving of chicken soup and bread, followed by the buffet-style serving of two kinds of sausage (black and garlic), pork, and chicken, potatoes, and beans in a delicious sauce. Dessert was cheese pie. All enjoyed outdoors under a pergola of sorts.

Then it was on to a 3 ½ hour ride to Opatija. This afternoon, we checked in at our deluxe hotel in the seaside resort city. Breathed in the salt deeply, listened to the water gently lapping the side of the boats, and we understood why visits here were widely considered therapeutic a century ago. Dinner was on our own, we opted for Ruzmarin (aks Rosemary) where we sat out on the terrace.

 

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