Friday, September 12, 2008


Day: 352
Basilica and back

We decided to go into town today and check out the local basilica. The church dates back to the 4th century and has some beautiful mosaics in the nave of the newer church and an original mosaic in the original church. We decided to part with some kuna and climb the clock tower to get a view above town. The tower sits in the courtyard of the church and from the top gives great 360˚ views all around.
After our foray into town we hit the internet café for a little check on email and to try and update our blogs and photos. The café was nice, but it was in lockdown mode when it came to downloading info. We at least let people know we were alive and kicking. Little did we know that our pension had a wireless connection that we could have tapped into. It was later in the afternoon when we put that one together.
The menu tonight was fish and our host didn’t disappoint. I was able to peek at the fish before cooking and did in fact see a mackerel among the pile. There were also small halibut and I think a rock cod or bass. He uses a lot of butter to cook them up in and the crust that forms gives some great flavor. He asked us what we would like tomorrow for dinner since it was our last night and we both decided that fish sounded good. He then asked if we wanted one big one or a mix again. I say don’t fix it if it ain’t broke…go with the mix of fish.
The bad news on the Croatia front is that Croatia lost to England in Zagreb last night. The football match was pool play for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Croatia isn’t out of it, but England put a pretty good licking on them (4-1). Our host didn’t have anything nice to say about England and then added that the only people he liked less were the French. He added a little gesture at the end that is universal, but hard to replicate by word. He thought that anybody who was playing Croatia was his enemy unless they were customers, then he would show ‘a little diplomacy’.
After dinner tonight our host grabbed Leslie and I as we were trying to sneak back up to our room. He herded us into the bar where he was ‘going to give us a little sleeping pill’. The first pill was shot of šljivovica. He liked to call it šljivowhiskey or Yugo petrol. His homemade version certainly had a little more bite than the last one we had, and I bet it would run a little car like the Yugo. He didn’t think we had, had enough so then he got the good stuff. It was ‘quitte schnapps’ and was very tasty. A ‘quitte’ is Croatian for quince in case you were wondering. I saw a bottle high up on his liquor shelf and stepped around the bar to ask him what it was. It had a homemade label and a layer of dust on it. I didn’t want any, I just wanted to know what it was. He fished out a bottle of it lower down and said it was a very special schnapps that his friend made in Austria. Zirbenschnapps was amber in color and had a light taste of rootbeer and pine. Leslie and I both thought it was very good and was very high in alcohol. Turns out to be around 60%. I think that all of our sleeping pills are working quite nicely and if we were going to have a problem sleeping, we won’t now.
Sweet Zirbenschnapps dreams.

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