I am sipping the foamy cream atop my cappuccino and crunching the caramelised chocolate sprinkled on it. I cannot remember the last time I drank a cup of coffee. The common cold that I caught from the weekend trip has given me a throbbing headache and I can’t seem to shake it off. I resort to drastic measures to get rid of it and it slowly seems to be doing the trick. Whether it is the caffeine, the ibuprofen or the natural course of events, my head finally starts feeling human again.
We are at the airport waiting to board our flight to Dubrovnik with a transit in Frankfurt. The Croatian island of Korcula is our final destination. We have a long journey ahead of us.
At Frankfurt, the air steward warns us of the temperature as we wait to alight the flight. Europe is in the midst of a heat wave. Winds from the Sahara have brought unprecedented temperatures with it and the continent is buckling under the heat. The airport bus with its air conditioning at full blast takes us to the terminal building. While at the terminal transit gate, I am made to drink the half litre of water I had in my bottle. There is no other way of disposing the water, if I want to keep the bottle, that is. I need the bottle to fill it up once inside or that is my intention. Once inside there is no facility to fill up the bottle. In this day and age when plastic waste should be discouraged, I find this highly unacceptable especially on a hot day like this. Now I need to go looking for toilets as soon as the water gets filtered through my system, which doesn’t take long. At least, I don’t have to worry about getting dehydrated, I comfort myself.
The mercury is not far from hitting the forty degree mark as we get on our next flight. A short flight over the Alps, a magnificent sight on a clear day like this, takes us to the capital of Croatia. There is no delay at the airport as we collect our luggage and meet our representative. We still have a very long drive ahead of us.
The initial part of the drive reminds me of our bus ride years ago along the Amalfi coast. The road winds around the mountain cliff edges and in parts through clearings in the mountains, and most of it along the coastal line. As the evening sun beats down on the seafront, we sit back and enjoy the views. The islands of Croatia come into view. The archipelago gives the impression of mountains where the valleys in between have been filled with water to the extent that only the top of the mountains are visible over the surface of the water. At parts pine trees break our views of the sea and at other areas oleander and wild flower bushes add colour to the scene. As the road weaves around and the sun goes down, each bend opens up to wonderful views. The dusky pink sky, bluish grey sea, green mountains and silvery cliffs slowly melt into the background as the evening progresses.
Dusk falls as we enter the last leg of our journey. A fifteen minute ferry crossing and we reach one of the largest islands of Croatia and our hotel is a two minute drive from the ferry port.