We were able to spend unforgettable days with Robi and his family in Split. Not only did we find an excellent host and tour guide in Robi, but the so-called family connection with his wife and children was very warm and profound despite the few days which was shown again and again in small gifts, shared morning coffee and also in conversations.
There are often disappointments regarding contacts via the Internet, but also the exact opposite. A secret recipe? No, that probably doesn't exist. You just have to be prepared to plan for one or two disappointments right from the start if you want to meet up with previously unknown people, especially “abroad”. Only those who are willing to take this, let's call it residual risk, have the chance to make new acquaintances that will develop into friendships. Which is what we really want at this point.
The email contacts in advance showed that there were fundamental similarities regarding the topics discussed, so we were of course very excited about the first personal meeting. Despite it being a family weekend, the appointment at a meeting point was quickly arranged and our company premises and therefore our location were quickly reached after a short journey. A short introduction to the area followed, electricity and water were provided and shower and toilet rooms were shown. We were very pleasantly surprised when we also received a key to the production hall. We didn't expect that at all. A basis of trust that is rarely found today.
Our first night was very relaxed and quiet, ending, as always, at 7 a.m. even though there was no alarm. We had arranged to meet at 8:30 a.m. in the company building for our first coffee together, where we would also get to know Robi's wife and the other employees in his team. Here, too, a certain basis was found right after getting to know each other for the first time, which continued to deepen, no longer just the topics about the reasons for our presence. We talked about this year's extremely poor olive harvest as well as about new ideas in tourism or the family. In short, there were an immense number of approaches that formed the basis of the discussions.
On the third day of our visit, we got to know Robi and Kate's two daughters. The older of the two, called Vemena (Venus), was a little reserved at first, but the younger of the two was immediately open and in English: "Hello, welcome, I am Alma ".
That was a welcome. Shortly afterwards, the two daughters received their first present in the form of two painted pictures, which we hung up in the caravan.
The following day there was a meal together with Robi and Kate's staff, which was "served up" by Robi's father. Typical for the region, we will take care of the recipe. In general, there should be a few more culinary surprises after we had eaten wonderfully prepared brown trout in a small restaurant in the neighbouring town the day before. The special thing here was the breading on the skin as well as the added and baked almonds, which gave the fish a great, previously unknown aroma. It quickly became clear here too that we would have to come back.
The following day there was a small package as a present that contained beautifully decorated, differently prepared pastries that smelled wonderful and... tasted even better with all kinds of natural products. The aroma of olive leaves, thyme and candied lemons and oranges had an effect on the baked goods. For that reason alone, there should be another meeting.
Now we've been on the road again for a few days and find another email in our inbox: two pictures of Alma and Venus. We were very happy that we were remembered and therefore quickly decided to write this little text, which somehow fits the pre-Christmas season. Hopefully we'll all see each other again in the spring, healthy and happy.
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