On our second day of cycling in Croatia’s Istria Peninsula, we had a little “off-road” adventure. It all started when we stopped at the local winery we had selected earlier as the preferred lunch spot on the day’s route. They were closed!! What next? A helpful man who lived nearby brought out a map and pointed out some other places we might try eating. We decided the Veralda Winery was our best bet. But how to get there? Dave and Ken consulted their maps from our bike tour company and Dave was sure he’d spotted a shortcut to the highway that would take us to the Veralda Winery. Off we went on what seemed a reasonable road, only to have it turn into a gravel lane, then a rocky trail full of broken branches, mud and water puddles that wound through thick forest, leaves and twigs brushing our cheeks as we rode, till finally……. we reached the highway that would take us to the Veralda Winery. But wait a minute!! There was a high wire fence separating us from the highway and it stretched as far as the eye could see. Dave joked about wishing he had wire cutters to make a hole in the fence but we knew there was no possible way we would be getting on to that highway! So……..we turned around and retraced our way along the less than ideal driving path and then followed the directions from Ken’s Google maps app on his phone until we found the Veralda Winery. By now it was nearly 2 o’clock and we were pretty hungry after a long morning of biking. Our host at Veralda was a nice gentleman who launched into a wine demonstration immediately upon our arrival getting us to swish the wine in our glass, sniff it, roll it around our tongues and then swallow it. He instructed us to sip the wine slowly to receive maximum pleasure from the experience.
Thankfully Ken, my brother-in-law, had the nerve to politely interrupt our host’s well prepared presentation. We were hungry! Did they have any food?
Well, the chef wasn’t there but perhaps they could do something for us. Soon two young women were putting baskets of fresh bread, different kinds of cheese, olives and platters of prosciutto and ham on the table. Perfect!! We sampled both a white and red bottle of wine from the Veralda vineyards and then we were fortified enough to finish our journey.
Though our “off-road” adventure didn’t seem that funny when it was happening by supper in the evening we could laugh about it.
It was kind of overcast again for most of our ride.