With Dan freed from teaching Macedonian lawyers for a couple of weeks, we took a road trip through some of Macedonia's Balkan neighbors. I don't like "road trips". There is way too much driving and too little being in one place. This dislike was etched in my mind when I was a child. Bi-annually, my parents would pile all of us kids (first 3 kids and later 5 kids) into a car and drive as fast as possible from California to either Georgia or South Dakota. One year we made a large circle to hit both Georgia and South Dakota. My father did not understand the concept of "enjoying the journey." We drove though national parks and historic landmarks and didn't stop. For him only the destination was important. Consequently, during the two to four-day journey portion of the road trip, the car was a miserable, tear filled, boring place to be for 18 hours each day.
Dan and I disagreed about whether or not we should make reservations for this two-week vacation. I didn't think it was necessary because it was already middle September. Dan insisted it was necessary so we reached a compromise. Dan reserved rooms for the first several nights and after that we would go wherever we were drawn.
Arriving in this beautiful forest with so many with lakes filled me with calm. We set off down this path for a short walk. While I was waiting for the sun to emerge from behind the clouds, I saw a woman that looked like someone I knew. I quietly said her name, but she didn't respond. At the next waterfall stop, she approached me and it was my friend Penny from my yoga class in Placerville, California. She and her husband had decided to take a vacation to Croatia and to Italy. This was their second night in Croatia (they did not have reservations either), and they had come to the park for one night. Finally, an auspicious sign for our road trip. Penny and John and Dan and I had dinner together that night. It was so wonderful to meet by chance a friend that I've known for so long in a place neither of us knew we would be.
Penny and John stayed for one night and we stayed for two. Dan and I walked almost all the trails enjoying this jewel of a park immensely. The water is so clear that the fish are visible from above. As a result, it is a good thing fishing is illegal here.