Anyway there were 2 cabin crew and we had 2 comfortable seats and I had one next to the window. They even served us a light meal and drinks.
After taking off we climbed out over what appeared to be fertile countryside all laid out in symmetrical small plots, so different to what we are used to in Australia.
Then large lakes and rivers, up over the snow covered peaks of the Alps. As we passed over these historic peaks I thought of the pain they have caused over the centuries as pilgrims moved backwards and forwards, armies fought each other, escapees fleeing tyranny and, in more recent times, those early aviators as they explored, allowing us to fly safely today, Friday 13th.
The skies were nearly clear so the view of the ever expanding snow covered mountainous peaks was unbelievable, then for the last 20 minutes or so we flew through extremely thick cloud. Down we went until at last the clouds began to break-up and the unbelievably blue sea and scattered islands came into view. This is what we have travelled around the world to see.
Then we began flying over extremely hilly country again. There didn’t seem to be any beach area at all and definitely not enough flat ground to put a plane down.
The first part of Croatia I could identify was the Port of Dubrovnik in Gruz where we were going to stay. There were at least 3 large cruise ships moored to the wharfs and 1000’s of smaller boats of all shapes and sizes scattered all over the place, but on we flew, back over this hilly in-hospitable looking country and still no flat ground. All of a sudden the wheels went down and I could see, carved out of the surrounding countryside, the cement airstrip, we were down and soon taxiing to the terminal.
As we came to a stop, along came another bus to ferry us into customs, however before I boarded it I stopped to take a photo of the DH8 and parked close by was a jet from the airline Easy Jet and painted on the nose was the name Captain James Whalley, the name of an an old acquaintance, but that is a story for another day.
Well, we were down, no problems through customs then, guess what, our bags turned up, our courier driver was waiting then, as far as I was concerned, only one more hurdle was still in our path, would there be a booking for us at the Hotel Petka on our arrival?
We walked up to reception, introduced ourselves, were made welcome, given the key to the room, into the lift, dropped our bags and down to the bar for a celebratory drink and to put paid to the superstitions surrounding Friday 13th.