New Year's Day 2017 dawned bright, beautiful and calm...a blessing after three days of a gusty bura (wind storm) that's been blowing here.
After staying up until past 2 AM last night to celebrate the new year, everyone took their time this morning which gave it such a nice, leisurely feel - as if we had no where else to go and nothing else to do. I love family time like that!
But by afternoon, it was just too pretty to stay inside.
All nine of us headed out for a New Year's Day hike, to start the new year off right with a little exercise!
Three years ago, when Dave and I were on our sabbatical, this branch of the Patty family took care of Kaylee for us for almost a whole year. It was fun to watch her interact with them these past two days, and especially her buddy, Luke!
Notice I said we were going on a hike, not just a walk. We are looking to gain some elevation!
The vineyards of Zlatan Otok, the famous wine produced right here in the village of Sveta Nedjelja, are pruned and dormant now. But still incredibly beautiful against the backdrop of the bright blue sky today.
This is the only wine whose label actually says, "Wine with the view". I love that!
Up, up, up we climbed, getting a great view down to the village from the mountainside.
As we were hiking and came around a bend, Claire suddenly said to me, "Mom, is that a bridge up there?"
Sure enough! It's one of those via ferrata's like they have in the Alps and other high mountain places.
I'd just read about it earlier this month, that it'd been put up by an outdoor adrenaline tourism company. It's the highest bridge on the island, though not one I'd care to take!
We'll stick to the regular paths.
Our destination was the caves up above Sveta Nedjelja, which were inhabited in the Neolithic Age. The Augustinians built a monastery and small church in the cave in the 15th century, but then left it in 1787.
We commented on how it'd be tough to get food when you lived up there!
They certainly must have enjoyed the view, as did we upon arriving there.
Oh how I enjoyed being with my sister (in-law...though we always just say we're sisters!) and my nieces!
Claire took family photos for the Patty family, perched up there on the ledge overlooking the sea.
And then we climbed up into the cave where Dave, Josh, Becca and I sang a four part harmony because the acoustics are so incredible in there!
Because they had a ferry to catch, we had just a little more time to soak in the sunshine, view and each other before starting our descent back to the village.
This little village, translated from Sveta Nedjelja in Croatia to "Holy Sunday" in English, sure has captured our hearts!
And what a joy and delight to share it with our family.
"Thanks for coming all the way down to spend New Year's with us! We sure love you a lot!!"