We are in Croatia, in Triluke Bay which has a small coastal fishing village called Sali. We are here to walk the town. You just never know what will happen when you are far from home.
We spotted a cemetery that had beautiful flowers on nearly every grave. I’m always a little squeamish about being the only one in a church cemetery as there was nobody around. Even the church was closed up tight. This was odd as it was Sunday morning! Anyway, we wanted some photographs, so in we went. The Croats decided years ago to allow (or demand) bunk beds (or bunk caskets) for each grave location. After seeing how nice it was to bury family members on top of each other, they took it to extreme. This family has stacked at least 17 family members. Now that’s cozy.
As we were leaving the area a hunchbacked man in a nice suit was dropped off in front of the church just a few feet from us. Had someone called the secret police about us? Luckily, no. (I don’t want to make a habit of encounters with the police.) Instead, it turned out to be the pastor who waved us toward the church. Ugh, we were in trouble now. Luckily, no, again. He smiled broadly and started to speak with us. Unfortunately, we understood absolutely nothing. After he noticed our befuddled faces, he pointed to the top of the bell tower and waved us over. He unlocked the door and scampered up. I followed closely behind. Within a minute he was a couple of stories ahead of me. This man could scamper. If scampering up a bell tower was an Olympic sport, Croatia might have its man. [Mel Brooks movie comment here, Young Frankenstein] A few moments later I reached the top. It was a very small room, perhaps 50 feet square. Hanging from the center were two very large bells. The pastor pointed to his ears which I thought odd. Then he grabbed both bell rods and banged away. These bells were deafening! And beautiful sounding at the same time. He started to play a rhythmic song for the town members of Sali. It was time for church services.
A couple of moments later it was over and he scampered down. I followed as quickly as I could. When I emerged from the tower, we noticed he was starting to ring the bells on top of the church. These bells looked and sounded like the ones in the bell tower. He had grabbed two long ropes and began the same song as before.
I took a few photographs and turned away. Our pastor friend then flicked the electric switch and the bells rang on their own, finishing the song. He had performed the bell ringing just for us. It turned out to be a pretty amazing visit to a sleepy fishing town on the coast of Croatia.
We checked out the inside of the church which was beautiful. We’ll never see this man again but it was clear he cared deeply about his church and its traditions.
It’s all about the light.