In Search for the Turtles

I must leave this town.

I don’t like it here. I don’t understand it. The buildings are neglected, the people rude and untrustworthy. The weather too unstable. 

And then there’s the always crowded Korzo, where people drink coffee 24/7, and you can’t even see the sea. Who drinks coffee close to the sea without actually seeing it?!

But then…One day, I was walking aimlessly around the neighborhood, when, out of nowhere, a park appeared. An interesting building, and then a fountain and … turtles! Lots of them! How in the world did I miss the turtles ?!

If I am going to leave the town, I should at least know what am I leaving behind. How many turtles, metaphorically speaking, have I missed?

I began my search.

I found: A couple of relly good cafes, places with a wonderful view, good graffiti, antique book shops full of good literature, rich history behind the old buildings, playfulness amongst the unstable weather, a tunnel under the city, lively open market on Saturday mornings, old mills on the Rječina river, kind people who love what they do.

. . .

Rijeka really taught me an important lesson. I need to look up more often. Go behind the corner. Observe The same things under a different light, from a different angle. Search for the beauty.  

And yes, it’s not that Korzo is not overlooking the sea, but that some centuries ago Korzo was built on the sea. 

But I only know that because I stayed long enough and kept looking for the turtles.

Author: Ana Galant, volunteer at a radio

This digital story has been realised within the European project “Stories Behind the Cities”, founded by Creative Europe Programme, European Commission.