Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A spark, a cactus, and a hurricane

Six years. One child. Seven countries. 120.000 km. This is a story about our little red Chevrolet Spark. Which we sold today. This morning we signed a contract with the buyers and we handed the beloved car to them. And I'm feeling very, very emotional about it.

Not many people feel so emotional about a car. It's just a car. But I love cars. I watched Top Gear more than I ever watched Friends in my life. Or Sex and the City. Or anything like that. My mother used to work in a car industry and my father is a car maniac. It's genetics.

We got our Spark six years ago, brand new. We didn't have much money so we got a small budget car for our daily need. The car was mostly rested during the week -except for regular house errands- because we take trains to work. But we'd go to road trips and weekend getaways whenever we could. It's been to beautiful places. It witnessed the growth of our family, and now as we're growing even more, we needed  a bigger, stronger car.

You will be missed <3
My favorite story with the Spark is the hurricane story. I was 8-month pregnant with babygirl, when my husband had some job arrangement in Rijeka, 160km from Zagreb. I decided to go with him so I could take a walk in the city while he was solving his thing. By 8pm he was done with his work, but he wanted to stay a little longer in some coffee shop to watch a handball match. We were ready to go home around midnight when the game was over. And that was when the hurricane came.

Rijeka and places around it is often hit by a very strong wind, called Bura. That night, the strongest kind of bura came, called Orkanska bura, or Hurricane bura, which could reach speed up to 220 km/h. We came to the entrance of the highway for Zagreb when we found out that the highway is completely closed for all vehicle due to security reasons, so we decided to go back to the city. The wind was so strong we lost our radio antenna. The whole car was shaking when parked. We went to a gas station in the center where the wind was blowing less, and decided to just go to sleep in the car. Due to my pregnancy bladder, we had to walk across the street at least three times during the night to use the toilet, fighting with the wind so it wouldn't fly us away every time. We woke up around 7am to a great sunny day, so we expected that the road should be okay by now. No wind whatsoever. We went to the highway just to find out that it's still closed. The officials couldn't confirm when it will be reopened, so we decided to go back to Zagreb via the so-called old road, through the mountains of Gorski Kotar.

Our little car climbed slowly on the road of the mountainous Gorski Kotar which was literally covered by one meter of white snow in the middle of March. It was a beautiful, beautiful view along the way. We drove passed by small villages that just were waking up to the morning sun, so we decided to stop in one of the villages to get coffee. Until we realized that we had no cash. We looked for ATMs and some guy told us that there is no ATM in the village. We thought maybe the coffee shop takes card payment, but of course they didn't. We came back to the car to see if we have any coins in the compartment, and found exactly 15 kn (around €2). We had hopes. We got back to the coffee shop and asked how much was an espresso. 7 kn. There we go, two espressos and a great view. Long story short, we arrived in Zagreb safely that day, around midday.

As for the car, we're upgrading to Citroen Cactus. It's bigger and twice stronger, should give us spacious feel even with two child seats and a grandmother in between sometimes. Babygirl asked me already twice today where our car is, as she saw her carseat in our living room waiting to be put into the new car. I know she loved the Spark as much as I did. But she will go to more adventures with the new car, together with her little sister, who's going to be called Iskra, meaning Spark in Croatian :)


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