I got a little bit nostalgic while painting this piece.
After living in Orlando surrounded by a flat landscape for more than 18 years, I can honestly say that I'm craving hills. Not just hills, but thick, lush forests and mountains. Don't get me wrong, I really like this subtropical climate, minus the occasional hurricane and thick humidity from June until September. Heat, yes, I can take it, better than cold. I do know what cold winter means as I lived through it my first 28 years of life in Croatia. My husband is the same, well he actually loves living here more than me.
I also miss the sight of the Croatian castles.
There is an area in the Northwestern part of Croatia with plenty of them. My father was born in that area, on the border with Slovenia. The hills are beautiful there. I remember as a child climbing the steep hills of Kostel Bregi with my parents, on misty mornings while the grass was still covered with dew. It was a slippery climb, and yes, my brother and I would end up sliding down the hill occasionally. My grandparents lived on one of these hills, and the reward at the top was a breathtaking view, north towards Slovenia, and south towards Croatia.
I visited there with my kids a few years ago, and they loved it. While sightseeing at the Trakoscan Castle, they climbed an "almost vertical hill", and I had to perform a rescue to get them down. My Floridian kids got quite a workout there, but the adventure was terrific, so we'll have to return for a new visit.