My fondest childhood memories are those of trips to the coast and to the mountains with my parents. Maybe it is because these trips were so rare – there was always work, grandma and my aunt – but I was delighted to discover that I could take still share my holidays this way even now that I have a family of my own and my parents are senior citizens.
My father always encouraged me to do sports, but never allowed me to get too involved with any particular sport. Although trainers would immediately start hounding me with practice as soon as I would take up a sport, my dad would always find something to hold against whatever sport I tried. Running was boring and hard on the knees. Swimming would have given me large shoulders. There was no money in volleyball and it was bad for the knees, while tennis caused elbow problems and implied wearing skirts that are way way too short.
This, of course, doesn’t stop my father from playing a tennis match with me from time to time even today, at the age of 84. He is definitely not the only active senior around. There is a great number of tennis fans who are living proof that it is never too late to start enjoying this sport – they are taking part in the excellent Super-Seniors World Tennis Championship for men and women between 65 and 85, taking place in Umag and Novigrad for the second time.
I wasn’t completely comfortable planning a family holiday with senior parents, knowing it might be impossible for them to keep up with a five-year-old who is bursting with energy. But my fears have proven to be completely unsubstantiated. The secret is good planning and common interests: five-year-olds get to discover nature and its charms, while seniors can finally relax and enjoy the nature.
An excellent choice for small groups and families that want to try birdwatching is the special ornithological reservation Palud or Palù, near Rovinj. We would interrupt the long walks dedicated to birdwatching with well-timed snacks and lunches and we trained our patience throughout the day. I especially liked the fact that some of the names for birds that my father used did not necessarily correspond to the ones in the textbook, which was a particular lesson on world and language diversity. I was afraid the grandson wouldn’t have the necessary patience to observe birds, so the first time we took off on this kind of a common adventure, we headed for the special ornithological reserve of the Mirna River delta, where in addition to the hundreds of birds, you can also see a range of amphibians and reptiles, always popular with the kids.
Although at first glance golf might not seem like the ideal family sport, it is actually perfect for this: it makes you spend time outdoors and also makes you take gentle but long walks, bringing back our faith in our physical abilities. While grandpa and grandson make the same mistake for different reasons while hitting the ball, golf is also a sport that distributes the weight of the equipment among those who can physically handle it.
You can have a perfect day relaxing with your family with this sport on the slopes of Istria. Find your golf adventure on the curved terrain of the Golf Club Adriatic golf course on Crveni vrh near Savudrija. It fits into the tender Istrian hills so well that it was awarded the prize for “Golf Art Landscape”.