A touch of Christmas magic near Sibenik.
The darkness of Srima, a town near Šibenik with no street lights, is pierced only by the lights coming from private homes and decorated gardens in front of them. The Vlahov family garden is the first among equals, and this year it has 500 light bulbs more than last year. All in all, during this festive time of the year, there are more than 2,500 lights decorating their garden. Many fellow residents have decided to follow their example, so the darkness of the Srima streets is less dense these days, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on December 25, 2015.
“If all gardens were decorated like ours, Srima would shine like Las Vegas!”, said Ivona Vlahov, a young pensioner from Split who had worked all her life at the Split shipyard, just like her husband Stašo. Now in their retirement years, they enjoy life in their little house, the only one in the town which does not rent apartments to tourists. They are especially proud of their 1,600 square metre garden, which they have turned into a magical Christmas oasis.
They decorate their garden at Christmas, but also at Easter, when snowmen and Santa Clauses are replaced by bunnies and other stylized ornaments which announce the arrival of the greatest Christian holiday. For Christmas, they have turned their garden into a location for a real birthday party for baby Jesus, while resourceful Stašo this year even bought a Santa Claus suit to visit his neighbourhood. “We have wonderful neighbours. Many young people have returned to Srima, and now we have about a thousand inhabitants! All the larger houses have at least two children, and they were very happy when they saw Stašo dressed as Santa Claus”, said Ivona.
“Do you remember last year when we had floods? Something similar happened this year in Srima as well, but we were saved by a pump which was given to us by our beloved nephew Toni Rajić. That is why we have been able to landscape our garden in this way and decorate it for Christmas. Last year, this whole project did not cost us much – the electricity bill for December was just about two hundred kuna higher than usual. That is a small price to pay for all this happiness”, concluded Ivona Vlahov, the gardener of the shiniest garden in the whole of Srima.