Some of my Opera friends knows a story about the worst storm I experienced in my life. It was in July 2nd, 1987. and I am pretty sure I will never forget that day. I was in Croatia, just turned 18, spending summer holidays in a small mountain village in Gorski kotar. The day was hot and humid, unlike what it usually look like there. But in the evening, some dark clouds started to gather and it was obvious we will have to expect some raining. Aroun 9 p.m. my friend Henrik asked me to make him company to escort his girlfriend back to her home, in a 2 km nearby village. I accepted mostly because I wanted to be out in the open more than to spend whole evening in some pub. On the way there, I grabbed an umbrella from my home, just in case, because I truly believed we will come back before rain starts.
I was wrong. It started when we were at the half way to that village and the beginning was with a BIG brrrrraaaannnnggggggggg behind a nearby mountain. My friend murmured something about thunders and mountain fire but another brang muted the rest of his words. His girlfriend told us to turn back and go home immediately but it would mean we are afraid, so we denied it, trying to hide what we really felt. Suddenly, I started to remember some stories my grandmother told me about kids dying of the lightning out in the open.
Finaly we were close to her house, they kissed and she ran away while two of us looked at each other. There was something serious I saw in his eyes as well as he probaly saw the same in mine. It was 2 kilometers of a road we needed to walk back. By the time we left her, wind pulled the storm directly above our heads and between two lightnings I could see a top of a hills hidden in clouds, about maybe 30 meters above our heads. And then it started with full of its strength. Flashes from lightnings were almost constant and my eyes hurt if I tried to keep them opened. So I looked down to the road. We walked close to each other, trying to hold poor umbrella against wind, knowing how stupid that was. We were wet down to the underwear and umbrella served just to protect our eyes from a wind. My friend tried to tell me something but thunders muted him so we just increased our speed. Around us scenery was visible as in daylight, except the shadows of nearby trees were too sharp. I could feel my friend shaking a little. My stomack hurt, muscles tightenend in a fear but my head was clear enough to notice where are we going and keeping that way.
We passed Škuri okret, a part of a road where animals used to cross it in a dark nights. My friend told me a year ago that he saw a bear there who scared him so much he passed away after running few hundred meters. We laughed then, teasing him that a bear was probably scared as well. But this evening there were no bears or wolves. I swear, I would be happy to see one, hell, I would rather meet a pack of wolves than to be in that storm at the moment. But the worst was yet to come.
We were almost reaching first houses of a village when storm became even harder. I was thinking how it was even possible, umbrella bended by side, broken and ground shook like it was an earthquake. And then I felt the worst fear attack in my life so far. A thunder hit an ash tree about 30 meters from where we were and by the corner of my eye I could see splinters flying through the air, a big branch falling down, smoke. There was only one thought in my head: to run away from there, no matter what just to run. I was shaking, mouth dry and a panick in my chest, preventing me from breathing.
But I didn`t. A moment later I took few deep breaths, felt my friends hand holding my biceps, pulling me to follow him and in a minute we were under the canopy of a nearby house. Shaking as hell but at least we were under some roof. We looked at each other, eyes opened wide, unable to speak. I felt an urge to pee and I did it in the corner, while my friend tried to dig some cigarettes from his soaking wet shirt. His hands were shaking so hard he broke two of them before he managed to lit one – I was thinking how great Zippo lighters are :happy: We shared that cigarette and after about half an hour decided to go home. At home, in bed under the warm sheets and blanket I thought of what we just experienced and couldn`t fall asleep for the rest of the night. Storm ended in 6 in the morning, thunders hit the church tower twice that night.
After that I never felt a fear of a storm. There were few by now, hard as that one but I never got scared again. Even more, I enjoy to stay in balcony, even out and watch lightnings, counting time till I hear sound. 3 seconds means 1 km. If time shortens, storm is aproaching my way. It is fun now.
Last friday we had a short storm with a lot of thunders and some hail. Raining as hell. In my personal scale I could measure it as a light moderate and not dangerous at all. Except the wind broke a tree few kilometers from my appartment.
The following video is made after I came home, missing the best part while I was in a bus. Sorry for a bad quality of sound. I wish I was at home earlier :awww:
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