Holidays were usually taken abroad. But in 1937 the author's parents took them to Abbazia in Italian Istria, now Opatja in Croatia. Kaga would take leave with her family during such foreign holidays. Anatole and the author were in the care of a uniformed English nanny in Abbazia, which was the author's first introduction to an unfamiliar world-the melodious language, the exotic Mediterranean food and there was, too, a technological thrill produced by the flying boat that travelled every other day Fiume-Pola-Abbazia-Venice and back. The author's father took the author to the grottoes of Postumia, one of the most extensive cave sequences in the world, but with no trace of a human presence, just a vast assembly of stalactites and stalagmites like a giant's jewel box. The author resented missing the days on board the ship, which was bad enough, but even more being barred from Venice.