When it matters

And the reason we went on this epic journey was to celebrate a good friend’s 60th birthday.

We had travelled earlier in the day to Skopje and back. Mum knew we wouldn’t make it in time to be part of the surprise for Sylvia. Everyone had already been seated at the restaurant when we arrived at Reka.

Me and Mum slipped in and tapped Sylvia on the shoulder. She jumped when she saw Mum and even more surprised to see me!!!!

Sylvia, Alexa, Mum

Happy smiles all around …

And I even got to sit next to Alexa who has a cockapoo back in Dusseldorf – called Bounty!

And the party has begun!

Mum – what are you ordering? Please don’t tell me squid again. You know I don’t like squid.

And she ordered squid!!!! But the other platter – now that looked rather delicious!

There was live band music, the hoomans consumed while I kept watch on what Mum might hand down to me.

I did get some things from that delicious meat platter.

And then the dancing began …

But Mum didn’t join them – she was worried that someone might step on her foot! So she danced with me! 🙂

And when they were busy talking, I went from one end of the table to the other …

The evening was a success! Sylvia was totally taken by surprise by all who were there. She had no idea except for two slip-ups when her eldest daughter posted on Instagram that she was in Belgrade.

The night was so much fun. Yes, Mum wished she could have been on the dance floor, but she had me. We closed down the restaurant – leaving at about 1pm. Unusual for Mum – LOL!

The full moon over the Danube River – how could it be any better? And Sylvia had no idea there were more surprises ahead!

The next evening the party was at Saran

Another dog-friendly restaurant in Belgrade! Three so far!

It was a different kind of music this evening …

And while the music played, I went looking for what’s on the table.

The surprise had continued – Edgar (Sylvia’s son and Mum’s godson) had turned up at midday – flying in form London to surprise his mum.

Mum, Renata and Edgar

And just half an hour before midnight, Sylvia’s other daughter, Katja turned up at the restaurant to surprise her further!!!

Happy Sylvia with Emily, Katja and Edgar.

And Katja thinks I am the best dog ever!!!! Love her!

This night we did not close down the restaurant but it was still pretty late by the time we got back to the town centre.

Well, who knew that Belgrade was such a fab place for a surprise birthday party! And the restaurants being dog-friendly was one of the criteria for Mum making the decision to take me because she knew how they love to party – and it would never have worked if she had to leave me at the hotel.

So Markus, where to next?

May’s comment: A couple of readers asked why I had posted prior to the party. Wasn’t it suppose to be a surprise? Because I was so confident Sylvia NEVER reads our blog! LOL! Nor does she sees anything on Facebook and she’s not even a friend on neither of our Instagram accounts. But she is still a friend – and a very good one.

Someone told me recently when “friends” don’t do what you expect them to – don’t take it personally. There are many reasons which you may not know about. In this case I know Sylvia doesn’t know how to access my blog. Besides the fact that she has to keep up with her three kids who have busy lives, being a successful landscape architect and that she travels as much as we do … are some of the reasons why. But she promised me she will subscribe! I’ll believe it when it happens – because even if she does, she may not read her emails! LOL!

But it doesn’t matter because in our busy lives, we manage to find each other and when we do, we talk about things that are important. And through the years we have been there for each other’s birthdays, at christenings and weddings – and so many Christmasses. Sylvia came from Dusseldorf after I had my hip operation and she came for my 60th earlier this year. She would go the extra mile for me. When I became Edgar’s godmother, one of the family members came to me at his christening and said – now you are family. 🙂

And though they don’t have dogs, Sylvia understands how much Darcy and George mean to me and she would always make sure they are included. So when this trip surfaced out of the blue – I knew I had to take Darcy for many reasons. The message to make people aware that it is not impossible to travel with your dog. The opportunity to explore a new region with my best friend – making memories, collecting moments. And then to really surprise not only Sylvia but also Markus who had not expected me to travel with Darcy.

Out of focus but so on point – I am happy when I am with one of my dogs.

All in all a success – the surprise, the challenge and the experiences. If I had not taken Darcy, it would have been a quick trip and saw a lot less. Funny how tight worked out.


  1. Maureen Dell

    One of life’s blessings is your Special memories made along the way. You did go to a lot of trouble planning your trip but so worth it. Not too sure if I could have been so brave but you definitely do inspire me. So pleased that you had a wonderful trip and made lots of Special memories with Darcy and your friends.

  2. Cheryl

    You are an amazing woman, and an even more amazing g friend.

  3. Daniel Hall

    Great photos. You sure did great planning for a long, scenic trip. And you are so lucky that Darcy is a great traveler. I saw that the restaurant menu is in English. Did most persons who you met in the various countries you visited speak English? You never mentioned that language was a problem during your trip. I have never been in that part of the world.

  4. Sylvia

    Ätsch, I did read it and I like it lot! Your” old “friend Sylvia

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