I had never seen so many mushrooms under one roof.
And not just the number of mushrooms, but the number of species was a novelty to me. Each was different than its neighbor - there were dainty spindles, huge lumpy knobs, fragile stems no wider than a straw, enormous gelatinous masses of fungi - all marked carefully with both Latin and Croatian names. And unfortunately for us, we couldn't identify most of them.
Fluency in the linguistic area would have been a definite asset in this situation!
Mushroom picking without a trained guide could be disastrous to a vacation...
The festival included a mushroom cook-off, and tasty smells drifted up from a lower floor, where presumably the local food gurus were preparing their mushroom delicacies unmolested by the enthusiasts gathered to look over the displays.
Exposure to new things, new vistas, new horizons, expands our personal vocabulary in so many ways.
So here's to the lowly mushroom - long may it grace our tables and fill our spirits as well as our stomachs!
If any of you are familiar with the names of the mushrooms in these photos, drop me a line - I'd love to identify them!