05.05.2011 - 10.05.2011 22 °C
Ahead is the border, yay our first 'real' border crossing. Is it nerdy to be excited about getting a little stamp in a book? (Ang: Now I know why the kids at school love stamps.) We were stamped leaving Slovenia and then the Croatian guy didn't even check our photos matched our passports. Thank God Angela says as she is sure looks nothing like her photo, much prettier :-)) We drive to the small (pop 14 200) town of Rovinj (silent j). Similar to Piran but larger with more swimmer friendly rocks. Checking into our accommodation was again an adventure in itself. When you base your accommodation decision on location, parking, and a couple of photos it can be a bit of Russian roulette however we (finally) managed to find our little patch of Croatian paradise in a ten minute walk from town in a fully self-contained apartment above someones house. Savana, sylvia, salvana, saliva, we are still not sure of her name, welcomed us warmly and I'm sure would have jumped off a bridge if we had asked her.
Rovinj is a fishing village that is also extremely touristy. Once again all cobblestones and pastel coloured buildings. We don't think we will ever get sick of them. It is located on a peninsula directly across the Adriatic from Venice. In these towns we have found ourselves just 'cruising' around, soaking up the ambience and the gradually warmer sunshine. We have made a joint decision of sorts that we don't want to spend all our time traipsing in and out of museums for a variety of reasons, the main one being we just want to be outside. After time spent doing the mandatory wandering of the lanes, we spied a nice warm patch of rocks at the top end of the town. So like a couple of snakes we basked in the Croatian sunshine for an hour or so on a spring afternoon. Jealous? We headed home via the market, which Adam is obsessed with as every town we visit he HAS to visit the market, and spent the evening drinking wine and eating a home cooked meal.
Day two is getting down to business day, so tourist equipment required, camera, hat, money, thongs. We had already decided we would be snakes again and Adam was determined to go for a swim. So after a leisurely morning of laundry we headed in for coffee and lunch. NOthing exciting today, we thought, just a sandwich. Believe it or not sandwiches are actually quite difficult to get in Europe. Full baked meals, especially involving pork are easy; as are ice-cream and pastries. We spot a menu advertising a Turbo Sandwich, yes thats right TURBO. It sounded good to us and the picture looked delectably tasty. Two of those bad boys please mate. After a very brief period of waiting, out come our sandwiches; they were a slice of processed meat,a pale and small slice of cheese that may have covered half of the roll, one slice of tomato and a lone lettuce leaf on a hamburger roll with zero condiments (ie no butter, mayo, mustard). The only thing turbo about the sandwich was the speed in which it came out to us. (Just realised we have a food story with every blog, could it be because essentially our day revolves somewhat around our next meal).
After a revitalising lunch we headed to bask in the sun again and Adam dived in (briefly) for a dip. Dive in, splash around for a few minutes and then climb out again. It was too icy for Ang to swim so she just cheered him on and admired his courage.
We joined the locals on Saturday night for a few beverages and remembered why Australia is so good for banning smoking in bars and clubs. The company and atmosphere was great but my god we stunk when we left. Lucky we were too happy to care until we smelt our clothes the next day. Our pre-dinner drinks consisted of cocktails at the most amazing cocktail bar. It was positioned down on the rock face of a part of the peninsula with cushions scattered over the flat rocks and mood lighting, jazz music and madamesque type hosts. The view straight out was over the Adriatic and with a price tag on the drinks to suit, so definitely not where the locals go. The experience was fantastic and if we had had more time we would have gone for a third night.
Onto Zagreb...the unpolished second cousin of Budapest. The clouds came rolling in and brought with them their friend, the wind. Together they made cold. Big jackets came back out, swimmers away. Our accomm. was a guesthouse, so our own bathroom and bedroom but a shared kitchen. The first night we (allegedly) were sharing with three Russians. However even with Ange doing her regular ear to the door and head around the corner routine, (Adam call it Mrs Kravitz busybody) we never set eyes on them. The only real visible evidence they were there was the mess in the kitchen in the morning. There were clues everywhere as to what might have happened to them but nothing was ever proven.
Zagreb was reasonably unexciting except for the cleanest trams yet. Bright blue and sleek looking. We did our compulsory exploring and found all the central sights. The city was large but didn't have anything real pizazz or emotional impact on us they way all the other places have had. One thing we have found over here is the amount of daylight hours. Even though we are still only in Spring, there is daylight before 5am and up until about 9pm. This is good for us with everything we want to do.
Our next destination is Serbia. Stay on the paths all the brochures say.....there are still landmines around. This is one piece of advice you can be assured we will follow.