Lots of things happened in Croatia. Once I got off the ferry I met up with some Australian girls who were also on the ferry and we had no idea where we were. Ended up in a posh hotel asking for directions. I had a hotel all booked, and it happened to be next to where the girls were planning on staying. I was exhausted and crashed out.
Next morning, Opatija… it s a big tourist resort, really big, lots of people, no beach, just cement. To many large tanned Germans and Italians wearing not too much, some of the guys didn t really need their budgie smugglers, their guts did it all.
Do car rental… 1 hour wait as they lost my reservation and had to get a car. Got the car, drove on the correct side of road through this resort town, hit curb, flat tire, 1 hour trying to figure out where the tire was, hot to get it off and then how to get out of the tiny car park I was in. All good after that, no probs, only got pulled up by the police once, at the airport when I was dropping off the car for going the wrong way, in a deserted airport carpark at 6 in the morning, and this carpark was a small regional airport carpark smaller than Wynyard airport in tas.
So Opatija to Roc to Hum to Buzet, where I stayed with WakeUp s a girl I met on www.couchsurfing.com, she showed me the town m(old town on the top of a hill and new town on the bottom, only really looked about the old town) and it was interested to have a bit of a cultural exchange, including food! It was really great, I looked at maps and a book full of photos and planned a bit more of where to go.
Next morning I headed out to explore the hills and little towns to the north of Buzet. I got a little lost and had some time in Slovenia, but that happens! Got back ontrack and found a little place called Hum, not a lot there but buildings were great and took a heap of photos. Made my way to a town called Montovan, another town on top of a hill. And another great place, a few tourists about, I walked up the hill and talked to a Bosian Architect on the way and also her cat. Up the top I climbed the tower and got some amazing 360 degree views. At the bottom I bought a cd rom from a guy called Danjal which had information about all of Istria, we got talking, 40 minutes later we had finished our coffee, exchanged numbers and he set me up to stay in Porec that night with his girlfriend. I bought a little painting and some postcards and that was my time in Montovan.
So onto exploring much of the same kind of thing, small towns on top of hills. There was one town that was falling apart and was discovered by artists and is now full of little galleries selling local and no so local art. There was some amazing stuff there or which I didn t buy a thing! The town also has a summer music school, so all the streets are filled with sounds of people practicing for the nightly concerts that are put on.
Next stop was to the Adriatic Sea, to a place that Danjal had suggested and it was almost empty of people, the sunset was kicking in, it was still warm, and so I jumped in. Clear blue waters and rock beaches. Water would have been about 20 degrees plus. Very good place and time to go for a swim.
That night I ended up at danjal and Ivana s in Porec, a very busy little town and yes, this one wasn t really on a hill! I managed to get a park just outside the centre of the town and found my way to the information place where I discovered where I was in the town and where I needed to go to meet the others. I also had dinner… did I mention this place is truffle central? And I don t mean the chocolate type, I mean the grab a dog and into the forest. Anyway, I walked into a resuraunt and said I m hungry, bring me what you recommend. I had an entrée with truffles, followed by bacon and truffle creamy pasta and a great bit of steak, followed by a chocolate moose thing (no truffles). I really wanted to try the local wine, but there is a 0&tolerace to drink driving, and I still had to drive so no alcohol for all of Croatia! In total dinner was about 360kn which is a bit, but was very nice.
Met Ivana, had another bit of cultural exchange, difference in lives and things like that. Another late night talking and got up at 9, wandered a little bit and left the town at 12 ish
The whole day was rain, and lots of it, thunder, lighting, the whole works. Got a little sad, was too much to really get out and shoot, and then it happened, all good, light was grate and managed to get some good shots of a bit of a castle and the Roman arena in Pula. That night I tried to find a good place to sleep in the car along the coast, I woke up next to a large power plant. And it rained more.
I went to a resort town at 6am, watching the storm come, more thunder lightning, and this time hail! I took very few photos on my last day there, ended up meeting up and having lunch with Danjal and Ivana in Montovan and then spending 3 hours to drive about 60km! Lots of fun. Drove straight through the city of Rijeka, I was supposed to stay in a hotel there, but couldn t find a park or anything so kept on going. Found a hotel only a few km from airport and crashed out there till 5 am when I had to leave. And what a great airport it was!
Did a walking tour, had a sausage, drank beer. Woo Hoo. Munich is not on my top 10 destinations, it may just be because I m tired, but I just didn t get into the city.
That brings us to today, still Munich (I m staying in Wombats hostel, seemed appropriate). Went to Dachau Concentration Camp memorial, which was the first concentration camp. Very interesting and also disturbing, all seems so peaceful and hard to imagine all the things that we were told happened there. But they did and it makes you think more about all that happened at that time all over Europe and hope that we learned out lessons, not sure if we have.
Anyway, Annthea in Nuremburg tomorrow and Tori and Switzerland the day after!