Our trip to Croatia and Dubai was the tale of two very different cultures, several different climates, two different economic conditions, and two very different worlds...the old world and the new world. There are things to love about each world and maybe a few negatives about each. Here is my attempt to entertain, educate and re-live.
|A room with a view, Croatia.|
|A room with a view, Dubai|
Arriving at each new accommodation is like a box of chocolates, "you never know what you're gonna get". We choose not to stay in high end luxurious hotels. I like to mix it up and stay in a small boutique hotel or an apartment. I like to "think" this gives us a more authentic experience. Our first place was a small hotel. Score major points for location on this one! Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes! Parking in any European city is a challenge. We were told they had parking "near" the hotel. One way to shake off jet lag is to find an obscure parking lot in an unfamiliar city and then drag your roller bag four or five blocks over cobbled sidewalks to finally arrive at your hotel. We did this same ritual at more than one of our stops. Gotta love the loose definition of "parking nearby".
|Even better than the pictures on the Internet!|
After dropping our bags and freshening up we went to explore the city. This is where the adrenaline kicks in! Wandering around a new city, being awed at the beauty and amazed that it is even more beautiful than I expected. We had no agenda we were just wandering. Walk a bit, sit and have a drink, wander a bit more, take a million pictures, check out potential dinner spots, wander more. We took refuge in church before dinner and went to mass. No clue what the readings were or what the homily was about but we were there. Our only bad dining choice was made that night. I consider the fact that our server left the restaurant midway through our dinner and failed to inform anyone else a negative. Can't say I recommend Baltazar wholeheartedly, the food was decent but not great and the service wasn't there. I'll just blame our decision on jet lag.
|St. Mark's Square|
|The Cathedral of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Louisiana food begins with "the trinity",|
Croatian food begins with "the green bundle" sold in markets all around the country.
We left Zagreb and headed for the coast with hopes of making it to the shore before sunset.
|We drove through the snow banked highway,|
and tunneled through the mountains
|until we found this on the other side!|
|The best view is from the church at the top of the city.....and it's a steep city!|
|All the way to the top!|
|We made it!|
|The sidewalk to sunset|
|Totally worth a 3 hour drive followed by a climb to to top of the city!|
|We fought our way home through the crowded streets....|
|to our brightly lit apartment, where we slept fitfully that night.|
|Rovinj in the morning!|
|outside an ancient church in Porec|
We left Porec and headed to Motovun. I heard it was famous for truffles and was a small town perched on top of a mountain. There is nothing I like more than going to the top of places with great views! TJ on the other hand is not big on heights. Our drive was lovely and when we turned the corner at the little cafe and saw our destination in the distance we were both giddy like kids. It lived up to the its reputation!
|but first a cup of espresso at the cafe for our driver|
|You always get a great view from the top! Climb those hills!|
|One of us is not too crazy about being at the top!|
The day was a success and we were back in Rovinj in time for another chilly sunset. We were thinking of just going back to our favorite restaurant again for dinner but found it was closed on Monday and Tuesdays. We patted ourselves on the backs for our excellent decision to eat there last night and had pizza for dinner, we were tired and done making decisions for the day! Sometimes you just have to eat pizza. TJ was very proud of his solution to the brightly lit bedroom.....
|We slept like babies!|
|More of Rovinj|
|I loved this place, it was stunning!|
|I want to come here in the warmer season|
and sit outside at this cafe and sip wine all afternoon!
|Goodbye Rovinj with your friendly trees, until we meet again!|
We said goodbye to Rovinj the next morning and headed south. We first stopped in Pula. One of the things it is famous for is its ancient coliseum. We did not explore much of the city past the coliseum.
|You've seen one Coliseum......|
After Pula we had to make time! I was on yet another sunset mission. We were heading to Zadar, home of the famous Sea Organ and Alfred Hitchcock's favorite sunsets. We drove through mountains and plains and a few more climates. I am still amazed that in one day we went from the sea shore through the mountains and snow and to the sea shore again. You really can have it all in Croatia!
That's all for now, I'm going to drag this out for at least two or three more posts.