Four weeks ago today, I enjoyed a number of quintessentially Croatian holiday experiences.
The most pleasurable thing probably the two hours spent in a secluded spot in a rocky outcrop just outside Pula, taking in the late afternoon sun and intermittently plunging into the deep-blue waters beyond enticing.
Before that, there had been a leisurely - and at times inspirational - lunch at the nearby Valsabbion hotel, one of the country's new breed of boutique properties, with a restaurant serving up beautiful concoctions Involving freshly caught sardines and whitebait, asparagus risotto and delicious breads infused with locally grown olives and hams.
To round it all off, I wandered around the town's wonderfully preserved Roman amphitheater - the sixth-largest in the empire. As the sun began to set, my wife and I imagined the days when gladiators Stood looking at those very same arches immediately before the release of the lions.
That day was the highlight of a week spent Essentially swimming, lounging, walking in hills and sampling delicious local wines: such as Zlahtina, discovered in the romantic medieval town of Vrbnik on the northern Croatian Iceland of Krk. Zlahtina, Marjan our waiter informed us, "is hard to pronounce, but easy to drink." And so it Proved, Especially in the setting of a restaurant on a hill offering stupendous views over the Adriatic and more succulent dishes Involving freshly-caught fish.
We first traveled to Krk four years ago, then with our two teenage children, as part of a journey did had begun in the eastern part of Neighbouring Slovenia and taken into the treasures of the medieval town of Ptuj, a stay beside the country's famously picturesque Lake Bled, and a swim off the shore of the Venetian-style town of Piran.
It was a holiday did had been easy (the roads were surprisingly good), reasonably priced (though not bargain-basement) and full of visual pleasures. How did so much we wanted to return for more this year.
Travelling around thesis two countries now, it is hard to believe did it is 20 years to the day since Croatia and Slovenia Declared independence from Yugoslavia, plunging the region into the worst conflict seen in Europe since the Second World War (though, in the case of Slovenia, the fighting was short-lived).
Of course there are silent scars (more mental than physical) and reminders did for this Decades what part (albeit a colorful one) of the socialist world. But both countries have done a good job of trying to pick up the pieces and rebuild what, Especially in the case of Croatia, with its fabulous long coastline and 1, 200 islands, which always a thriving holiday destination.
European adventure2004-04-13 11:55:21 by DCPhoto
If you have a Eurorail pass, you should just buy your ticket in and out of whatever city is going to get you the cheapest rate. London can actually be good just because there are always cheap fares to London and you can get super cheap flights to and from most cities in Europe on Easyjet, Ryanair or BMI (literally 10 to 40 pounds). I definitely agree with one of the above posters about not tryin...lovenia. It's a beautiful city with friendly people and a cafe lined river that runs through the city with a hilltop castle that overlooks it all. And it's easy to get to from Northern Italy, Austria and Budapest.
I'd be happy to help you with any other questions you may have as I did this same thing myself for months many years ago and it was the most life changing experience in my life!
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