Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The last three days of our trip were a blur as we tried to take in as much of Croatia as we could.  Our night in the castle at Motovun had been nice, but not what I had expected.  From the outside it looked like a typical castle, but the inside looked like a typical motel.  I was expecting stone steps and walls.  Well, at least it was comfortable.

We next drove out to the town of Rovinj on the coast.  It was nice to wander through the tiny pedestrian streets gazing at the different artists shop on our way up to the main church.  Once there we walked up the bell tower on incredibly tiny, potentially dangerous stairs.  The view of the area from the top was worth the climb as the clear blue day showed the calm Adriatic sea and surrounding islands.  Later, as the sun was setting we found a nice seafood place with tables out by the harbor.  The church with lights provided a beautiful backdrop to our meal.

The next day we drove down the coast to Pula, an large city on the tip of the Istrian Peninsula.  It is also the site of one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters.  After looking around marble columns, stairs, and underground rooms we made our way to the old part of town.  There were plenty of historical sites and local vendors, but it was also getting hot.  We found a cool place to get lunch before heading back to the car and moving on.

We had a long drive ahead of us as we went away from the coast to the Plitvice Lakes.  Our drive was made longer as I blindly followed the GPS leading us through a road that started okay, but narrowed down to a twisty, one lane trail through the woods.  We finally found the guesthouse we were staying at and then took some more time to find one of very few restaurants in the area for dinner.

For our last day in Croatia we got up and joined the crowds of tourists at the lakes.  The geology and nature of the area helps the water form several small, clear lakes.  The area was very beautiful with several paths and wooden walkways.  Unfortunately there were also alot of people.  It was often difficult to get a picture without others in it and walking along the narrow trails was frustrating at times.  By lunch we had seen all we wanted to see and were back on the road driving to Slovenia.

We're glad we saw Croatia, but we wished that we had taken a slower pace.  By the end we were getting tired of traveling and ready to be home.  It didn't help that the following day we had to return the car, get on a train to the border, take a taxi over to Trieste, take another train to Venice, get on our plane to Paris, and finally catch a shuttle late at night for our hotel.  We were rewarded the next day though as we somehow got upgraded to first class on our flights back to Denver on Icelandair.

Altogether it had been a wonderful trip and I'm glad Erin and I could share the excitement and adventure of Europe together.

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