A Hint of the Hapsburgs
Our bus to Opatija left Rovinj at 12:00 with one easy transfer. Driving through the countryside, we saw pretty stone houses with tiled roofs, donkeys, and little farm stands selling strings of pepper and garlic.
One thing we noticed is that the bus drivers here are very determined to keep moving forward and show no mercy to anyone in their way. On our first bus, the driver forced a woman in a fiat off the road and gestured his irritation with her as he drove by. On our second bus, the driver didn't think I was moving fast enough onto the bus with the luggage and just drove right off with me standing on the steps of the bus.causing all the luggage to spill into the aisle, He almost hit a bicycle too and the rider grabbed onto the open door of the bus to speak his mind while the bus continued to roll with him hanging on!
Our room at the Hotel Galeb is the best yet. We are on the top floor with private a balcony and expansive views of the Kvarner Gulf. There are parasailers, beach umbrellas, and booths selling boat excursions. The public beach offers all sorts of fun activities for children such as trampolines, sandy areas to build castles, and an array of inflatable seaside friends to borrow.
We decided to go for a swim, but first we needed a beach towel, A man with his own beachside kiosk told us his Croatia bath towel at $30 was a bargain, but we knew better and found one for half that price with a map of Croatia on it. To reach the water, we enjoyed a free pass from our hotel to use the facilities at the four-star Hotel Savoy which enjoys an especially nice setting, along with amenities such as a bar and reclining chairs. While there we met a young employee from Mostar, Bosnia, who claims he especially enjoyed speaking with us because he could practice his English language skills. Swimming in the Kvarner Gulf, by the way, proved quite refreshing with a blend of hot and cold spots.
In the evening the town was full of energy. As we walked around, I enjoyed a special treat I had in the Balkan region last year: corn lightly salted and grilled to perfection. We ended the evening at a hip seaside restaurant named Hemingway's. Down the coast, the lights are glittering on the hillside and the moon shines a path across the bay. Tomorrow we will visit one the most beautiful places in the world according to National Geographic- Plitvice National Park