Croatia - September 2018 travel blog

Welcome to Slovenia

Pretty tree lined road in Slovenia

Trieste harbor

Main plaza

So close to Italy, why not take a day trip? It was unanimous. The map software said about 2 hours. No problem, should be easy. No way. Traffic at the border at Slovenia was so slow. (My kids, remember the Tijuana border crossing? Not that long, but close.) But we did get a new stamp in our passports.

A three lane highway went down to one lane in a short distance. It was Saturday morning and it appeared a lot of people were doing some weekend traveling. We did a lot of hypothesizing about what the issue might be, but none of our guesses were correct. Border crossing, pure and simple. One of the highlights, or perhaps lowlights, was the number of men taking a leak on the side of the road. Never saw a woman doing that. I guess our gender has a little more class.

After a quick stop for an adult beverage and small snack (french fries) in Lucija, Slovenia, we headed to Trieste. There was no passport stop crossing in to Italy.

De had read that there was parking near the train station and from there we could walk to a lot of places. We followed the sign into a parking structure which gave us all high blood pressure. The lane was incredibly narrow and very steep. It was also circular. Our car is a manual transmission. There was a big BMW or Mercedes behind us. We decided that there was no way we were going to try to go any higher than the first level. There were no parking spaces available, so it was an easy decision to get out and find something easier. Ernie got out of the car and guided Dennis down so we could avoid hitting any of the walls. De and I were holding hands in the backseat to give each other courage. Our men got it done!

We do believe that the smell of burning rubber is still evident in that parking structure.

We found a parking lot on the waterfront with spaces. It was right across from the beautiful town square. Here is where I put my feet in the Adriatic for the first time. We wandered for a while and developed a hunger and a thirst.

We found a restaurant a few blocks from the square that looked inviting. The SLOWEST service ever. If the food had been excellent, we could have overlooked the service, but it was only okay. The server was even slow to bring wine. And slow to bring the bill. And they did not take credit cards. We wanted a light mid-day meal and we were there for about two hours.

Enough of Trieste. Not knowing if it would be another three hour drive or not, we decided to head back to Ronvinj and perhaps a gelato.

The border crossing back into Croatia from Slovenia was so much easier - we were only in line for a few minutes. And we got two passport stamps - leaving Slovenia and entering Croatia.

Observations about the stamps -

1. The stamp we got entering Croatia a few days ago at the airport shows an airplane and an arrow pointing to the right.

2. The stamp we got entering Slovenia shows a car and an arrow pointing right.

3. The stamp we got leaving Slovenia shows a car and an arrow pointing LEFT.

4. The stamp we got entering Croatia today shows a car and an arrow pointing right.

So clever.

Our excitement wasn’t over yet. The hotel parking is “about 500 meters from the hotel”. That’s debatable. Yesterday, our driver (no names, please) chose to go the wrong way on a one way street to get into the lot. Today, we asked directions so we could avoid the same challenge. We had a map with arrows drawn where the turns were to be made. However, the streets are really, REALLY narrow and we missed a turn or two. Also, there was very little room for error while navigating said narrow streets. Our driver was watching the left side, our navigator was watching the right side. We never hit a wall and eventually found the parking lot. Then, it was a very sharp left turn to get in and there was a ditch on the right side of the car. Our driver, who may or may not have been the same as the day before, had to back up and not hit a wall. Success! The next time we take the car out will be Sunday morning to head to Plitvice National Park. We are hoping the parking at our new hotel will be easier.

Next was gelato, then a beer, then back to our room.


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