Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 7: Ljubljana to Krk, Croatia

Kurt really loves Ljubljana and could see himself living there some day. He has a few landscape architecture firms he admires and wanted to check out their offices while we were visiting. Unfortunately, our few days in Ljubljana fell on the weekend and we didn't have much time to devote. Luckily, two firms were nice enough to let us swing by on Monday morning before we left town for the beach (and our ride was nice enough to wait for us as valuable beach hours ticked away!).

Kurt and I rented some bikes for the morning and tested our navigating skills to visit two offices. The first we saw was Studio AkkA. One of the principals was nice enough to sit down with us and show us many of their current projects. He was even running off to a site visit and invited us to join. They currently have a stadium project in construction in Ljubljana. Kurt would have been in heaven, but sadly, it didn't fit into our tight time schedule. Next, we ran to Bruto Landscape Architecture. The owner sat and chatted with us for a while. He was really interested in Kurt's background and we even pulled up Terrain's website to look at past projects they have completed. He told us all about this new golf course endeavor he is getting ready to launch and even eluded that he would need help with it. Anyway, we had to run because Magda and Carlos were eager to head to the beach. So was I!

After Kurt and I returned our bikes, we bid farewell to lovely Ljubljana and all four of us piled in Magda's tiny little red car to drive to the Croatian coast. It only took about two and a half to three hours. Kurt and I enjoyed the backseat and sightseeing out the windows. We remarked how lucky we were to have friends in foreign lands. Most people on vacation would be doing touristy things in major cities, but here we were exploring off the beaten path. It was great to have a different perspective and see so much more!

The Slovenian countryside.

We had to cross border control as we went from Slovenia into Croatia. Apparently they are a little more strict when you travel from a European Union country to a non. We had to show our passports twice (once at each border). We must have seemed like the most motley crew of travelers--two Americans traveling will a Polish girl and Mexican man. Kurt's passport even looks different from mine because he recently renewed his. At most places that asked to see his, Kurt got "Wow, I haven't seen the new one's yet!" We were obviously no threat to national security, so we were allowed to continue on our way (getting 2 stamps in the process!).

Some first glimpses of the sea near Rijeka.

I fell asleep for a moment (me+cars=instant nap a baby) and we arrived in Krk. It is such an amazing little town on the water. The city center is pretty compact with tight, winding cobblestone streets and no cars. Our hostel was in the historic city and had an amazing outdoor seating area for their restaurant. The city feels so relaxed. It is definitely a beach town.

We had some reservation issues with our hostel and ended up with bunk beds and all four of us sharing a room. The receptionist was this sweet Croatian girl with an Australian accent to her English. We were originally going to have 6 people in one room but she relocated the random couple and got the owner to give us a discount. Our Polish-Mexican counterparts grumbled a bit, but Kurt and I were ready to start exploring!

The floor in our hostel.

I was eager to put on my bathing suit and make it to the water. Come to find out, they don't really have sandy beaches like we are used to in the States. The one we chose to check out this evening was like volcanic rock. It was very sharp and ragged and hurt your feet.

Before arriving in Krk, when we would tell people we were travelling there to go to the beach, they would say, "Oh, Krk's lovely. I was just there. It was so hot! The water was about (some degree amount in Celsius which meant nothing to me but I assume it meant warm )!" They are all liars. The water was frigid. I'm a baby when it comes to these situations but I really struggled getting in the water. Some old Croatian lady was laughing at me throw a fit when Kurt would splash me. She kept scooting closer to me. I was afraid she was going to dunk me herself! I finally got all the way in. The water is super salty and makes it easy to float. Kurt and I tooled around for a bit but the temperature never got comfortable. We got out and conveniently found a bar near our spot on the rocks and got a couple beers while the sun began to set. It doesn't get much better than that.

After spending some time sunning on the rocks, all of us were hungry for some dinner. Our lovely receptionist friend gave us a restaurant suggestion and we nabbed a table outside. Everyone was dead set on seafood when we first sat down, but somehow Carlos and Magda both ended up with pizzas. Kurt and I, on the other hand, decided to take our chances with this little variety pack of sea creatures. I don't know how French fries fit in the equation but it was all pretty yummy. I also made a new friend with a stray cat. When no one was looking, I would pass him little fish bits under the table. Sadly, he did not want to come back to NYC with me. Again, I'll claim the language barrier kept us apart.

After dinner, we did some more running around town. We stopped in a couple shops but mainly just strolled along with fellow beach goers. We capped of the evening with some gelato and another beer before heading to bed to prepare for our big day of lounging on the beach.

1 comment:

  1. You fell asleep for a moment. HAHAAHAHAA...about an hour! Why didn't you post the pic of you sleeping like a baby in an incredibly uncomfortable looking position?

    I guess in a way we had fish and chips...


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