Good Morning Everybody,
We said our good-byes to Hungary on Saturday morning and headed to Croatia, our next official stop on our middle and eastern European journeys. But that was not going to happen until we stopped by Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
On The Rainey Road To Party Town Ljubljana, Slovenia
Our friends Roland and his wife Ildie talked us into making the side trip on our way to Croatia – we didn't mind at all. The weather was not the greatest, being mostly overcast but at least not raining.
LaDawn was in charge of the “drive-by” shootings but the foggy day and steamy car windows made it quite a challenge. She did manage a pretty cool shot or two though. About 2 1/2 hours later we were caught up in the Saturday morning traffic of a big city.
Two things added to the crowds – first it was market day and all the vendors came out, set up their stalls, and offer the finest and freshest fruit, vegetables, flowers, cheese, breads, nuts, grains…..to all visitors of the market.
I have never seen produce, flowers, meats, and cheeses look so fresh and inviting – yes, we even picked up some fruits and veggies for the rest of our trip.
The second thing adding to the larger than normal crowds was the fact that there was a big parade taking place and starting in the center of town at Preseren Square. All the parade participants were dressed in period attire with musicians, jugglers, ladies in waiting, knights in shining armor, and even the duke himself.
The town square with exquisitely alive with the energy and activity of the townspeople. I think the highlight of the visit was seeing the children “going crazy” by two “bubble blowers” down the road in the middle of one of the bridges. The children were laughing, screaming with delight over the thousands of bubbles flying everywhere. It was exciting and truly refreshing to watch the children young and old enjoy these beautiful bubbles of color.
Sadly, we bade our friends Roland and Ilde good-bye, climbed back into our car and continued the three hour trip down to Rovinj, Croatia.
Heading To The Jewel Of The Adriatic: Rovinj, Croatia
Rovinj is one of the crown jewels of the north Adriatic Sea coast. The population is just over 14,000 and has become an especially popular tourist destination and is an active fishing port. I should also mention that Croatia is the new hotspot destination these days. We were especially looking forward to our visit.
The rest of the drive was pretty much the same – wet and rainy, gray overcast skies with the exception that the countryside changed to beautiful mountains and deep valleys – it was a beautiful drive.
LaDawn had made previous arrangements for our accommodations in Rovinj with a doctor friend of ours. His wife, Snow, is a native Croatian and offered to make all our housing arrangements for us via her cousin in Rovinj.
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about our next stop. Once we arrived at Rovinj, we were to pull into the parking lot next to the Café Casablanca – wherever in the world that might be ;~) Once in the car park we were to text Snow’s cousin who doesn’t speak English, “We are here.” That’s it – he would magically appear and take us to our apartment.
As we approached the town I spotted the Café Casablanca and there was the car park just as Snow described. We were fortunate to find a parking lot right away – the problem was that is was completely full and the ticket gate wouldn’t open to allow more cars to enter, including us. After about 10 minutes, with us holding up the line to the car park, several cars left and the gate rose to let us enter.
OK, here we go – I texted Snow’s cousin, “We are here.” as she instructed and crossed my fingers. Within 30 seconds he texted back, “On the way – about 5 min.” That was it, we were saved ;~)
He and his daughter, Andrea, helped in transferring the luggage to their car and drove the short distance to our accommodations which are right in the center of “Old Town” Rovinj. Please click this [link] to get the flavor of where we would be staying the next six days – totally enchanting!!! we felt it was truly a step back into time. LaDawn and I both felt that we were about to engage in one of our most exciting travel experiences.
We quickly got settled in and decided to head out and explore the town.
We are at the beginnings of low season so the town was pretty much devoid of big tourists crowds – a good thing for us.
We enjoyed a glass of wonderful Croatian wine at a small café over looking the water and then made our way a short distance back near our apartment and had a delicious dinner at one of the popular local restaurants.
After dinner we just strolled the streets and tried to soak up as much of the town as possible on our first evening – it was wonderful! I think it was the rain and wet streets that added to the beauty of the old town during our first night here.
I could go on forever but I think that will give you a taste of our new surrounds for the next few days. I’ll share a few more images and experiences here in Rovinj as we continue to explore the area.
Hey gang, that’s it for me today. Tomorrow I want to bring you up to date with our last Master Class day of shooting back in Budapest. That will nearly wrap the Budapest series and then I can share with you some more of our exciting photographic experiences during our trip.
Hope to see you soon, David