The Lungo Mare

Trip Start Nov 09, 2007
Trip End Feb 03, 2008

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

After so much relaxation I thought it was high time that we got out and saw a bit of our surroundings. My Internet research suggested that the coastal walk known as the Lungo Mare, which hugs the coastline from Opatija around to Icici would be a good option.
As luck would have it the day was once again sunny. A little bit cool too, but as long as we rugged up we would be OK.
As we neared the famed walk we could see the numbers of people begin to increase and when we reached the designated path it was packed with people who had the same idea as me. There were young couples arm in arm, young families with dogs and toddlers, older couples dressed grandly in fur coats and hats. It was a spectacle to behold. We joined the throng (it really wasn't very crowded at all, but we have become used to there being no one else).
The Lungo Mare starts in Opatija among the shops and proceeds along the waterfront for a number of kilometres, passing marinas, shops, grand villas and cafes and restaurants along the way. We walked in the glorious sunshine for more than an hour by which time it was getting close to lunch time. We had passed a very nice looking restaurant with a terrace a little while back from Icici, which was called the Mali Raj, so we headed back there for a meal sitting in the sun on their terrace overlooking the sea.
As it turned out, the meal was a bit hit and miss, but the service was good and the location was just perfect, so I guess you can't have everything (at least, it's not Christmas anymore so it appears you can't have it). We ate our meal and chatted, watching a snorkeler in action (crazy or brave?) and a few boats that were out moving about in our line of vision. As soon as the sun went behind the hill beside us and we were cast into shade, the temperature dropped incredibly and we paid our bill and headed home. It got progressively colder as we walked and by the time we got into Opatija we were freezing, even though it had been less than an hour since we were basking in the sunshine.
We all agreed that we couldn't possibly move another step without calling in to a nearby café for a hot chocolate. So that's what we did. We picked a place not far from our apartment, underneath (and part of) the Hotel Bellevue. Everyone except me ordered the mint flavoured hot chocolate but I stuck to a plain one. Of course, the mint chocolate turned out to be not to everyone's taste, but you may rest assured that I enjoyed my plain old plain hot chocolate immensely.
By this time it was around 5 o'clock and I had intended to go into Rijeka to buy the train tickets to Ljubljana and to see whether I could buy the special price tickets for the journey from Ljubljana to Prague. Everyone except Georgie bailed out on me, so the two of us headed off to catch the number 32 back to Rijeka. We had a great time together on the bus, chatting about this and that, noticing a brightly lit football field along the way and missing the stop for the railway which meant a ten minute walk back once the bus had reached the following stop.
I had success with the first part of my mission - train tickets for the Rijeka to Ljubljana trip at a total cost for the six of us of just over 400 kuna - less that $100. Sadly, the ticket seller informed me that there were no 'Praha Speziale' tickets available for the Ljubljana to Prague journey, which put the ticket price up from 29 Euro to 95 Euro. Each. Quite a slap in the face!
Dejected, I caught the next bus back to Optija. I had intended to take Georgie to the shops and to stop off for a coffee, but that had knocked the wind out of my sails, so I dragged Georgie back with me. Not that she seemed to mind, chatting happily all the way back too.
When I got back home no one wanted to go back out, so I went and bought a few supplies at the supermarket and we had a nice meal at home. I am busy charging up iPods as I write this, getting ready for our trip to Plitvice lakes tomorrow.
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