A port, a port, two ports

Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
Trip End Sep 27, 2011

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What I did
Portoroz with side trip to small seaside village of Piran

Flag of Croatia  , Istria,
Thursday, September 8, 2011

is situated in the Gulf of Kvarner in a sheltered position at the foot of Ucka mountain, with Vojak peak at 1401 m. Opatija is located 90 km from Trieste by rail and 82 km from Pula by road. The city is geographically on the Istrian peninsula, though it is not in Istria county, but Primorje-Gorski Kotar county.It is a popular summer and winter resort, with average temperatures of 10 °C in winter, and 25 °C in summer. Opatija is surrounded by beautiful woods of bay laurel. The whole sea-coast to the north and south of Opatija is rocky and picturesque, and contains several smaller winter resorts. 

I am staying In Opatija for two nights (see map).  The town is a tourist destination, with a lot of German tourists staying here.  Lots of very old but updated hotels which have kept their Old World charm.  Great downtown and beach.   The one I am in has a warm pool, patios, art in the reception area and great breakfast. 

In the afternoon we drove to a another smaller seaside town called Piran.    Piran has been inhabited for close to 2000 years, with the Italian influence from when it was governed by Venice still being very prominent, with a Venetian campanile (free standing bell tower) dominating the skyline. The campanile is up a hill and the view allows you to see over towards Italy and Croatia.  The accompanying church is has recently been restored. For an even better view, people go to  the fortified walls of where the castle formerly stood which offers an even better view in terms of elevation.  Every town has a square and the one here, called Tartini Square, is pretty with various cafés lining its sides.  

A couple of  things I have not mentioned before is the number of tunnels in Slovenia and Croatia. Miles of them and the cars go 110 k/hr - never saw an accident.  In fact I would say they are much better drivers than we are.  They seem to pay attention to the rules of the road.  Although I must say Luka will tailgate to get drivers to pull over and sometimes it scares me just a little.  I have a little video of tunnel driver I will put up later.  The second thing is toll roads, all roads are upgraded and all seem to have tolls, a system that works very quickly and does not seem to delay anyone.  

Once again to bed.   Laura
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