Thursday, April 24, 2008


Hallo Croatia

Apr 21
bye, bye Switzerland, "make photo preeze"
Here we are in Italy, Milan. No free internet connection but we are going to make do and keep heading East to Slovenia.
April 23
As it happens, all roads do not lead directly to Slovenia. In this case, a stop in Veniza, Italy to figure out how we should proceed revealed that only a night train was scheduled to go to Lubjanna and it would arrive at about 02:00 and by 4:30 the train would be in Zagreb. The alternative was to go on to Treste and take the bus. We could fnd no further information on the bus. Zareb by night train, a train that cotinues on to Budapest, looked like the best alternative.
btw, we thought we had left the Eurail map in Interlacken as it was not in the bag with the schedule and calendar so Carol asked the lady at the Venice train information if she had an extra. She gave us two. Later the map showed up in the Croatia guide book. Bonjorno! Now we have 3.
That gave us the whole day for Venice. In our previous visits we followed the crowd and crossed the Grand Canal at the first bridge you see right out of the Venezia St. Lucia train station (Pont degli Scalia) and follow the signs to San Marco square. We did the same thing this time looking for the bus information. When we came up without success, we had returned from the bus station to train station. We made the Zagred decision and chose to take a left at the first bridge and take that street. That street (Lista de Spagna) took us past the hotel we had stayed in 2002 in about 150 m. We went in again recalling how the air conditioning had lured us in to escape the incredible June heat. I suppose we took it despite the high cost, I don't recall, but the Eur 90 they quoted was quite competitive this year. It was interesting information but we had booked the night train East already. We continued north on the street and found the crowds to be considerable reduced from the most popular route. Actually it was more direct to San Marco even though it starts out in the oppisite direction and Realto bridge is but a side trip. It was raining off and on but this time we were able to get into the church which had been closed the last time and time did not allow in earlier visits.
There is more to tell about Venice but the story now is how we ended up passing through Lubjana to Zagred to end up in Split Croatian on the Adriatic by noon on Wednesday. On a shopping trip to a grocery store efore the night train, we met a young man from Boston who was celebrating his end of studies with the final semester at Cambridge after 4 years at Tulane that started in civil engineering until Katrina closed that department and sent him off in the political economy direction. In short he was also headed to Zagreb and somehow he would make Split. There was a 6:51 to Split from Zagreb. We made a reservation for that onet. A short walk around the downtown square in Zagreb made it clear it was a place where one could spend quality time, but the Adriatic Coast was beckoning and we had the reservation.
Train arrives at 12:17 and Mr. Miki Mcklin (McClean) was waiting with an offer for an apartment. Carol had her list of requirements, :) to scare off the scammers. It came pretty close. Here we are in an apartment with a view from the balcony of the Split Bay, 200 meters from the Docletian castle and the open market. The place has 3 bedrooms but so far at 19:00 there is only Carol and I.
We walked down and hung around the market for a while, got kroners, walked the water front and returned through the market to get a beer. We stopped in this place where Nadia, the boss' daughter who is 2 days from graduation from college, greeted us in English. We made plans to meet her at the burger place at 11:00 tomorrow to show us around, practice English and share good times. We look forward to a good time.
Later on an evening walk we came upon an artist at his shop. Wonderful color. Our only objective was to get the feel of Split and find out about water taxia and ferry service, maybe an internet cafe. We achieved that, but this was so much more. It will difficult to not buy some of his brightly colored and playful works.


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