On Monday, Oct. 15th and Tuesday, Oct. 16th, Susy and I decided we had seen enough of the Istrian Peninsula and since we had to turn in the rental car on Tuesday we just rested the two days. This does give me a chance to show you the hotel we had been living in for the last 7 days. Here is the Hotel Valamar Diamant from the front:
I didn’t mention it, but Susy had booked us the room plus breakfast and dinner. It was great because we started out the day with a wonderful breakfast, and when we came home at night we had a complete dinner waiting for us. It was cafeteria style but take a look at the array of salads, main courses, and deserts we had every evening:
and a look at the dining room where we ate, with waiters and waitresses to take care of our beverages and dirty plates:
On Tuesday, Oct. 16th we said good-bye to our rental car and, of course, our dear friend and guide over the last 15 days, GPS. Here’s Susy saying good-bye (and good riddance):
On Wednesday, Oct. 17th a driver picked us up at the hotel and drove us to Venice. We didn’t get just any driver, but a Croatian who had been escorting tourists around the peninsular for over 8 years. Before that he was a sailor and had traveled all over the world. He was like the Captain of a ship, keeping us entertained for the entire three hour drive to Venice. Here is one of his home spun philosophies that Susy will never forget, because I won’t let her. Some how Drago (our driver) got around to telling Susy how beautiful she looked, and then when he found out how old she was he said without missing a beat, “That’s because you have a good husband. No women gets to be elderly and beautiful too without a good husband”. You can bet that from then on he was my favorite driver.
The drive was beautiful as we drove up the Croatian coast, through Slovenia, into Italy, past Trieste. Here’s a view of some of the country side:
We finally arrive at the port of Venice without incident and said good-bye to our new friend, promising that if we ever returned to Croatia we would let him escort us around. We checked onto the ms Nieuw Amsterdam, our first time aboard this ship. As usual, I’ll cover this ship in a post at the end of the cruise.
I want to close with a few words about our time in Croatia. Susy is happy and satisfied that we got done everything we set out to do. Yes, we didn’t get to Vienna as we planned, but it was to hard to squeeze in, so we’ll leave Vienna and Prag for another time. Who can forget Budapest with the famous New York Café. We certainly were successful in seeing Pina’s country, and that was the most important thing for Susy. As for me, I loved the country, the friendly people, and the excellent food.
Now it’s on to cruising (no GPS) and the fun begins,
Love You All,
Gary (alias Gagu)