Friday, August 27, 2010

From Jadran to Jarun

It´s my last morning in Croatia. In a couple of hours, we´ll be deep within the Postojna Cave in Slovenia.

We´ve come nearly full circle, from Hotel Jadran in Rijeka, around Istria, down the coast to Dubrovnik, and back up to Hotel Jarun in Zagreb. Our hotels have ranged from under-rated three star properties to over rated one star guest houses. I really, really don´t know who hands out hotel ratings here.

The first and last hotels, Jadran and Jarun, were great, and I´m glad - it would have been depressing to arrive at a terrible hotel on our first night, and depressing again to have a sleepless final night. The beds were comfortable, they had air conditioning  that worked (necessary in August in Croatia), and everything was clean. Breakfast was fine (no real North American buffets, as advertised, but they did have more than cold cuts and cheese) and staff were helpful.

The Park Punat (three stars, but I know they painted at least one onto the sign) on the island of Krk was where things got iffy. Now, when you hear "park" in the title, you automatically think "fancy" or even "uppity." Not so with Park Punat. The air conditioning didn´t work, and when I turned on the fan, it  blew greasy dust all over, and cheap summer camps serve up better food.

Next, we went to Hotel Istra, on the island of Rab. The main problem there was a bathmat covering a hole in the floor... Maybe they were going for good drainage in case of shower floods?

Villa Anton, our first guest house, served up a lovely breakfast on a beautiful terrace. I needed their strong coffee after hearing Tall Guy toss and turn all night on his rickety bed. We´re pretty sure the only reason that he didn´t end up on the floor was that we switched on night two, figuring a lighter person would be less likely to come crashing down in the night.

Notice the water swirling around in the bottom of the shower.

Uncomfortable beds, no A/C and bad food all pale in comparison to Pension Vice, though, where I was afraid to take a shower. Usually water flows down the train. Here, as I was washing, a flood of grey water came UP the drain. I´ve never felt dirtier after a shower than before one before...

Ahhh, MUCH better!

Thank goodness Villa Maslina, our next place, was beautiful and modern. Our final guest house, Villa Carmen, was also lovely, only there were no screens and no A/C, so we left the windows open at night. Tall Guy got eaten alive by mosquitoes!

After a good night´s sleep and a good breakfast this morning (can´t go wrong with donuts and croissants), we´re ready to leave Croatia behind and head off on a cave-tastic adventure.

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