Raj: Yesterday we left Italy and arrived in Croatia via Slovenia. We were glad to leave behind the crazy Italian drivers and immediately noticed how Croatian drivers obey the speed limit (though we were still guessing what the speed limits were and Vikki and I agreed to disagree at times!). Slovenia was uneventful as we paid 15 Euros for 15 mins driving through the country at an average speed of 50kph - the shortest road tax pass was for a week and without it we risked a 300 Euro fine if caught so we paid our dues (and will do so again when we return to stay in Lake Bled at the end of next week). Once in Croatia, we noticed how dark red/brown the soil is, so much so that the roads were stained. When we hit the coast line we were greeted with emerald blue seas - just stunning. The Istrian Coast is renowned for this, and is abundant with stoney/sandy beaches. It also has a steady breeze (something we haven't had for a while), kinda like being in a clothes dryer (I imagine). By mid afternoon we settled into our apartment in Medulin. It's very nice (spacious with a good kitchen and balcony), and close to all the amenities and beach. We met the apartment block owner who speaks no English and therefore communicated by sign language - interesting. The Croatian language is very different from French, Spanish and Italian so we're struggling a bit. Also with a new currency (Kunas) having been used to Euros for the past 7 weeks. Again, Vikki's credit card didn't work so we'll have to rely mainly on cash again. The trip to the supermarket was frustrating as we guessed a bit with what we were buying. The choices were poor and everything is much more expensive, which surprised me. Boring stuff out of the way we made a late visit to the local beach. Very busy and popular even late in the day, and we enjoyed our dip and taking in the general vibe of the place - slow and relaxed. On the way home I only had enough cash to treat the kids ice cream and so could not be tempted by the line of waiters enticing me to an ice cold beer.
Today we had a lazy day. After a good sleep in and visit to the bakery we headed to Pula, another town just 10km away. We visited the amphitheatre which was getting ready to host a Leonard Cohen concert. After lunch at a playground near the water, we headed to one of the beaches where we spent the rest of the day, basking in the sun and clear blue waters. I even managed an afternoon snooze under a pine tree - rare for me!
Tomorrow holds much of the same as we're heading to a national park area with more beaches. All good.
Harley and Anouk: Yesterday we arrived in our next country Croatia, which has a lot of beautiful beaches. On the way we saw a bush fire at a rest stop. It was very hot and we hope the fire was put out quickly. This morning we drove around and looked out the windows to see what Croatia is like. We spent most of the day at the beach relaxing and cooling off by going in the sea. There were lots of fish and crabs surrounding the little and big rocks. We saw a crab crawling around and while it was crawling it snatched bait off a shell that other little creatures were feeding on. When we were sitting lots of wasps kept on buzzing around us, it was very very annoying. We think that spending a day at the beach is a wonderful idea because we really enjoyed sizzling in the sun.