So much is already said about Europe. People who enjoy the good things in life flock to Europe because Europe is labeled as having a deep-seated culture founded on the Europeans’ great appreciation for the finer things in life such as art, fashion, wine, good food, and quality living. I love Europe too because of that very thing but on a shallower scale, I love Europe because of the proximity of its countries.
Imagine living in the middle of big countries such as China and America or in isolated countries like the Philippines. Only people with money are able to go “abroad” for a day or two. Here in Europe, it is not so surprising if common people say something like “I’ll go abroad to tank my car”. They don’t really say the tacky word “abroad” instead; they use phrases such as “over the border” they or simply say the name of the country like it is just another village nearby. Well, because geographically, it is really like so. And by the way, it is really a common practice for people living near the borders to drive to the other side of the border to tank a car or to shop. Actually, a lot of Austrians go to Hungary for dental services because it is much cheaper there.
So as I was saying, the closeness of countries here is great and the possibility that I can see four countries in one day by car amazes me. Like last week, for instance, when my husband and I decided to make a road trip down to Croatia. We took off at 9:00am after having a small breakfast in Graz (Austria). Two hours later, we were in Ljubljana (Slovenia). We had wandered around the city before our stomachs screamed lunch. After lunch, we drove for an hour to Trieste (Italy). We strolled along the port and made a round in the inner city where we found a nice little ice cream café that serves flavorful ice creams. We had lingered there for a while before we agreed to move on. It took us another two hours but it was still a bit bright when we reached our destination, Pula (Croatia).
Initially, we planned to stay in Poreč but at some point of the ride, we changed our minds and decided to drive further until the southernmost city of of the province, Istria. We didn’t have a hotel reservation but it was not a big problem to find a place to stay overnight. Punta Verudela is like a big complex of hotels and apartments for rent. It also has restaurants, tennis courts, and other amenities made available for tourists.
We chose to stay in Hotel Histria. There’s nothing special about the hotel but the view from our room is a killer. We have a nice view of the port from our balcony and we can see the swimming docks from our windows. We hurriedly dropped our things and after a quick look at the room we got, we went out to enjoy the last rays of sunlight. We strolled along the rocky coast and sat for a few minutes on the swimming dock to look out to the sea and to breathe in the salty ocean air. It was a very good feeling to be beside the sea. We would have stayed longer there but our hunger could not be ignored anymore. We headed to Vela Nera Restaurant and had a quiet dinner and a few drinks.
That night, I went to sleep with so much anticipation for what the following day will bring.
Verudela, Pula, Istria
Vela Nera Restaurant
Verudela, Pula, Istria