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Published: March 14th 2020
Flying to Frankfurt was uneventful, luckily aided by the empty seat between me and the other virtually silent fellow in the aisle seat. I think I really slept for about an hour, during a short night of trying to persuade my brain to be still. The long walk and short tram ride from the arrival terminal to the next departure terminal was a relief to my constrained muscles. Immigration was no trouble, but security was exceedingly tight. The full body scan highlighted my money pouch under my clothes, even without any metals. In a slightly private half-booth, an official gave me a pat-down, and unsatisfied she took me to a fully private booth to examine the pouch. She thought it “very good”, but “very dangerous”! She went on to pat all over and specifically examine the button-hole side of my shirt and the waist-band of my pants. When I was returned to the bag x-ray official, he then asked for “permission” to go through my hand luggage. He seemed confused by the food-storage box I used to protect my smaller camera but replaced everything without comment.
In the cacophony of shops and eateries near the gate, I decided on a
Coast of Slovenia
A twisting cord of islands
turkey panini (one thin slice of turkey, miniscule slices of tomato, a few basil leaves, lots of bread) and bottled, excessively sweet lemonade (10 euros). The flight to Munich was short. Emigration was simple. By good fortune, I had a window seat, letting me take photos of the Alps, the Slovenian coast and the Croatian coast. I regretted that I was on the wrong side of the plane when we flew in a great circle around Dubrovnik
to land. Immigration was simple, and a cheerful young man was waiting with my name displayed. We waited a few minutes for fellow tour member, Lelia, to join us.
We drove swiftly long the coast lined with high hills and low mountains (7 km, I later learned). The deciduous trees weren’t in leaf yet, but there were a lot of Lombardy Poplars
, giving the scenes great dignity. The landscape was much drier than I had expected. As the elevation rose into the mountains, vegetation became quite sparse. Hotel Astarea
was a great surprise - a spa resort not quite in the city. All the rooms had balconies and sea views, and the sea-water indoor swimming pool was vast. I watched the orange-red sun
Fields and mountains of the Adriatic area
set from in the pool.
I wasn’t hungry but knew that having a proper dinner was important to combat jet lag. Although a brochure said there were several restaurants near-by, darkness made me check out the hotel dining-room. The buffet seemed too much food at an unknown cost. The host acted dismay at my rejection and offered me a special discount of half-price, “70 kuna, that’s 9 euro”. Too tired to argue, I agreed. Within a couple of minutes, Lelia and I crossed paths - we both enjoyed the company for dinner. I was thrilled to see fresh grilled sardines, so had a fish dinner (a white fish, sardines, olives, eggplant and tomatoes, goulash gravy, and bread), with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from a wine-list all in Croatian.
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