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Published: September 3rd 2008
Leaving Venice we trained and bussed our way to Slovenia. Our route took us to the town of Piran on Slovenia's coast. It's a nice town with the main focal point being a square named after the famous violinist, Tartini. The old town is interesting with its winding alleyways and quaint boutiques. The most unusual feature of the town was the long concrete promenade that doubles as a beach. Piran is mainly a tourist destination and the sunbathers were lined up on their towels and in their chairs along the length of the promenade. Concrete beaches aren't our idea of day at the beach, so instead we ate pizza at a seaside cafe and enjoyed the view.
The cost of food and lodging in this area of Slovenia was really high, so we stayed for a day and then headed on to Croatia. After a VERY long wait for a bus that never showed up and then another long wait for the bus that did show up, we finally arrived in Rovinj, Croatia. This was a nice town which we didn't get to explore sufficiently due to our late arrival and early departure the next morning. Our time in Croatia
was limited, so many of our stays were short as we kept heading toward Dubrovnik. Along the way we stopped in Split. Its most interesting features were the ruins of Diocletian's palace. These large walls enclose a very busy and thriving old town. The large plaza bordering the harbor and the green market were two other Split highlights. From Split, we departed for the Croatian islands via the local ferry. The island of Hvar was nice with its hilltop fortress, the lovely coast, and all the stalls selling the local lavendar. Korcula was the island that we liked best. It had the nicest old town, some Marco Polo history (he supposedly was born here), good restaurants, and a beautiful coastal walk.
Korcula was our day trip connection to Dubrovnik. The 6:30 am bus met the ferry, completed the crossing, and then continued the 2 hour drive to Dubrovnik. We spent the day exploring the old town, walking the walls, and observing the changes that had taken place since we last visited in 1984. The most obvious difference was the replacement of the red roof tiles that were damaged during the recent civil war. The roofs were replaced and the
buildings were repaired very quickly to restore the city to its former glory. We were pleased to see it looking so good.
Soon we were back in Split and headed to the airport to fly to the last stop on our itinerary - Switzerland. Let the hiking begin!!
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