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Croatia, Slovenia & Czech Trek

Discussion in 'Europe' started by rime noreason, Apr 11, 2019.

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  1. rime noreason

    rime noreason One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    And just like that, with the last sun set over Dubrovnik, so it set on our European adventure. It was time to pack up and head home. SM and Id had a blast.

    Leaving early the next morning, we made a long day’s drive back to Zagreb, with a last lingering look of Croatia’s stunning coastal scenery.

    We passed through the unavoidable few kilometres stretch of road where Bosnian territory bisects Croatia, tediously waiting at the borders while noting the bridge currently under construction across the Croatian islands running parallel, that sometime in around a decade will ensure everyone can bypass this major inconvenience and remain in Croatian territory for the full distance.



    Ideally, we’d liked to have stayed a night in Zadar, but time didn’t allow, so a brief pitstop around the tranquil beaches of Omis was.



    We passed via the craggy Biokovo Mtns around Baska Voda, and inland through, what I think were, the Dinaric Alps.



     
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  2. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We had a blast, rime. The weather was abnormally warm in Europe like a lot of places on the planet over the last 12 months but this also had an upside as we had lots of blue sky days.
    Yes, we did get to ski in Slovenia and Italy at Bovec. It actually snowed the night before but the conditions off the groomers was around 10-15 cm new snow on boilerplate which provided a challenge to say the least. Having said that the mountain would be awesome in the right conditions. They really do need to replace the antiquated gondola going up to Kanin on the Slovenian side though. We only skied the one day with not a lot of people on the mountain but the day after had been promising bluebird weather all week and the old, slow 4 person gondola up just couldn't cope with the crowd.
    Just a few pics of the trip. I definitely haven't got your eye for a photo and we were using my phone a lot of the time but it will give you and idea of the weather we encountered. We actually managed to ski in 4 countries over our 5 weeks away which we were quite chuffed about. Austria, Slovenia, Italy and Japan.
    Salzburg






     
    #102 PMG, Mar 3, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
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  3. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Zell am See.











    Walchen


     
    #103 PMG, Mar 3, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
  4. Big T

    Big T One of Us

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    From a guy who is off to Croatia and Finland in June July, I thank you for the thread. Best travel thread I’ve seen. Awesome stuff.
     
  5. rime noreason

    rime noreason One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    @PMG, those snow photos look fantastic! Even if it was a comparatively lean snow year, those of Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Zell am See look like postcards, absolutely stunning.

    What did you do/see in Bled? Did you go to any of the gorges, or waterfalls? Did you end up driving the Vrsic Pass? What did you see and do in Ljubljana?

    Thanks @Big T, enjoy your trip. Finland and Croatia in July will be polar opposite temperatures!

    So on to our last night in Europe. We arrived later evening into Zagreb, strolling through the old town to stretch our legs, and visiting “Rubbish Street’s” restaurants for dinner

    Except for this final night, all accommodation research and reservations had been my task. Despite some apprehensions when booking online, there wasn’t a single miss. In fact, every place exceeded expectations and I wouldn’t hesitate returning to any of them. I’d happily live in any of them for the rest of my life

    Although the driving had been SM’s One Job throughout our 5 week adventure, the one job he was tasked with on our last night was the accommodation before our early flight home the next day.This was because SM insisted that we not book this final accommodation ahead of time (which is my preference) insisting that a regular hotel would be easy to book a mere day in advance.

    So we arrived to our “regular hotel” that SM had booked the previous day, and there in our “regular hotel” room, we found we were surrounded by the shiniest, lurid silver snakeskin furnishings and tabletop, mirrored walls and matching bed head:eek::eek:

    The stains on the carpet are never to be spoken of again.




    Thankfully, my slippers, that had been sealed in sanitised wrapping before I’d opened them, managed to ensure my flesh came into no direct contact with unmentionable microorganisms, bacterium, parasites and who knows what else. For someone with an obsessive aversion to human eliminations, I wasn’t quite as impressed with this night’s accommodations.

    I’m pretty sure there was an optional hourly room rate, too. Fortunately, the bed sheets and bathroom were spotlessly clean. It was a very long night though, and I believe my eyes never blinked and I never slept at all

    I swear SM did this deliberately. Not only so he’ll never again be assigned these sorts of tasks, but also SM knew very well it was going to be an almost impossible task to get me to return back home from what had otherwise been the most marvellous trip. So he devised this Hotel California interlude so I’d be pleased to make a hasty exit.

    His other devious plan in getting me to the airport was a bit like enticing a rabbit with carrots.

    I’ve learned that there are benefits to a Soul Mate, who while doesn’t ski, at least travels a fair bit. The guest pass to the Club lounge was very welcome. We sailed through check-in and entered the comfort of the Club Lounge. It went quite a long distance towards forgiveness. Blue cocktails have a tendency to do that.



    But then this too. Upon boarding our aircraft, instead of the usual right-hand turn, we were directed left. Business Class for the win!

    We certainly lived in the lap of luxury with Qatar. For this one day, anyway.

    We were greeting by name and offered a range of drinks (because those blue ones in the lounge had clearly been insufficient). Under the circumstances, nothing but bubbly would do, but the next dilemma was the confronting question, “Would you prefer Moet or Bollinger?” I was very tempted to be the Taco girl and reply with “Why don’t we have both”.

    Another dilemma followed. It's a rare breed of human who can sleep bolt upright while their chin is forced onto their chest by the headrest, as knees behind you use your back as a punching bag, spotlights overhead blind you, TV screens suddenly race towards your face at warp-speed and graze your nose, while your drink pools into your lap.

    So here in my spacious pod, I could actually have slept. The problem was whether to take advantage of that, or stay awake so I don’t waste a moment.




    There is a bar arranged in a semi-circular configuration with a glass counter which is filled with dozens of fresh red roses. Roses even hung from the toilet walls.The rooms were cleaned after every use. My idea of bliss.

    Arriving into Doha for our connecting flight, we were courteously whisked away in a Business Class shuttle with plush armchairs that were like La-Z-Boy recliners. We had the shuttle to ourselves and were taken to the Business Lounge there, before boarding our flight to Melbourne, where the service was repeated.



    The meals and service was next level. Immaculate service, even with little flameless candles placed perfectly and unhurriedly on the massive table swamped in white linen. Vases of fresh red roses were everywher including the bathrooms with quality amenities, soaps, lotions.

    I spent the next insufficient hours enjoying all the features once more, watching several movies on the huge screen, ordering a drink or several, and snacking on chocolates. How often due you use the words insufficient hours and aeroplane flight together in the same sentence?

    When my bed was made up and I changed into my Pyjamas and I settled in for more of the same.

    It was with a pang of reluctance that we arrived back to Melbourne but we were at least welcomed home with a grogeous sunset. I’m now encouraging SM to take plenty of business trips to rack up plenty more points.





    It’s taken almost year to complete the thread, but to @Lady Penelope and others who stuck with it, read it and provided comments, thank you and I hope you’ve enjoyed taking the journey with me.

    There is still unfinished business in Europe, places I’d like very much to return to, spend longer in, explore more of. There are a few other places that with our limited time, we didn’t even get to this time around. So planning has already begun for Chapter II.

    But for Chapter I, it’s farewell Europe, and after more than 511,782 steps around for 5 weeks, it was also time to farewell my runners!




     
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  6. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Since we've been back friends ask what the highlight of our trip was. It was all good!
    Bled was blessed with good weather and we did a lot of walking there. We stayed in a two room apartment situated above the Hotel Triglav. Very nice place with a great owner and a view of the lake to boot. Vintgar Gorge was closed on the Bled side whilst we were there and still is I think. They were doing stabilisation work above the Gorge so we walked over the hill above the Gorge to the Blejska Dobrava side to Slap Sum which was worth the effort. Temperature hit 14 degrees on the way back! Why go in summer?
    Cafe Belvedere was closed but we found a nice alternative that made the cream cake plus lots of other delicious cakes and slices.
    The day before we went to Vintgar Gorge, we took a drive out to Lake Bohinj and our car's GPS decided to take us on the scenic route due to some roadworks along the way. When we extricated ourselves out of the one lane wide village we discovered the detour was actually through a field on the other side of the valley.
    There is also a ski resort at the far end of the lake which we didn't know was there before went. Didn't have our ski gear in the car so not tempted to check it out.

    Lake Bled








    Lake Bohinj





     
    #106 PMG, Mar 13, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  7. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Business class! If it wasn’t for all those beautiful pictures @rime noreason ....!
     
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  8. rime noreason

    rime noreason One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    @PMG, we were asked similar, as to where was our favourite place. It was impossible to choose, they were all highlights..

    Water level at Bohinj looks much lower beneath that bridge now than when we were there, and much dry grass areas. Indicative of a dry winter season, and assuming not so much snow melt now, too? I glance at the webcams occasionally, sushi goes when the best season would be to Trenton, and I don’t recall seeing snow at lake level at all. A small amount on the Bovec/Kobarid cam is the only time I’ve seen it. Been an odd 12 mo the worldwide! Still breathtakingly magnificent scenery though, isn’t it, and your photos are gorgeous iPhone or not!

    glad you got some Bled cream cake too. Plenty of places to find it.

    @Lady Penelope, if it’s any comfort, Business is a rarity, which you can tell because only novices find it so novel that they don’t want to miss it by sleeping through the flight, and who else would take photos of roses in the bathroom! LOL

    You’ll be pleased to know, its back to turning right again now, along with knees in your back, kids thumping on their table and screens a millimetre behind you like jackhammers, screens s.uddenly grazing your nose and headrests pushing your head so far forward that your chin dents your collar bone :rolleyes:LOL

    edit: wow, I think this wins auto correct! “sushi goes when the best season would be to Trenton“. That was supposed to be, I glance at the webcams occasionally, and I don’t recall seeing snow at lake level at all LOLLOL
     
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  9. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks. Some pics were taken on my Lumix too. I'll post some pics of Kanin later.
     
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  10. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m just jealous :D Glad you had the opportunity to return in style and comfort :)
     
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