DICEY START IN CRIKVENICA, VISIT TO POSTOJNA CAVE
What a day! It started in perfect harmony with the spirit realm. After the main elevator failed in our 4-star hotel, we managed to find and use the service elevator. Which took us right to the back of our car. Which was no small feat on a steep hill on which the Marina Hotel is located.
But our rejoicing was short-lived. Elizabeth wanted to get a souvenir patch before we left Croatia. Which nearly cost us our car.
In pursuit of the patch, we strayed into the narrow streets of this old Mediterranean town. Which became even narrower, like those in Granada, Spain, when a cab driver had to pull in his side mirrors in order to pass through such a street. Except that in our case, even folding those mirrors would not have helped. The street was probably too narrow even for a donkey trail.
To make things worse, someone with a large car with a Bosnian registration followed us. And then just left his car blocking us completely in this dead end.
I thought this is where we would remained imprisoned until we dried up like the prunes.After I eventually located this driver, I sent Elizabeth out to help me drive our car in reverse to where we had come from.
I was all perspired, both with anxiety and with a crook in my neck (looking backwards). But after about 10 minutes of very careful maneuvering, we managed to free ourselves from this Crikvenica prison.
“Whew!” I said to Elizabeth. “You owe me big time for this. Never again am I going to chase your patches. It could have ended up the most expensive patch ever. 🙂
VISIT TO POSTOJNA JAMA (CAVE)
After bailing us out of there, we drove into Slovenia and visited the enormous Postojna Cave, one of the largest in the world (24 km long, 15 miles), and spending over an hour waiting to cross from Croatia into Slovenia (so much for the borderless EU!!!), we eventually made it to the world famous Postojna Jama (Cave). It took three times as long as I had figured but it was worth it in the end.
This was another one of those sites in the former Yugoslavia that I remember visiting as a child with my parents, and also later as a teenager on a school trip. Take a look at these pics.
BACK IN AUSTRIA ON WÖRTHER LAKE
Rediscovering our past at Schloss Leonstein
After a slow start in Croatia, and an even slower drive through Slovenia, we finally managed to cross the Alps and reach our today’s final destination – a beautiful 500-year old castle hotel in Pörtschach on Wörther Lake.
But not before first driving our car up a bike path in Pörtschach, and then over a pedestrian walkway to get back into a parking lot from where we had mistakenly departed. 🙂
None of the locals seemed particularly perturbed by it. They just biked or walked around us. Live and let live on a Sunday afternoon in a beautiful lakeside Austrian town. 🙂
This morning, on a spur of a moment, while still in Crikvenica, Croatia, I made this reservation. Almost 35 years ago, on my younger daughter’s 4-th birthday, I was also here. What I did not realize then was why.
This evening, as Elizabeth and I walked about this beautiful old castle-hotel, I noticed a statue. It was that of Johannes Brahms. He spent three summers here between 1887 and 1889. Brahms was the composer who inspired me to record several of his Hungarian (Gypsy) dances before this trip. And… he and Johann Strauss were contemporaries and friends.
As they say, our Spirit guides leave us signs all through our lives. But we only notice them when we are ready to receive them and understand them.
After strolling through the grounds of our castle hotel, and along the lake and the main street of Pörtschach, we settled on a dinner at our hotel restaurant on the lake. The sun had already set. So the shadows were long and deep.
Good night from Pörtschach am Wörther See!