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The Brothers Do the Balkans

Croatia - Rabin and Opatija

Between Pula and Rijeka is the small town of Rabin.  It was the most important coal mining town in Croatia for hundreds of years, and you can't ignore that fact driving into town. 

However, once you are in the old town, you fall back in time just like in all the other small medieval towns in Croatia.  The Venetian influence is strong, though locals will tell you they did nothing to improve the local economy and culture during their 200 years in power here. 

They are more amenable to the Austrian Hapsburgs, and you can see why when you hit Opatija... 


We breezed into Opatija by 11:00 a.m.  Opatija was THE fashionable resort during the Hapsburg Dynasty and the impression of wealth and prestige is immediately apparent.  We parked and wandered the seawalk only as far as the local water taxi.  We hopped aboard for Volosko and enjoyed a 1/2 hour ride to this secluded fishing bay.  We had lunch at an overpriced restaurant (you would think we would have learned by this time not to waste time eating lunch at snazzy places!!) that had a nice view of the bay.  We had a fantastic waiter, though, who patiently allowed us to take pictures of the food before we refused to eat it:) 
Of course, in a seaside town, everything revolves around the water. Ourr 'captain' on the water taxi looked like something out of an adventure tale
The sights of fishing boats, fishing nets, and nuns sunning themselves on the rocks beside the water had Breck and Alea giving a big 'thumbs up' to this way of life!

  We then walked the entire seawalk back to Opatija.   The wind was brisk, but it was a gorgeous day, the sky was blue, the kids were happy running over the searocks and we had any number of nice cafes for a quick refreshment stop.  We decided to spend the night in Opatija, so Mark, Jennifer and Dave hit the pavement for accommodation while mom guarded the kids.  Alea loved the wave action on the seawalk, and took some really nice photos. 
    Our b & b  had a balcony overlooking the sea, so Mark and Jennifer came over to sample some of the rakija we had bought enroute.  We talked, hung out on the balcony and enjoyed the gorgeous views and the great people watching.  Then we walked to a restaurant and had some terrific pizza for dinner.  Breck fell asleep in his pizza at the table - the sign of a great day:) 

We split up at that point, as our vacation time was at an end (but Mark and Jennifer had another week to go!). Heading back to Belgrade, we ran into the only border fiasco of the entire trip - a crossing from Croatia into Serbia that took nearly two hours. I suppose if that is the only thing that goes wrong when hosting family for a swing through southeastern Europe, then there really is very little room for complaint. We had a fabulous time playing "host" and look forward to doing it again!!


Belgrade Welcome and Kalemegdan
Kalemegdan Fiesta
Two Churches and a Princess's Mansion
Serbian Dinner
Hiking the back roads
Manasija Monastery
Walking to the Waterfall


Lunch and a wreck
Castle and Cave


Rovinj and Pula
Rabin and Opatija

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