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When the weather clears up ...

View Croatia - 2022 on Ils1976's travel map.

Waking up early in the morning with the sun shining, that's a true holiday motivation in my book!

Yesterday evening during dinner, the weather progressed even worse with lots of rain showers and wind blowing fiercely over the little village, but now looking through my window, it seemed that the weather gods were happy again coz besides a few clouds in the sky, it all looked more than promising.


After having a yummy breakfast, it was time to pack our bags as quickly as we could and on the road we went. We only had a week to check out the country and with nothing else but happy faces, we were on our way to our first stop of the day, which was Opatija.

Opatija, according to our guide Paul, is a super known seaside resort at the coast of Istria and apparently also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic or The Queen of Tourism. In the old days it was a a place for the rich and famous as well as illustrious people who came there to have a break from their daily hassle thinking of nothing else but health and well-being as well as to be seen of course. True or false, I don't know, but I was looking forward to see the old glory place.

Since the weather was dry enough with a bit of grey clouds, Paul suggested we walked into the city and was happy to see we were all keen to follow. From the youngest to the oldest, we all decided to go for the 5K hike along the coastline.

We left our bus and driver Daniel behind at the small village of Ika and leisurely walked to the Grande Dame of Istria using a tiny part of the Frans Joseph I trail. First called The promenade, it was renamed in 1996 after Emperor Franz Josef I as a token of appreciation for the Habsburg heritage and the value it created for tourism and I must say, it is something not to miss out on if you happen to be in the vicinity.


Although we walked just a small part of the Lungomare as it is called by the locals, the stunning vistas you get walking along the shore is nothing you can describe with words. From stony beaches to quaint coves as well as all the forgotten glory of the old houses alongside the trail, it was mind-blowing to say the least. It was sometimes difficult for me to move on. I just wanted to stay and relax at one of the many inviting benches along the trail and just take it all in, which I did a couple of times just for mere 5 minutes or so because I still had to see Opatija of course.

Passing through the little village of Ičići, our group soon split up in people wanted to relax at the stony beach, others wanted to have a cup of coffee with an amazing view on the water and we just agreed upon a time when it was time to leave from the Pearl of the Adriatic which suited us all.

Arriving at our destination a little more than an hour later, me and a few others first had a gaze at the old glory mansions and soon began to follow the coastline to end up at the most infamous statue of the place called the Maiden with the Seagull or as I call it, the little girl with the birdie!

Like everything it seems there is a story behind it and it all began in 1891 when count Arthur Kesselstadt tragically lost his life in a spring storm in the sea in front of Opatija. Devastated with grief, the counts family put a statue of “Madonna Del Mare” on the reef to watch over his lost soul. But like all things, the original statue didn't last and they replaced it with the girl we see today and is so beautifully called The “Maiden with the Seagull”. It was put up in 1956. Nevertheless the initial idea still stands of a woman watching over the lost souls making sure they are in a nice place. The idea behind sounds really cool and the statue which stands today isn't that bad either!


Walking and being a tourist makes you feel hungry all the time so after I had a gaze at the statue, I quickly walked a bit on the promontory and ended up at Lido beach which has a restaurant & bar as well, so after a small break with food there was still a bit of time left for me to have a look at Villa Angiolina (not the one who was once married to hunk Brad Pitt) from afar distance, had a stroll over the Croatian Walk of fame which is a symbolic tribute to all the people whose sporting, scientific, cultural or artistic endeavors have contributed significantly to the worldwide promotion of Croatia. It goes without saying I didn't know one single person, so it was a quick walk over the stars only to have one last look at the Palace Hotel which reminds you about the grandeur of things that once were and it was back on the bus again to meet up with the rest of the group.

Our time here in Opatija was short, but it was a nice morning and with some people telling about there experiences, the drive from Opatija towards the island of Krk flew by in an instant. 1,5 hours is nothing when you can gaze at the water, the tiny little coves and the beautiful stone beaches we passed by along the way. I didn't even fell asleep like I usually do just because there was so much to see.

Not all too big, the town itself is quite beautiful being surrounded with sandstone walls and medieval looking houses and it looked like something right out of a storybook.


Besides the usual churches and holy people histories it houses a castle called Frankopan castle built between the 12th and 15th centuries by the noble family Frankopan. Initially I wanted to have a look inside but sadly enough it was closed, so there was nothing else left for me to do, but have a nice stroll through the more than many small lanes of the village which was amazing on itself and I took the opportunity to walk all the way from the small gate at the harbor towards the big gate at the other end of town.

With the sun doing its thing, there was more than enough time to relax, meet up with a few others of our group and have a nice drink at the waterfront of the town, I can tell you right now, this was the life I had been missing for the last couple of years and I was glad to experience it once again!

Back at the carpark we met up with Paul and Daniel again for our last stretch of the day, which was Crikvenica our stay for tonight.

With just a few hours of daylight left, I dropped of my bags in the room and hurried outside again for another short but steep walk towards the beach to have a feel of the water, which was just as I guessed, freezing cold. Being alone on a stony beach with freezing water didn't made me feel like going for a dip, so another half an hour of pure fitness later I arrived back in the hotel and decided to treat myself with a nice glass of white wine.

I had survived my little work-out for the day and had enough of all the walking. The only thing on my mind was to relax and enjoy the last sun rays of this more than already incredible day. After all, I was on holiday!!!

Posted by Ils1976 12:34 Archived in Croatia Tagged landscapes beaches buildings trees birds sky boats sea food water coast history hotel town holiday stones tour hike trail wine harbor group promenade viewpoint

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