On Monday morning the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the breeze blowing across the fjords smelled fresh and spring-like. With a renewed sense of vacation spirit Tony and I sat down with our coffee and began to search for lodging in Zagreb.
Fifteen minutes later we had used up the 72 kunas’ worth of Internet. But hope was not lost. We were given the option to spend 10 kuna for “24 hours of unlimited Internet.” 10 kuna is roughly equivalent to €1,31/$1.68. This was expensive Internet?
There was a catch. The action to add additional Internet had to be approved by the owner of the account. Ilka. She refused, telling us that we could go to a gas station and purchase more time if we “wanted to surf the Web.” Something about Ilka, and this rental began to seem, well, unseemly, and further motivated us to leave. (At some point I think we even expected the real owners to show up and wonder what we were doing in their house.) Not having found lodging in Zagreb, we went ahead with plans to enjoy the sunny day in Istria and return to Vienna in the morning.
The former Imperial Hapsburg port city of Pula houses the largest Roman amphitheater outside of Rome, and is now used for summer concerts. The amphitheater is extremely well preserved; below the amphitheater was another remarkably preserved collection of ancient oil and wine jugs, something we hadn’t even seen in Rome.
Much of the rest of Pula was heavily bombed during WWII; as a result, the city is an eclectic mix of ancient Roman, Venetian, and Mediterranean architecture, side by side with architecture from “the social time.”
The following morning Ilka arrived to collect the keys to the house. She asked us why we were leaving, and when we described the various ways the rental had not lived up to its billing, she just pronounced us “not the right people for the house” and told us to leave. We happily obliged.
The drive home north of Croatia was another snowy and miserable slog, and to add insult to injury we awoke on Wednesday to a few centimeters of snow on the ground, with more continuing to fall throughout the day.
We have enjoyed many holidays, even a few with greater inconveniences, that statistically I suppose we were due for a holiday bust. We should have gone to Berlin.