Ever found yourself in a country you didn't expect to visit ...?
I did that today and it has knocked the ground out from under me. Julie drove us from Verona to Rijeka - some 335kms - via Slovenia, where a very serious border guard checked our passports before letting us through.
Admittedly, we did drive away giggling, as Julie had been wearing a skimpy singlet due to the heat. There she was, leaping out of the car to dig her passport out of the car boot.
I didn't expect that. Initially we were two rather startled kiwis, there at that border crossing.
We arrived in Rijeka, met our lovely Air B&B hostess and enjoyed chatting with her as she showed us around this pretty little apartment in downtown Rijeka. Air B&B is a great way to travel - thank you to Julie for convincing me on that one.
This beautiful apartment is 94 euro for two nights, is completely self-sufficient. We would recommend you stay here, without hesitation. I'll link to it after taking some photographs ... don't worry.
I speak no Croatian but we've been lucky. The Croatians here have beautiful English and have been very easy to approach. I am so grateful.
For the first time in a long time, I knew no one here and that has been odd too. But I learned long ago, look around for someone who might share your taste and ask them ... where would be a nice place to eat dinner, for example.
The young couple I asked sent us to Ristorante Spagho where the lovely waiter recommended a Pinot Crni by Krauthaker. We have a fish restaurant, recommended by our hostess, planned for tomorrow night. We just made the mistake of imagining dinner would be easy tonight.
Ristorante Spagho provided us with a delicious dinner for two, costing about 35euro in total and accompanied by a nice glass of red wine, or two. Let's not talk of the mistake I made in ordering a dish containing peppers.
They don't use euros here ... I am so ignorant. 50 euro= 380.724 Croatian Kuna.
But no photographs today. It was all about traveling, it was about having the brand new GPS die ... less than 1km from our destination ... Again!!! We nursed it today but that didn't seem to help. It almost seems like a bug in the programme. As in, when you get close to your destination, as soon as that destination flag appears with just a few streets to travel, the battery dies in this particular GPS.
Is it the rental car and a faulty cigarettte lighter charge? Is it the GPS? We hope to find out before Budapest ...
We're exhausted. Photographs to follow in the days ahead.