Saturday, December 12, 2015

Zagreb Stopover Before Heading Home from Croatia

Lynn and I left Split for Zagreb in the late afternoon. The drive was a fairly easy one as highways of Croatia are new and very well kept up.

Zagreb was unlike any city we saw in Istria, Rijeka, or Split. It was filled with tall buildings and contemporary designs.

We arrived at the Doubletree by Hilton Zagreb. It was a beautiful hotel and had a comfortable lobby. It was evening and we had an early flight in the morning so the only thing we had planned was dinner and then an early bedtime.

We checked out the restaurant, but didn’t really want a meal. We were both craving pizza and were curious to see if it was as good as it had been in Istria.

The staff at the front desk unanimously told us to go into the building next door to Al Metro. The building was modern and filled with restaurants, but we followed the smell to the pizzeria.

We picked up a pie and took it back to the room. It had been a once in a lifetime experience in Croatia, especially the first week with the Share Istria group.

There had been so many great meals and fantastic experiences. We were ready for a quiet pizza dinner and some girl talk before we headed to our homes in two different states.

In the morning, Lynn and I headed to the airport and said our goodbyes. She was going straight from Zagreb to New York and I was flying to Chicago, and then to home.

It was nice to see a familiar Starbucks to start my journey home. 

I was able to get an upgrade on AirFrance. It was only economy plus, but it was quite nice in the upper level of the plane in a bulkhead. The service and food was wonderful. I got some sleep and did some work. It was time to get back to life.

Although I had been to Croatia before, the experience I had with Istria Tourism and my Share Istria group could not compare to anything else. I am grateful to all.

In the end, I did win as the social influencer in my group that week, but I did not win the Grand Prize (10,000 Euros).

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I still wouldn’t trade that trip for anything in the world.

It was even more special to share it with my friend Lynn, who I have known for 25 years.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Beach Time and Relaxation in Split, Croatia

Travel days where I have nothing to do are few and far between, but this one was especially wonderful since I had a beautiful beach and a spa to enjoy for the day.

Lynn and I had been traveling through Croatia for nine days. Although I wouldn’t have done anything different, we were still exhausted.

The Hotel Split was on a breathtaking beach and, since it was during the week, pretty quiet. 
We had every intention of taking advantage of that time in Split.

We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel with an amazing view. It was a pretty typical European breakfast for me of yogurt, fruit, cheese, and a croissant. 

It’s odd how I like variety so much at home, but always seem to stick to this in Europe.

After breakfast, we spent the morning walking and lounging on the beach. The Adriatic Sea was especially beautiful from Split and just gazing at it from different angles was a treat.

When we arrived at Hotel Split, I saw the spa specials and noticed that the Hot Oil Aromatherapy Massage was very cheap (about $30 for an hour). My muscles had been taxed during the week and it sounded like heaven.

Lynn agreed, but unfortunately they only had room for one appointment. She graciously let me take it.

I left the spa and was back looking at the turquoise sea when we both decided to take a walk and find something to eat.

We found a Croatian bakery nearby and got some pastries filled with cheese that were more than satisfying. Before heading back to the beach.

As much as I like relaxing, I’m not one to just lay on a lounge chair for hours. After a while I got up to explore the rest of the hotel.

I went up to the rooftop and was so glad I did. The Hotel Split rooftop has a pool and lounging areas. It also has a view that was even more spectacular than the ones I had seen in the morning.

We had just a little longer before we had to get dressed, pack up, and head to Zagreb. Our Croatia adventure was coming near its end.