It was hard not to smile when the taxi driver asked me "Are you a real Australian or do you have Croatian blood?". Ummm ...... guessing I am a "real" Australian, unless there is something my mother hasn't told me.
It was a funny moment after a long, hot day of bus/train/bus travel to get from Slovenia to the Croatian region of Istria. I had been warned how busy August would be to visit, but nothing prepared me for mass tourism on this scale. When the four screaming children in my six-seater train compartment kept kicking and crawling over me I thought, more than once, that Guatemala would be nice this time of year.
After trundling my bags through the cobblestone streets at 11.30pm at night, to the only hotel in town that had a room, I almost burst into tears when the man told me the price. It would be my most expensive room of the entire trip - three times my budget. He could sense I was a woman on the brink and gave me a discount. When I saw the room, I did burst into tears. It's only redeeming feature was that it was in the gorgeous coastal town of Rovinj.
Rovinj is a charming and popular fishing town with buildings that fall straight into the clear deep green ocean, where you can walk through narrow streets and smell lunch being cooked in homes along the way, see the washing flapping in the sea breeze, join the sun seekers perched like lizards on the rocks or eat in one of the many oceanfront cafes.
Croatia's Adriatic coastline is spectacular from the water or by road. Today's eight hours of bus travel across to Zadar spoilt me with incredible coast and ocean views for the whole trip. The water here is beautiful any time of the day, but when the sun loses its strength in the evening, it brings a special glow and light that I have come to love.
And tonight I have a bed. Not just any bed - the BEST bed and room I've had the entire trip. It's black. With wall to wall, floor to ceiling mirrors. And shag pile carpet. And has a huge window overlooking Roman ruins. This was a bed worth waiting for.