The old diary I found recently had just a few boring pages at the start and from then on I only wrote in it when we had holidays. I’m posting this here for posterity (mine)!
This place is gorgeous! I’m sitting on the balcony and there are lovely Italianate houses, a small marina and a jetty to the left and more houses and a church to the right. The balconies are all curlicued (!) so looking to the right looks like that picture of Sophia Loren at Cannes (wonder if Dad wants a copy!).
Yesterday, we got to the airport a bit late but it didn’t make any difference, the flight was fine – only 2 hours, 5 mins. The views were amazing landing – all mountains and fir/pine (?) trees and we could smell them when we got off the plane. Just after we got on the coach, David saw an eagle and then as we went through some woods there was a little deer in a kind of wheatfield – the coach driver honked the horn and it looked up and just watched us go. While it stayed light everything looked beautiful! But the journey was 2.5 hours which is a bit grim when it’s mostly dark, but it passed quite quickly.
The hotel isn’t on the picture, which is a bit of a cheat. The picture is of Tartini Square and probably what I thought was the hotel is the town hall or something! The hotel isn’t very pretty so that’ll be why, but even so!
The room’s fine – big double bed, this balcony (whcih we’d given up on so we were quite excited) and a nice big bathroom with a ashower. We made QT and sat on the balcony talking. David said, “I think this is going to be a good holiday.” I think so too. I hope so!
23 June 2000
We didn’t do very much at all yesterday cos it was so damn hot! Went for a walk to the headland and through a bit of town then came back and saw the rep, who was next to useless. We’ve booked to go to Lake Bled and Venice (of course). We spent most of the day in the room or on the balcony reading or people-watching. It was a nice relaxing day. We went up to a pizza place for dinner, which (wine and pizza) was plentiful and cheap. Then we watched the sunset from a “rocky outcropping.” Lovely. Today we’re (hopefully) off to Llubljana.
24 June 2000
We got to the bus station yesterday at 10, but the bus wasn’t til 11. We walked along the coastal path to Portoroz – it’s so beautiful looking out at the sea. We got on the bus and settled down for the 2.5 hour journey. Luckily the scenery was beautiful and I spent quite a lot of time with my face pressed to the window. It took 3 hours cos there was a stop for a drink on the way (bus driver kickback). it was roasting in Llubljana – we had lunch in McDonalds’s just for a laugh (McD’s around the world!). We both had a ‘Fish Mac Meal’. They didn’t have anything different except big bowl salads and something in a cup called a McFlurry.
Llubljana was gorgeous but v small. We walked up to the castle (then had to have a prolonged recovery sit down) and the views were amazing, but only the tiny old town is beautiful – the modern buildings it’s surrounded with are hideous. We had a much needed beer by the river then walked up to Tivoli Park where we lay down and v nearly fell asleep. We got back on the bus and the return journey seemed much quicker. Lovely light and a sunset to boot. We had yet another pizza in very romatic leafy setting (Surf Bar) then back to the room. Woken in the night by incredible thunder and then quickfire lightning. Very disarming.
25 June 2000
Well, it’s 11.45am and we’re still in the room cos it’s blowing a gale and pissing it down! Yesterday we went for a wander around the city walls and then had another balcony day. We walked to Portoroz and had dinner – I had calimari, which was mega-garlicky and had loads of whole leggy squids – yuck. We watched Italy v Romania in a bar on the beach. V cosmopolitan, as D pointed out. Kept awake again last night by a whole range of rackets – disco, party, motorbikes, another thunderstorm, what sounded like a hurricane, Italians celebrating their win and then some fellow residents shrieking “Yee-ha!” at about 6am. Knackered again.
26 June 2000
Went to Lake Bled and Bohinj today. It was lovely but we didn’t get long enough at the lakes. Had a nice leisurely lunch with a couple from Yorkshire though. Yesterday we decided to go to Portoroz and the weather cleared up on the way there. (We went to the aquarium first – great selection of ugly fish!) In Portoroz we had dinner in a lovely terrace restaurant with a great view and who should come in but Zahovic, Slovenia’s striker. We were quite excited! Then we watched Spain v France. (France won 2-1.)
28 June 2000
I’m actually ok about going home – I wasn’t yesterday, I wanted to stay in Venice, but I’ve got plenty to be going on with at home and, for a change, I’m happy with my life. Venice was amazing – a day isn’t enough – I want to go back and explore some of the smaller islands, the main two areas are v busy and v touristy. When we first crossed the Grand Canal the view was so amazing that I cried. I’m such a sap.
Course, it was constantly in my mind that it was Mum’s favourite place and it was weird to stand and have a photo taken in St Mark’s Square when I know there’s a very similar one of her. I might find it at the weekend and put them together.
The tour that we went on was really good – we had a guide walk us from the catamaran – Prince of Venice – to St Mark’s Square then a local guide took us around and showed us the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace. Apart from all the tourists, the place seems frozen in time. When we walked past the cafe on St Mark’s – can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s v old, expensive and famous – there was an orchestra playing. After a free afternoon, with too much walking for David’s liking (I went investigating by myself while he had a snooze in a little park), we got a water taxi back to the boat. It was amazing too because it went through what are obviously residential areas that were v beautiful. Saw loads of locals on the water buses. I wonder if you ever take living in Venice for granted?