Day 131: Discovering the Hidden Gems of the Coast

Oh guys. I’m sitting in an amazing hotel right now with a drink in my hand and looking at the sea. I’ll be spending here the next week as a guest of Hanna, one of my besties in Finland. Man, chill to be here  and I am enjoying every second. I’ll tell you all about it in the next post.

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Two weeks ago my boyfriend came to visit me from Holland and we did a few really cool trips. The first weekend (19.5.) went quite calmly since he had a nasty fever, but luckily we were able to fight that off and go Vienna on Sunday! I’ve travelled through Vienna many times already, but have never stayed there for longer to see the sights.

We stayed in the city center, ate at good restaurants, had some good beers and went to see the Schönbrunn-castle and garden. That one is a definite must-see! Otherwise we just walked around the city and admired the old victorian buildings.

Even though travelling is amazing, it also gives you a lot of perspective – in a good and bad sense. I have to say that I wasn’t so blown away by Vienna as I thought I would have been (I’m sure that it’s an amazing exchange city tho don’t get me wrong). For me it was a little uninteresting – lots of big buildings, lots of people, long distances and just a big city. My opinion might be influenced though by the people in Graz. People in Austria who don’t live in Vienna don’t really like it 😀 But it was a nice visit nevertheless.

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Monday evening we came back and I had a role play in my Marketing Management class to do. I had already forgotten how much easier it is to have a presentation in English and not German. That went well and on Wednesday it was time to pack our bags again and head to Slovenia and Koper. Oh. my. gosh. Koper – you were amazing.

 

IMG_0021The bus ride was again pretty tiring. We went from Graz to Trieste and changed buses there. Of course the customs took a long time on the border and we came an hour late to Italy. What’s travelling without a little stress?

Luckily the buses in the south are also usually late, so the bus that came to pick us up to Koper was also almost an hour late.

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I wanted to visit Slovenia since we drove through it on our trip with Sofia and it looked very beautiful. It’s also between Italy and Croatia, so honestly, can it be anything else than awesome?

I had read that it’s a very old town with a lot of history, but when we got to the sea side, it was far from old.

A beautiful promenade with palm trees and white modern houses with luxury shops in them. The town has truly come out of its cocoon in the last ten years and is a great tourist attraction now.

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Despite the modern looks, the town is still very cheap – in many cases even cheaper than Croatia. But more on that later.

We rented a car on Thursday to go visit Croatia and my all time love, Opatija. Jussi found a car for us that cost 33e on an ESN offer for 24 hours. How good is that?! (company’s called ATET)

 

The passing through the borders may take a long time and you really have to take take that into consideration. We were lucky cos the lines weren’t too bad, but coming back we went another road cos Google Maps said our first customs was totally full and not moving at all.

Oh Opatija, you are just always awesome. From 1-10 how much does it look like a paradise? Yes, 11. We had a lovely breakfast brunch there, walked around a bit and then headed to Piran and Portoroz, which are also on the Slovenian coast.

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Views from café, Opatija

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Piran was a very pleasant surprise, too. It was a beautiful harbour city with lots of small streets to discover. I think Piran was more touristy than Koper, even though I think I like Koper more. Maybe that’s because it was fairly calm.

We had a delicious seafood lunch in Piran, and just to give you an example of the prices: my meal down there was around 8,5e, the beer 2e and a glass of (awesome) house made red wine 1,30e.

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Only down side about Piran and Koper is that neither of them have a proper beach. Some small strands, but nothing proper. Portoroz should have it, so we headed there next. There is a beautiful promenade from Piran to Portoroz, which takes around 15min to walk.

Portoroz wasn’t that exciting though, I have to say. The “beach” was on the other side of the bay so we couldn’t be bothered walking there and there really was not much to see. I feel like the whole town is only made for tourists, since the main attractions were a spa and a couple of casinos.

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After getting back to Koper we got to see a beautiful sunset and I got to make a few good photos of it. We went to have dinner at an Italian pizza place (ok, this was already ridiculously cheap, but the massive and delicious pizzas were 6e plus 2e for a big beer). Then off to bed –>

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The next morning we had breakfast in our AirBnB-hosts private backyard. The weather was perfect, not too hot and definitely not cold.

We spent Friday discovering Koper’s old side. It is also beautiful, although not that big. There I found a very well graded vegan restaurant, where we went for lunch. I’m trying to eat vegan whenever I can, but I allow myself some seafood or fish every now and then.

Also tzaziki here in Greece is impossible to turn down. And hell, I’ll even have a steak if I feel like it. But nowadays I don’t really feel like that too often. Maybe once a month, which is great. Even Jussi is positive about vegan and vegetarian food and eats nicely everything I make him.

It’s a statistical fact that the amount of meat we eat nowadays is destroying the planet, and I don’t think making an “I’m either vegan or not”-decision is not the right way for everyone. Even if we cut back with meat some bit, it already makes a big difference. But that’s it about vegan talk. Sorry (not sorry) 😀

These big incredibly delicious vegan portions were 4,5e each. Praise Slovenia.

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Koper

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IMG_0296In the evening we had a reservation to the town’s fanciest and best restaurant Capra, since we had been so god about saving our money so far.

And in this no 1 Tripadvisor restaurant, a shrimp pasta was 14e.. Most of the things on the menu were under 20. LOL. We also got free welcome drinks and as dessert, we ordered some cocktails and the god-like mountain of deliciousness that is also known as a lemon-merengue-cheesecake.

We had to ask for the dessert because it took so long and when we got the check the waiter only charged us for our main meals and wines. Insane. I don’t know why, the dessert wasn’t THAT late.. But, all in all it was a good deal 🙂

On Saturday we went home, had some barbecue dinner with my exchange friends in the evening and then on Monday Jussi left back to Holland. At that point I realized I only have a bit over a month of my exchange left. My oh my, how fast the time has gone.  But I won’t think about the ending yet.

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As a last little tip I wanted to give you one that my (now ex) roommate Michaela told me! It’s about how to keep your basil alive. Just cut a long piece of fabric and bury the one end a little into the soil, the other one you put into a cup of water. And then the basil drinks by itself! I did almost kill it tho when it was outside in 30C heat and it wasnt able to drink fast enough by itself. So remember to water it a little in hot weather.

Michi is now left to Berlin to start her first post-graduation work and the house does feel a little emptier, now that the new girl hasn’t moved in yet. It’s horrible to let go of people that become such a big part of your life. Luckily we have planes, and it’s possible to see them later  in some other place in the world!

Now we have water polo at the hotel pool next, so I’ll have to go to that. Have a good rest of the week all ❤

 

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