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Tripgirls Trip Report: Slovenia/Croatia/Paris: A Messy Start, The Case of the Missing Shoes and Lots of Calamari!

Tripgirls Trip Report: Slovenia/Croatia/Paris: A Messy Start, The Case of the Missing Shoes and Lots of Calamari!

Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Tripgirls Trip Report: Slovenia/Croatia/Paris: A Messy Start, The Case of the Missing Shoes and Lots of Calamari!

Hi all!

I'm back! Returned home this Sunday evening from our trip and have loads to share. In an effort to stay awake longer tonight to get back on my regular schedule, I will begin some of the report.

First a round of thank yous: Carta-Pisana, tower, Callilli, issy, slojan, bodhijack and so many more for all your great reports and insights.

Here we go...July 6-23rd

A MESSY START: Thursday July 6th

In every trip for all these years, I usually have not a thing to say about the flight over,; they are all pretty uneventful, lucky me! Not so this time!

Using FF miles on AA we departed DCA for ORD on Thursday July 6th. No problems at all. Then we boarded the 5pm flight from ORD to CDG. All tucked comfy cosy into our seats ready to take off and the dreaded voice of the pilot letting us know that there is a light that won't come on the aircraft. Fine. We all think the mechanic will just come on and we'll be delayed. Not so.

Pretty quickly it is announced the flight is cancelled and will be rescheduled to leave at 7am the next morning, July 7th. At least they did not keep us cooped up on the flight for hours.

Anyway, they do indeed pay for a hotel stay and meal. But what a pain. Not only do we have spend the night in Chicago( one of my favorite cities by the way, but no chance to go into the city)but the flight the next morning leaves us in Paris well after all the connecting flights for the day. We were to connect from CDG on Adria Airways to our first stop, Slovenia ( our stay in Paris is at the tail end of our trip).

Soo....

We end up getting to CDG at 10:30pm on Friday July 7th and with no flight to connect to, we are stuck again at an airport hotel ( in one of again my favorite cities). We were to be in Slovenia this day, at 1pm and now we are in Paris at 10:30pm and at the airport instead.

I get hold of my agent who books us at the Hilton Paris airport ( a nice hotel by the way) and rebooks us on Adria Airways flight for Saturday. But instead of the original 11am flight from CDG to Slovenia, she can only get us standby on the 11am , but a confirmation on the 9:20pm flight! Ugh. We are missing Slovenia!

Anyway, we go on Sat morning back to the airport in hopes on getting on the 11am flight. There is one seat available. The plane is tiny, only about 20-25 seats. Guess who takes it? Yes, I do and take all the luggage with me. DH stays behind, unencumbered by luggage and heads into Paris ( since we've been many times, he knows his way). There could be worse cities to stay behind in, huh? So this actually is a good thing for him, but we are separated for the day ( actually also a good thing, at this point DH and I need a break from each other, we started to get on each others nerves with all the delays).

So off I go into the blue skies to Slovenia to get settled.

The flight was fine and actually sat next to a group of students who are going to Slovenia for a musical event. Actually, three of the seats on the plane, were actually taken up by instruments. At first, I was a little upset to see three seats that could be occupied by human bodies instead of instruments, but quickly I realized that those instruments are very valuable and of course these people paid for two seats. But just seeing the violins and violas instead of my husband was a bit upsetting.

Once landed in Ljubljana I was picked up by the arrangements I made with a company called Orbita ( great company by the way, let me know if anyone would like their info) in a nice car with an excellent driver and headed to the hotel with all the luggage in tow.

HOTEL:

Imagine my face when finally after a full 24 hours I arrive at my beautiful hotel with an inviting bed! Although we did not have to endure an overnight overseas flight and we had two beds to actually sleep in on the way over, still it was two beds I could have done without!

We chose the Hotel Grand Union on block up from the main square in what is considered the central part of Ljubljana and its fabulous. With a neoclassical facade and
and central location, I am smiling.

I booked us a suite, a fantastic corner room with balcony that overlooks the main square. There are two rooms, a living room with comfy couches and a bedroom with the biggest, softest pillows ever! The bathroom is all marble, elegant and lots of space. The staff is cordial. I take time to relax and relish a little alone time.

I'll be back a bit later tonight or tommorrow... food is calling.....

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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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Great start (or awful start), Tripgirl. I can't wait to read the rest.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:21 PM
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Hopefully the beginning of your trip turned into a better trip..but with a missing shoe or shoes maybe not? I am so looking forward to your next installment tripgirl.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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LoveItaly:

The shoe part actually happens in Dubrovnik, so it will be a little while until I get to it; I'll keep you in suspense! But you will get to "participate" in the story: My DH's idea!!

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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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Hi tripgirl,

Ok, enough dinner. More, More!

Just kidding of course, but you are off to a wonderful start and I cannot wait for the next installment.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Tripgirl, my trip to the Dordogne in June started badly but ended up being one of our best trips ever so I have high hopes for yours. I'll be following your report.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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tripgirl,

You've captured my attention...so now I'll be checking this thread every hour waiting for more! Please don't make us wait until tomorrow.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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Dinner is very important, so take your time. This trip report is starting off wonderfully!
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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Your suite sounds wonderful - I'm sure it will be even more so when your DH arrives

Looking forward to more . . .
Linda
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Let me get this straight: you started off by flying from Washington, D.C. to Chicago??!? That's got to be about 600 miles in the WRONG direction.

Gak.

- Larry
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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ok, back. Dinner is over.

So after check in, I wander out by myself and its good to be where I belong instead of in an airport hotel!

I know at this point DH is probably having fun too in Paris ( who wouldn't be!), so I am fine by myself and off I go.

Ljubljana is very sweet. Although many travel articles say its the new Prague; having been to Prague, I have to disagree. I think it has its own sweetness unto itself and its a delightful small city that feels instantly safe.

I begin my walk in the direction of Presernov trg ( preseren square, which actually does not really remsemble a square but rather it is a jumping off point to the river crossings. It does boast some fine examples of art nouveau architecture. I cross over one the bridges to the information center to purchase walking tour tickets for Sunday morning. Then I just spend the next couple of hours exploring the city. The city indeed can be seen on one very full day, so if your time is limited, you can still do well. A fact that brings me some comfort since we already lost one day.

On the other side of the street from the information center is Trznica or the Central Market. As bad luck would have it, I just missed the marketplace. The marketplace is huge, sprawling in fact and as the vendors are packing up, I am saddened that I missed this as there is nothing more I love than European markets and I always seek them out. On Sunday, nothing much happens here , so I have missed in fact one of my favorite activities, at least for this city and this time around.

But do visit it, if you are going, it is really lovely and appears to be quite active. You can't miss the market, the Vodniko trg and the Pogarcarjev trg is where it is located.

I walk along all the three major squares on the right side of the river, Mestni trg, Stari trg and Gornji trg. They all kind of run together and are all attractive with galleries and boutiques, homes and apts.

As luck would have it ( again!) also all the shops were closed once I got there, and remained closed since the next day was Sunday. If interested in shopping though, there are cute boutiques and jewelry shops you could browse in easily.

After a good exploration of alot of the city I sat down to eat a late lunch of pizza at Ljubljanski Dvor, Dvorni trg. I ordered a pizza of which I could only finish about 3/4 of, but it was delicious.

A nap rounded out the rest of the day and since lunch was so late, I was not hungry for dinner and DH was not expected until 1130pm anyway and we would miss dining together, I just walked up to the burek stand at Noble Burek, Miklosiceva 30 which is on the same street as the hotel. Burek is a kind of moist pastry filled with either meat or soft cheese ( kind of like a good tasting cottage cheese). it's kind of greasy, but not too much so. I walked with it and headed back down into the town for a stroll and then later some gelato. The gelato in Slovenia is different. It is made with skim milk, which I appreciate it being lower in fat, but somehow when you've had the real deal gelato, the skim milk version is just not he same. It was delicious, but just not the same.

I stayed up and waited for DH who pulled in with the driver at about 12 midnight. He had a wonderful day in Paris visiting the Musee D'Orsay, and having a bite at Cafe de Flore and walking around some of his favorite streets. I could tell the break from each other did us good; we are better with each other now.

Not content to just go to sleep, we walk together back into the city and I show him around a bit and we have a drink at Kavarna Plocnik, the cafe right on Presernov Trg( I also got my earlier gelato here). Good people watching and then off to bed about 1;30am in our wonderful room to then finally start the vacation together on Sunday July 9th!

That's all for tonight, my head is starting in a downwards position, so off I go.

I'll be back tommorrow....
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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justretired,

Yes, but that's what you get when you cash in FF miles, that's the way it goes...
I don't remember when we had to actually purchase tickets since we have so many miles, so you take them, even though it's a slight inconveniece.

An hour backwards and some miles extra are no biggie, we fly all over world and sometimes the routes are just not that convenient, so what!

Getting delayed, well that's another story; that was not fun( although now it is part of a good travel story!)
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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Excellent start! Looking forward to the rest. Although I have to say I'm so sorry you're back already. It was too quick.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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catbert,

While I have you on, I do have to thank you so much for the Villa Argentina in Dubrovnik. I will tell all the great details, but wow, it was divine!!!
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:56 PM
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Great report so far...Can't wait for the rest!
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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Hiya Tripgirl:

I hope I am not telling the same tale of woe for our flight to Croatia!

We are using FF tix Madison to Zagreluckily heading east the whole way), but we only have 65 min to make a connection in Paris. I fully expect to be spending the day in Paris, and that is not a hardship, although we just got back from a week stay in April. AF has two flights after the one I expect to miss that will still get me to Zagreb before my flight to Dubrovnik, which is seperately ticketed on Croatia Air. Oh well, whadaryagonnado?

Looking forward to the rest of the story! Since you are going to bed so early tonight perhaps you'll be up early with a cup of coffee to write a morning installment - wink!
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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wow- accidental emoticon, what fun!

that was a b followed by a (
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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I'm so relieved! I worry when I rave about something too much and set expectations too high.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 07:28 PM
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Just had to try it, HappyCheesehead!

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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 07:29 PM
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Kind of fits all those complicated airline arrangements!
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