Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Canal in Rijeka, Croatia.
The Clock tower in the city center of Rijeka.
Opatija, Croatia...paradise!! Pictures do not do it justice!
Allie and I in Opatija along the coast....the perfect day :)
A street in Opatija, so picturesque!

So after a weekend in Rimini and San Marino, we decided to take it a little easy this past weekend…October 2nd-4th. On Friday night Allie and I were pretty exhausted from the week and she specifically had a rough day, so we decided to have a “make Allie’s day better” night! It was a lot of fun, exactly what we both needed…we drank wine, watched a movie (which we do not have a TV, so my laptop sitting on top of my rolling chair in the middle of the living room has been our TV. It actually works out nicely!), and made a box cake that her mom had sent her in the mail. Funfetti….the best box cake ever! So we had a great relaxing night at home, exactly what we needed J

 Friday afternoon we decided to take a last minute day trip Saturday….I did some research and actually planned a successful trip in Europe! I was so proud of myself! It is actually a lot harder to visit places than I thought from Trieste. It is great location wise, being in the middle of so many great countries, but because it isn’t one of the major cities it really limits the amount of trains, airplanes, and buses that go through the city. But I found a bus that took us from Trieste to Rijeka, Croatia directly….only a 2 hour bus ride and 6 Euro each way!!

 So Saturday morning we hopped on an early bus, having no idea what to expect, and headed to Croatia for the day! While driving to Rijeka though, we passed this INCREDIBLE looking Caribbean/European like town…so we decided we had to get back there somehow! Once getting to Rijeka, it turned out to be a little different than we expected. Rijeka is more of a “big city” feel, it has a canal, but really is not along the water like most well known Croatian towns. The city has a lot of history and you can definitely see it in all the buildings, there was also a lot of graffiti. The city was beautiful though and we managed to navigate our way around the entire city and all its major landmarks with just one map! We saw the famous Croatian National Theater, the Croatia National History Museum, an open air market, the canal, a well-known palace, and old Roman arch, and some gorgeous churches.  We packed our lunches to save money and came across a little park to eat lunch in….it was such a perfect day!!

 Somehow, despite me and Allie’s amazing way to get lost whatever we do, we found out how to catch a bus from Rijeka back to that great city we passed through on the bus ride there, Opatija. We were really proud of ourselves when we realized that we had actually made it to the city we were intending to go and did not get 40 minutes off course! But OH MY GOODNESS Opatija is one of the most beautiful cities I have EVER been too….absolutely GORGEOUS, it really feels like paradise!!! It is this tiny city on a peninsula in Croatia, the water is so clear and crystal blue, all the buildings and homes are these beautiful bright colors, there is one main road in all of Opatija, and it is lined with tons of unique and very picturesque cafés, bars, and restaurants.  The PERFECT place for a relaxing weekend to do nothing but lay on the beach and eat at fun restaurants! J

 We got into the city and were so taken aback by how beautiful it was, we ended up sitting by the coast and taking an unexpected 30 min nap along the water…just laying on the ground with only our backpacks as pillows…it was SO WONDERFUL!! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day…it was so peaceful and so beautiful! We ended the day by walking around the city and getting a drink at a café along the water. While walking around though we came across a wedding in this tiny, old chapel along the coast….oh my gosh my heart was just melting!!! What a dream??? J Then! 5 minuets later in the building right next door we saw 2 other brides!! We have no idea what was happening, but we got a good laugh out of it…man weddings just really seem to follow me everywhere lately!! I had to laugh! J

 We took the 5pm bus home and got back at 7 to still have a wonderful relaxing evening at home. The next morning I went to church and it was so great!!! Matt spoke all in Italian this week though, but I could follow along somewhat ok with his sermon by looking up the verses he posted. I LOVE the worship part of church though! I just think it is so amazing that you can literally be million miles across the world and people worship the same God you do, in different language…and you can sing to him at the SAME time, in different languages, and in such different ways. It is SUCH a neat experience! It was this one girl’s last day at the church though so they had a celebration and lots of praying for her before leaving church…then we all went to lunch after! And as I am am learning more all the time, Italians take a LONG time to do anything! After church (which started at 10) I ended up getting home at 4pm after a wonderfully long afternoon of church, pizza, gelato and great times with the entire congregation at church (which is about 30 people haha!). Sunday was such a GREAT day! So overall, yet another an incredible weekend!