Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hotel Park in Rovinj, Croatia: I Stayed Here For The View

Most of the times, it is the view that matters. I mean, really. This was the case with the hotel I stayed at in Rovinj, Croatia last March. With a beautiful place like this, you cannot just let it pass. Must enjoy every moment. Must savour the view.

This is the stunning Rovinj in Istria, Croatia. Still a hidden gem to many international tourists (except for Italians who come here often and neighbouring countries). The hotel is on the upper right hand of the picture (see modern building with a yacht harbour).

Hotel with a View of Rovinj
Hotel website: Hotel Park Rovinj

And so I did savour in the moment and the view =)

The hotel however has surely seen better days, it needs uplifting in the rooms. I was not very fond of the bath and toilet as well, but I stayed here mainly because of the views. I booked a double room with a balcony on the harbour facing Rovinj. They are priced a lot more expensive than the rooms with a garden view but that does not matter. The view to the ancient town is more important when you are here. I mean, just look at that view.

So I woke up everyday here with Rovinj as my view from my bed. I have breakfast everyday in the restaurant with Rovinj as the view as well. So pretty. One of my unforgettable views.

Another reason why I booked here is because they have free parking. The old centre of Rovinj is pedestrian zone thus it is difficult to find a hotel there with free parking, let alone has parking facilities. I was not in the mood to be dragging my suitcase around town.

Do you think I made the right decision?

My double bed room with a balcony and view of Rovinj.

In front of the hotel is a yacht harbour.

Isn't Rovinj just stunning? The locals swear that Rovinj is the prettiest town in Croatia. It is Rovinj they are proud of, not Dubrovnik. These pictures were taken on the first day I arrived.

The gorgeous view from my bed of course =)

Rovinj is part of the road trip I did last March in Croatia and Slovenia.

Below is the route I took so far to reach here (you can move the map with your mouse and zoom it in or out as well). I picked up the rental car in Zagreb airport and stayed in Zagreb then drove to Rovinj via Opatija where I stopped for lunch. Opatija is like the Cannes - St. Tropez of Croatia.

I stayed here in Rovinj for 3 days and 2 nights.

Zagreb to Rovinj via Opatija. In Opatija I did a lunch stopover.

My rental car, a Fiat sedan. Drives fine. Oops, do not mind my parking manners, hehe.

The modern and chic lobby of Hotel Park Rovinj.

The terrace has a stunning view of Rovinj. March is low season so the hotel was not full at all.

Not bad for a breakfast view huh.

I love salamis, pickles, cheese, olives and those dried figs. The latter is a specialty in Croatia.

A message for me: Make yourself necessary to somebody. Hmmm...

More vegetables for breakfast please. 

The pool, the yacht harbour and Rovinj... view from the hotel restaurant.

I mean you would want to have a hotel with a view like this right? This picture was taken on my last day in Rovinj, with terrific sunny blue skies. Beautiful.

More Rovinj stories soon...

Travel Period: March 2014
Destination: Rovinj (Istria), Croatia

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Ramparts of Cite de Carcassonne in Languedoc, France

It is impossible for me to post all the pictures I took of Carcassonne so I will be dividing them into several blog posts. The ramparts of this fortified ancient city though is a must visit. It is impressive and massive and will definitely bring you back in the medieval period.

La Cite Ramparts
Tourism website: Carcassonne, France

From the ramparts, I also saw lovely views of the new part of Carcassonne called ‘Ville Basse’ and the countryside. The Languedoc region is famous for its wines and rolling vineyards graze the valleys. It is beautiful and peaceful here.

The walled city is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1997. When you are here it is important to distinguish La Cite from Ville Basse. Because if you say Carcassonne, the locals will think of Ville Basse (lower city) and this is the main city itself. La Cite refers to the medieval walled city.

You might also wonder, what does Carcassonne actually mean?

Well legend has it that it originally came from the phrase ‘Carcas sonne’ (Carcas rings) when the men of Charlemagne exclaimed this phrase during the siege of the city. I will not bore you the details but you can read the story here: Lady Carcas

Tonight, just after dinner, Dutchman and I were in the living room watching the news on TV over coffee.

‘I saw your posts about France.’ He mumbled.

‘Bah, am I so glad I don’t have to go with you on these boring dead fossilised castle villages trips.’

Well naturally I had to laugh, roll my eyes and give him a little peck on his sticky forehead for being such a silly and grumpy Dutchman.

Let us just say that life can be boring when you both like the same thing =)

View from the ramparts to Ville Basse (lower city which is where the main city of Carcassonne is located).

An early morning stroll for moi since the shops and cafe terraces are still closed.

Doves gathering.

Catching a glimpse of the vineyards.

Typically French countryside, lush and rich in nature.

November in Carcassonne and the vineyards still reflect a bit of autumn.

This was taken in the afternoon and naturally the group tours have arrived.

Children on an educational and historical day trip.

Beautiful countryside view behind the ramparts.

Managed to take a few pictures of myself! Thank you 10-second timer, haha, although it is a challenge to get a good one like this. You have to think of where to place the camera.

The ramparts from the outside.

La Cite by day. Ancient. Imposing. 

Travel Period: November 2013
Destination: Carcassonne (Languedoc-Rossillon), France

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