Labin - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

September 16, 2020

Labin

Rachael and I both went to bed last night feeling a bit put out with our classy waterfront Grand Hotel.  Grand it’s not, we agreed with three complaints.  One, there’s no coffee maker.  Rachael has gotten addicted to her 6AM coffee, which she drinks cold after brewing and refrigerating it the night before.  Two, amazingly enough there’s no control for the air conditioning - a problem, because it’s actually cold in our room.  We consider leaving the door to the balcony open, but feel guilty about wasting the electricity.  Then we consider calling the front desk, when we discover that that there’s no phone - gripe #3.  We give up and decide to just cuddle together under the blankets, but it’s certainly a surprise.

Then, this morning I open a cupboard for some reason and see a coffee pot staring me in the face.  Next, Rachael starts getting dressed and finds a phone buried under her clothes.  Inspired, I look one last time and see a wall temperature control staring me in the face that clearly must have mysteriously arrived in the dark of night.

Where the hell did this come from? And why was it set to 16C?
Heart 1 Comment 0
The view across the north end of Kvarner Bay, from our room this morning.
Heart 2 Comment 0

So we’re feeling better about our hotel when we head down to breakfast at 7.  And then we feel much better still when we enjoy a fabulous spread: made to order omelets, croissants, all manner of cold cuts, dried fruit, cereal and sausage.  And the view from our table on the balcony isn’t bad either.

I forgot to bring my camera to breakfast this morning. Looking at the sunrise, I considered rushing back upstairs but decided there wasn’t time so made do with the iPad. Which reinforces the adage that the best camera is the one you have with you.
Heart 7 Comment 0
The pigeon waits his chance. Surely Rachael will leave something behind when she goes.
Heart 3 Comment 0

Pretty easy ride today.  Just thirty miles to Labin, a hill town near the coast that we stayed at on our last visit to Istria two years ago.  The first half of the ride is a snap, riding mostly on the level along the coast.  The road is a bit congested and uninteresting for the first few miles as we bike past one seaside resort after another.  Finally though we’re out or the resort belt and the ride becomes prettier with every mile.  By the end, it’s reminding me of the balcony roads in Corsica.

Leaving Opatija.
Heart 2 Comment 0
West of a Opatija. With the bouganvilla, we could be on the coast in Italy or southern France.
Heart 3 Comment 0
About five miles west of Opatija we’re past the resorts and the ride gets better with every mile.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Along the southern Istrian coast.
Heart 2 Comment 0
We’re seeing a lot of this growing along the base of the south-facing cliffs. Grows in sprays to a length of up to three feet.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Any ideas?
Heart 3 Comment 1
Andrea BrownDefinitely a campanula, Bill will find out which one.
Reply to this comment
5 days ago
Along the Istrian coast. This stretch reminds me of northwest Corsica.
Heart 2 Comment 0

Eventually, we leave the coast and start climbing.  The last half of the ride features two climbs, neither as serious as we expected.  After climbing gradually about eight hundred feet, we top out at a high viewpoint overlooking the long, narrow inlet of Plomin Bay.  We were here just two years ago, so I’m startled to see this sight again and be reminded of how much I’ve forgotten since then.

Then, a gradual drop past the end of the bay nearly to sea level, and then a second climb up the other side, arriving in Labin not long after noon.  We stop at an ATM and grocery for a quick snack and then head straight to our hotel room, pleased to be arriving before the day warms up too much and happy we can check in early and lie around for an hour or so before going out to look around the town.

Leaving the coast.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Looking west to the island of Cres. We’ll be back this way in a week and catch the ferry to Cres.
Heart 5 Comment 0
Looking west along canal-like Plomin bay. Not shown is the enormous, unsightly 340 foot tall chimney of the Plomin power station, the tallest structure in Croatia. If you ask nicely, we’ll include a photograph of it when we return this way next week to catch the ferry to Cres.
Heart 3 Comment 0

Video sound track: Bolero Sonambulo, by Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban

Hotel Peteani, our home in Labin today and again a week from now. In the meantime we’ll leave a pair of panniers behind to lighten our loads. Yippee!
Heart 2 Comment 0
In the mirror-ceilinged lobby of Hotel Peteani, a bicycle friendly establishment.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Ceiling-enabled selfie, Hotel Peteani.
Heart 6 Comment 2
Jen GrumbyCool selfie! Makes me think of an Escher painting.

Looks like a great place to stay.
Reply to this comment
5 days ago
Lyle McLeodI'll second that ... very cool photo!
Reply to this comment
5 days ago
Heart 1 Comment 0

Ride stats today: 30 miles, 2,700’; for the tour: 997 miles, 40,900’

Today's ride: 30 miles (48 km)
Total: 998 miles (1,606 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 8
Comment on this entry Comment 0