Going north, we arrive at our next stop, the beautiful seaside beach resort of Opatija. This is a popular vacation spot with seaside restaurants, charming streets, lots of boating activities, and a beautiful shoreline ready to tend to hundreds of vacationers. It’s also the hometown of our tour guide so he was very excited to share his home city with us.
This little hamlet was first conquered by the Venetians, but then fell under rule of the Habsburgs, leaving the Austrians in control for many years. As a result, much of the architecture in this city has a European influence, with the Austrians bringing their style to this city. The colors and architectural detailing is so beautiful, I just want to take a photo of every building!!
You can’t miss this statue of the Maiden with the Seagull standing at the shoreline among the rocks as they trail into the water. Her story begins in 1891, when the unfortunate count Arthur Kesselstadt and his wife, countess Fries, fell victim to a raging storm not far from the rocks where the maiden now stands. The count’s family, overcome with grief, installed a sculpture of the Madonna on the rocks to honor their son’s memory. She stands now as the welcoming icon of Opatija.
We were really disappointed to wake up this morning to pouring rain! We weren’t sure how much of this town we were going to see with our shoes and socks soaked through from the morning downpour, but we certainly were going to give it a good try!!
Thank goodness the sun came out and brightened up everything. We are a little early for the summer tourists, especially since it rained all morning, but they certainly are prepared for a big crowd to be arriving in the next few weeks.
If you’re in the neighborhood, check out Roko Restaurant…fabulous mussels in a garlic, white wine sauce. I’m not a big mussels fan, but the mussels in Croatia are different from the ones in California…smaller, tastier, and really good!