Friday, 9 October 2015

Hotel Piran - Piran, Slovenia

One rather blustery Monday in Croatia we struggled for ideas of what to do and where to visit. A beach day would have left us running along the coast trying to retrieve our belongings and it felt too hot to go exploring in caves (we were saving that trip for a rainy day). The solution we found was to jump in our rental car and take a trip across the boarder to Slovenia.

We drove to Piran, also part of Istria, which is famed to be one of the most photographed parts of Slovenia. Perfect for a day trip. 

The ride to Slovenia was a pleasant one and I watched out of the window as green hills and blue sea passed me by. We were grateful to leave Croatia's toll roads behind and the only traffic appeared at one roundabout just prior to the border crossing.

We had a little trouble finding somewhere to park in Piran, there was a lot of permit holder parking and what appeared to be very little tourist parking. We eventually settled on a rather expensive multistorey about a ten minute walk out of town.

As we walked in to the town, with the wind literally battering us, it seemed to be pretty much desserted. There was hardly anyone around. Where was everyone? Had the wind scared them away? Surely not.

We walked around the town a little, exploring the side streets and taking pictures of the multicoloured houses. It was all very quaint. It was just so peculiar that the most photographed place in Slovenia was so quiet.

We walked past a hotel that was advertising cappuccinos at a decent price and it looked nice from the outside so we decided to hunker down inside and have some lunch.

There were a couple of tables outside occupied by some brave souls who weren't scared of their glasses flying off the tables. Inside it was incredibly warm, despite the wind the weather was still in the mid 20s and there was no aircon within the hotel restaurant. There was just one other couple inside, a middle aged American pair who were staying in the hotel (they asked for the bill to be charged to their room) who were also very polite and 'blessed me' when I sneezed. That was sweet, I was beginning to miss warm and kind people.

We weren't getting much attention from the staff so D went up to the counter and asked if it was self serve, the waiter replied no and brought some menus to our table, and then a table cloth, and then some cutlery. Despite the warmth I still had a taste for some coffee and so compromised a little and ordered a iced coffee.

The iced coffee was made with coffee (clearly), ice cream and topped with whipped cream. It was a tad bit indulgent for lunch but I lapped it up. I could see the look of jealousy on D's face as he looked over at me whilst sipping on his fruit smoothy (not so glamorous).

My drink even came with a fancy spoon that balanced perfectly on the glass.

Fancy spoon 

The menu advertised brunch, although I struggled to see what I would constitute as brunch i.e. breakfast. The menu instead consisted of sandwiches, salads and larger main dishes. The American couple behind us had their food brought out as we were pondering over the menu, their dishes looked big and spectacular.

In the end D and I both ordered the same thing, D almost ordered a panini or something but when I told him I was ordering chicken wings he quickly changed his mind.

Now, there was an odd smell in Piran. I couldn't quite pin point what this smell was. When it came to eating this smell was either stuck up my nose so much it flavoured the food I ate or the smell was cooking oil that was wafting around the town. A weird sickly cooking oil. D had no idea what I was waffling on-about, perhaps it was all in my mind, or perhaps I have a sensitive sense of smell.

The wings were served with a spicy sauce separate contained within a tiny bucket which I mainly used for dipping my chips in rather than the wings, they were messy enough. I disliked the fact my chips came in a glass, surely this is not the optimum material to serve chips in. Both D and I poured our chips on to our boards.

I make such a mess with wings, mainly because I struggle with messing myself and I am constantly wiping my hands and picking away at things, avoiding the unattractive or fatty parts. Unfortunately this isn't so great when you only have material napkins to contend with, but lucky for us I had baby wipes in my bag (I'm turning in to my mother and I haven't even got kids yet).

Once our order had been taken and the food brought to us the waiting staff pretty much ignored us and just stood polishing glasses behind the bar. We had to approach them and wait at the bar to pay, I'm pretty sure this wasn't the normal procedure but we were becoming inpatient as we wanted to explore Piran a little more.

The bill came to 34.30 Euro (approximately £25), which felt expensive, especially in comparison to Croatia.

Piran livened up late afternoon (about 20 more people appeared in the whole town), I'm guessing around 3-4pm. If you visit Piran I'd definitely recommend paying the euro to walk along the old defence wall, there are some spectacular views to be seen.

As with much of Istria there is also good gelato to be had, the restaurants in the square charge more than those along the seafront. I've never eaten so much gelato in my life.

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