By now, dear readers, our luggage and we have been reunited. But it took nearly 36 hours, half a dozen exasperated phone calls, an extra drive from Lovely Ljubljana to Zzzzagreb and back, and a whopping 150 euro fine for not understanding the significance of Vignette. Not to mention walking around in sweaty clothes, then giving up and buying NIS400-worth of essentials shortly before being informed that our two pcs of luggage are nestling safely on the floor of the Lost & Found of Zagreb airport. But that was to be expected. I mean, how are you to ensure that you get your precious luggage back if not by going out and buying new things?
Our Croatia & Slovenia vacation began rather inauspiciously on Monday morning, aboard a jam-packed Austrian Airlines flight, featuring strained flight attendants doing their best to cope with 80 special breakfasts, screaming kids, and several dozen ethnically-clad Eritrean women who seemed a bit out of place, or out of sorts.
The flight actually made good time until we reached Vienna's crowded airspace and had to sort of hang around in mid-air for a while. I guess that's what made us nearly late for our connecting flight from Vienna to Zagreb, and that's where our luggage failed to follow us. The Lost & Found Lady at Zagreb airport was quite optimistic that our cases would appear on the next incoming flight. So we whiled away the time in a cafeteria overlooking the runway, then in a beautiful green park with a lively water fountain right opposite the terminal. Then waltzed back to Ms. L&F, only to discover that the flight in question had been canceled. Ms. L&F said not to worry, luggage would arrive on a later flight and be sent to our hotel asap.
To make a long story short, we picked up our rented VW Polo tdi and drove out to Lovely Lub. Out of Croatia, into Slovenia. Good road. Smooth drive. Half-decent music on the radio. Reached hotel recommended by Rick Steves with the barely pronounceable name Pri Mraku, and settled in.
Lo and behold, some 24 hours later, and after our cases had gone shuttling between Zagreb, Vienna and possibly Ljubljana back and forth all that time, we effected a happy reunion.
Meanwhile, before we concluded that we had to go back to Zagreb airport, we walked our feet off in the touristy center of Ljubljana, admired the architecture, the cobblestones, the beer and the wine; and enjoyed a guided tour, together with an Australian couple, led by the sunny-faced Simona from the Tourist Information Office.
More stories, plus photos, in a day or two.
At the moment, I am very tired and barely responsible.
- to be continued -