Choir Trip to Apotija, Croatia
I It can safely be said that we had a ball in Croatia. After a long day’s travelling via Dublin and Treviso (near Venice), followed by a three hour bus journey across the root of the Istrian Peninsula, we arrived quite late in the evening. We stayed at the 4 Star Remisens Hotel Kristal. We got off to a shaky start when we discovered that the double rooms were in fact double bedded rooms. Some of them separated into two singles and some didn’t. However, after a couple of very cosy nights for a few people, everything was sorted out. The weather was magnificent with warm (25 degrees) sunny days and balmy nights. Opatija is an old resort town on the Croatian Riviera, at the root of the Istrian Peninsula. It was mostly built during the period of Austro-Hungarian rule in the mid-nineteenth century. Having been part of the Venetian Republic until the Napoleonic wars and then assimilated into Italy after the Great War until 1945, the people of Istria are bilingual in Croatian and Italian. Our first engagement was on Friday at St Jakob’s church, Opatija. On the Saturday, there was a gala concert in the afternoon in one of the large hotels for all nine participating choirs. On the Sunday, we were taken by bus, along with the other choirs, to visit the Postojna Caves in Slovenia, a journey of about 1 1/2 hours. This is a vast complex of caves under a limestone plateau, with spectacular stalagtites and stalagmite formations, an underground railway and several very large caverns. We and the other choirs sang in one of these, a wonderful experience. Our final full day there was spent on a tour of parts of the Istrian Peninsula, including Pula and Rovinj. Pula has one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres, where we sang a couple of numbers. All too soon, we bussed back to Treviso and home after one of the best choir tours of recent years.
Here are some audio clips from performances during the Croatian trip: