Piran is a sweet little town with twisting and turning cobble stone streets and pastel colored tiny houses in very good shape. Most of the town is set on a peninsula overlooking the Adriatic with a church spire dominating the tiny area. Locals say 'Ciao' when greeting people, people speak and look Italian.
Quiet during summer, almost abandoned during winter, the town reminded me of Venice before tourism flooded Italy. This area had been occupied by Italians for a centuries and it had left its mark, also on the quality of the espressos. Even the countryside looked like Tuscany.
The next day, I tried to travel onwards to Croatia. Here, too, most lines go to the capital and the normal process is to go through Ljubljana, to Zagreb, to the Croatian coast. That would have taken me days, I wanted to travel along the coast.
Only two buses daily cross the border near the coast. One at 7:30, the other at 14:25. I took the second bus, which would bring me down to Pula, on the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula. The distance covered from Piran to Pula was only 100 kilometers. The time it took was four hours.
At the Piran bus station I talked to a Mexican-American mom and her lovely daughter who had also staid at the Hostel Val in Piran. She told me that her husband, like myself, had left early in the morning for Croatia. Early, but not in time to catch the first bus into Croatia. He wasn't on the bus that I took later in the day. Where had he gone…?
On the bus to Portoroz, from where I would transfer onto a bus to Pula, the girl working at the Piran tourist office sat right next to me. I asked if Portoroz was an interesting town. "You know", she said, "it's for tourists…" I was welcomed by hotels, hotels, hotels and restaurants.