Piran has been quite entertaining in the peak tourist season. Wednesday night was the start of the Mediterranean International Folklore Festival in Piran! There were dance groups from Latvia, Austria, and Spain in traditional costumes who performed in the square and taught all of the audience members their moves. It was very fun.
On the weekend I went to Split and met up with some other Michigan students who are interning in Rijeka. The city was not as great as is advertised but the beaches were nice and the food was good. The buses here are giving me a real headache. If I ever go down to Croatia I have to take a 3 hour bus ride first up north to either Ljubljana or up to Italy in Trieste! It’s frustrating and taking up so much time. But it has been so great to be able to travel to Croatia like this. It’s incredible to observe the differences between Slovenia and Croatia; Slovenia has had the most successful transition from Yugoslavia. They have a democratic, progressive government. They are part of Schengen countries in the EU which means there are no borders between Italy and Austria and Slovenia. Croatia on the other hand had a much harder time becoming an independent country and that really shows in the infrastructure and government. Many more young people leave Croatia and the government supposedly is very corrupt. There is also tight border control on the Croatia Slovenian border.
Today was really terrific. We went out to sample all around the Gulf of Trieste. We saw the entire 43km Slovenian coast and some of Italy. We spent the whole day on the water on a large boat and spotted some dolphins! It was loads of fun. Then at night we had dinner with some people connected to Michigan who are in the area!