Subject: Suggestions for Croatia/Slovenia?
Hi, Ziners -

Once again I'm requesting suggestions for a part of the world many of you seem to know well.

In late September/early October, I will be in Transylvania with a group. We finish the trip in Bucharest Oct. 6, and I plan to stay in Europe for another 10 days or so - probably flying home the 15th or 16th, probably from Venice.

At the moment, I plan to take the overnight train from Bucharest to Budapest on the 6th, and then - ???? Two years ago I visited parts of Slovenia (Maribor, Ljubljana, Lake Bohinj) but did not get to Croatia at all. Looking at maps & train schedules, I find I can easily get from Budapest to Zagreb, and from there down to the coast - Rijeka, the Istrian peninsula, etc. (With a short time, I don't want to go farther down the coast, although it's tempting.)

I would like to swing back to Piran, then go up the coast to Trieste and from there to Venice. From Piran, I would like to do a side trip to the Skocjan Caves if there is time.

A couple of questions: bus or train? I think for long distances (Budapest to Zagreb) the train is best, but I suspect local buses are the best deal near the coast. I'll check the Travelzine archives for past recommendations, of course.

Another question: local travel agencies. Is this a good source for side trips (see above)?

Accomodations at the coast - I'm interested in B&Bs, 2-star hotels, etc. (Often the most annoying thing about traveling alone is the price for a single room.)

And if anyone has a recommendation for a reasonably-priced B&B or hotel in Venice, I would love to hear it. (My favorite low-budget haunt, Ca' Zenobio, is fully-booked in October, according to its website.)

Thanks for your suggestions. (In return, I can recommend at least three excellent hotels or B & Bs in Transylvania, as well as a couple of good hikes. It is beautiful country, currently unmarred by sprawl - see it before the towns & villages burst their boundaries.)

Best -

Julie in Seattle