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By: Zdenko Kahlina
Race stories and more…
We used to race together, travel together and share the pain together. Sometimes it was wet and cold, the speed was high and our faces were covered with dirt. And yet we understood each other without a spoken word; we played our team tactics to perfection and one of us beat our competition at the finish line. Much later we forgot which race we won, or who had won it, but what we went thru will always stay in our minds. Race stories… even 30 years later we still remember them!
All together for picture taking…
V. Losinj is the place where every second year old cycling buddies from the same cycling club get together with their families, for a summer vacation. They gather from all over the world. We prepare rigorously for this, spending days and days in training before we get there. Some are even calling it a “world championships”. We go out on the road every morning and replay our old team tactics. We care who is going to be first at the top of the hill, or who is going to win sprint to the lamp post on the side of the road at the end of each ride. Like kids we still have fun riding our bikes.
Our group on the road…
After the ride…
We enjoy being together once again after all these years, we still enjoy small pleasures, like stopping at the local store by the rode side, just for a few minutes to have a beer. There is always more than one hand reaching out to pay for the beer. It’s still that “cammeradie” thing – One for all, all for one.
Our wives all know each others and they have great time during this short but wonderful vacation. And kids love it too…
This is an active holiday fulfilled with different activities every day. Early in the morning guys go for a two hour bike ride. After our ride we gather by the hotel pool to “review” the highlights from the ride or jokes about it. There is a “race story” every day. We tease those left behind on the local hill, or we talk about the “tricks” used by more experienced (older) guys who would try anything, to stay on the wheel of the stronger guys.
On the beach, fun is had by everyone…
After the bike ride it is our wives who decide where we are going to spend the rest of the day, and the selections are endless. Once at the beach we go swimming or we play cards, volleyball, tennis or just simply soak the sun and enjoy the warm weather.
Our leader Mladen usually organizes a one-day boat excursion, where we explore surrounding islands and taste local Croatian cuisine and vine. Every evening we go to the old town of Veli Losinj, and for a group promenade. Kids and adults alike enjoy late evening ice cream treat at one of many, usually crowded “riva” cafés. Sometimes there is a band playing music and we dance, or we sit down and have “another” beer and just watch the entertainment program on the stage.
Having fun on the “Happy boat”
The days are flying by, and before you know it’s all over. At the end of vacation, we have dinner at one of the best local restaurants. Sea food platter is group’s favorite with sea food variety prepared first class. Of course there is always good vine to go with fish and we all have lot’s of fun.
See you next time…
When the time comes to say good bay we always say it “until next time” as we are sure that we’ll come back again.
Hotel Punta, V. Losinj
Our experiences at hotel Punta are wholly positive and we have highly recommended it over the years, but other people might have different views. Like most hotel developments in Croatia this is built around the communist era policy of locating developments outside the beautiful towns and villages. It is a three star hotel on a beautiful location just outside the Veli Losinj, practically on the beach.
View from the sea on hotel “Punta” where we were staying.
The original hotel has been much modernized and the site – full of planting and gardens – now has a block of apartments (which are probably the best bet, essential if you want air conditioning). Hotel has an indoor swimming pool with jacuzzi, sauna and solarium, beauty center (massage, cosmetics), an outdoor swimming pool and some shops with domestic products.
The restaurant is very large but also very simple with almost no decoration. The buffet breakfast is the same every day and the choices are many & quality has been good (O.K. maybe just average). Same goes for buffet dinner – plenty of choices. One tip for hungry ones: be there as soon as the restaurant is open because after some time there is a lack of some food. The rooms are small with uncomfortable beds, no air conditioning, but have a satellite TVs and a big balcony with nice view.
Ok, the food in the restaurant is not always to our taste (but for the price very reasonable). The hotel also has an a la carte restaurant where you can use the credit from your half-board dinner. Sometimes we ‘swapped’ our evening meal at the hotel for vouchers to use in the restaurant that had breathtaking views across the little bay to the village (5 mins away).
This is a place for a magical holiday before Croatia is spoilt – by us all.
Tags: Summer 2009