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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Rijeka Opens First Floating Botel & Hostel In Croatia

A new botel/floating hostel will now be a permanent feature of Rijeka's waterfront.

I read about this when it first opened up last year and thought it was pretty interesting, then I ran into their website that is up and running now and thought I should quickly mention it. There have actually been a number of similar floating hostels and botels in various places, now the city of Rijeka and Croatia can be added to that list.

My 2009 Croatian tour consisted of mainly hostels, hostels are just simply awesome. I had no plans to just hang around one city or town the whole time of my stay, people to see, places to go, things to do. It's a very common and popular way to travel around Europe for those doing that "Euro-tour" thing. They're cheap, clean, free wi-fi, satellite tv, free other stuff too, laundry and kitchen facilities, (If you have a special diet you just shop at the stores or markets and use the kitchen, how awesome is that?), secure lockers, cheap beers, a good place for tips, directions and information. They're also usually located in the best and most happening parts of the cities or right downtown if you prefer. (Did I mention that they're also very cheap and inexpensive?) After all, when you're traveling in Croatia, or anywhere in Europe during the summer, trust me you're hardly ever even going to even be there. Why pay lots more for fancier rooms that you'll hardly ever been in? Most of the time you'll just be there to sleep and shower, the rest of the time you're going to be outside doing and seeing and experiencing things. Many of the hostels I personally came across were even better than some hotel rooms I've seen in my time, better than lots of them actually.

I have some good hostel stories, that's because you're constantly bumping into like-minded people who have the travel and adventure bug just like you, so many things to see and do.  I was meeting people in the hostels from all over the place, from Ireland to Australia, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, France, Canada and everywhere in between, even a number of Chinese and Japanese. Perhaps surprising to some, it was mainly females I met who were in a similar situation as me and traveling to places on their own. However it's not all roses and peaches like you may think, if you don't get a private room then quite often you may have to put up with girls coming out of the shower and changing in front you, or ask you to get their back with the suntanning cream, stuff like that. In a way, staying at a hostel is like a mini adventure during your vacation/traveling adventure. You also avoid having to do all that tipping in the fancier hotels, tipping the door guy, tipping the bell hop, the elevator person, the cleaning lady, etc, all that tipping adds up during a few weeks of traveling. Yep, hostels are great, and almost like being at home.

Anyway, enough reminiscing about, this new "Botel Marina Hostel" has been up and running now for almost a year, and it just seems like another cool option for those short stay travelers all throughout the year. Remember, it doesn't always have to be the busy and hot summer months either, many locations have things to see and do all year round, experiencing a winter at locations can be very cool too.  I threw in a few examples below to show what I mean. If you're traveling to Rijeka for a short stay, keep this place in mind and remember to pack your own Skipper hat. Check out their new website or the links below.....

(* I ditched the local ghetto-college because it wasn't to my standards, I'm not into hanging around types who upload their videos to and various scat porn sites, (Isn't college supposed to be the opposite of Walmart and Jerry Springer episodes?), so for those regular readers of this blog I will be posting regularly for a while after all)

Lounge/eating area of Botel Marina Hostel.

Some of the rooms options available. (It's also important to remember that no Croatian towns or cities have been ethnically cleansed or people raped by dancing Serbs, there's been lots of things for Non-Serbs to see and do since the 1990's because a lot of the Serbian saints are busy) More information:

Reception area.

I found this footage, not too shabby. Near the end you can see how close it is to the downtown core.

At the nearby Astronomical Centre. More information:

With roots extending back to Habsburg times and traditions from even Pagan times when the Croats first arrived into the area, a scene from the annual Rijeka Karneval that starts up every January and culminates in a final parade that takes place every March. It's Croatias's biggest annual carnival and almost 150,000 people show up to attend the final parade every year. More information:

Even well before the start up of the Rijeka Karneval, the weeks leading up to the holidays and New Years Eve are full of free events, concerts and festivities. Not a boring place to be at all. Above a scene from New Years Eve 2013. More at a post HERE and HERE.

The nearby Trsat Castle is a central feature of Rijeka and connected to the early Croatian Duke Višeslav from the year 799 and later Croatian nobles. It's open all year round hosting various events. (There's actually tons of historic castles, fortresses and manors to check out, more information:

If you're a skier like me, then just outside of Rijeka there's mountain and trail skiing and snowboarding at Platak Ski Resort. (One of those rare places where you can ski and see a view of the Adriatic Sea in front of you on a clear day, it's pretty cool) Photo:

Don't forget, just as there are various things to do all year round, classical and modern theatre events also take place all year round at the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka "Ivan Zajc“

Experiencing winter in Rijeka can give a whole new perspective from those usual summer touristy images.

The ship that is now Botel Marina Hostel was built in Denmark in 1936, after various other owners it was eventually moved to be based in Mali Lošinj in 1959 and was used for sailing passengers between various Croatian ports and other places in the Adriatic sea. It last officially sailed in 2005 and found it's way to Rijeka permanently in 2013. More archive images:

Sailing to port in Zadar in 1999. Images:

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