Well, I'm back in Oxford again after my holiday around the Adriatic. Pictures will be edited and uploaded soon, hopefully. In the meantime, some details on the beginning of the trip.
Dave, Rob and I left Oxford early after rising at sparrow's fart (a colourful Anglicism meaning very early). We managed to avoid any really bad traffic between Oxford and Stansted (the smallest of the three major London airports). We managed to get through the security check despite Rob's tent stakes, which definitely have more weapon potential than a pair of cuticle scissors. Ryanair lets you pick your own seats, so we managed to get the very first row, which has loads of leg room. A quick two hour flight later and we touched down in the thoroughly grim Friuli-Venezia Giulia airport outside Trieste.
Rob surprised me with a bit of fluent Italian at the Hertz desk and we were on our way. We didn't want to spend too much time driving on the first day, so we zoomed through Slovenia and into Croatia (this map will give you some idea of the situation). We spent the night on the island of Krk (connected to the mainland via a bridge). It's evidently a popular Italian summer destination, but the high season was very much over by the time we got there. It had a nice old European city feel to it (tiny streets winding around aimlessly) but it was almost totally empty.
We got some food and went looking for a place to stay for the night. Rob's Italian (he studied in Bologna for 7 months) proved very useful at this point, since we found a small room being let by a guy who only spoke Croatian and Italian for 100 kune each (Croatia's not yet in the EU, so we had to deal with their currency, the kuna, at a rate of about 6.20 kune to the dollar). We found a bar that had a little bit of life in it and had a few beers before making an early night of it.
More to come soon.