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the Seasplash reggae festival] |+|
* [http://www.seasplash.net/ Seasplash reggae festival]
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Pula (Pola in Italian) is a nice town in the corner of Istria, Croatia.
There are buses from Rijeka, Trieste, and Venice. There is also a train station and a harbor.
Hitchhiking from Zagreb works very well. In Zagreb start from the petrol station after the "Billa" supermarket on the southside of the Sava river. In Rijeka ask people to drop you off at the little SOS stop after a pretty sharp right bend of the motor way around Rijeka.
For local transport the cheap taxis from CityTax (25/30 Kuna) can be a good alternative for the public buses (10 Kuna per person).
There is an italian minority and almost all locals speak italian.
If you want to take a small backpack with you on an AUTOTRANS bus, first ask the driver if this is OK before buying the ticket. Otherwise you might be refused entry on the bus and your ticket will not be refunded, even if you have bought it off the driver just 2 minutes earlier. See http://croatia.indymedia.org/news/2004/07/363.php for details. (The Brioni company seems OK - onboard small backpacks are allowed, but you have to insist.)
- The Arena, the 6th largest surviving Roman amphitheatre. Towering over the nearby buildings this huge structure was barely saved from destruction several times during its life, mostly by various Venetians with plans to take to to Venice stone by stone as demonstration of the might of the Venetian empire. Many stones were taken to build houses and other structures around Pula, but fortunately this practice was stopped before the whole structure was destroyed. Entry gives you access to wander the inside of the Colosseum and visit the caverns beneath. The audiotour is very worthwhile.
Tourist information can provide you with a list of accommodation in Pula, although they will not make reservations for you.
- Hotel Riviera (1-star). Fabulous hotel built in 1907 for the high-ranking officers in the Austro-Hungarian army. Never properly refurbished since then it is now showing its age, but structurally it is impressive and looks oh-so-grand from the outside. There aren't many places you can stay at these prices where your ceiling is so far away from your floor. The rooms are currently decked out with 1960s/70s fittings (orange bedcovers, brown wooden panelling, lime green phone), with the sparseness showing the lack of funds for upkeep. Having said all that, it's clean, tidy, and comfortable. No doubt within a few years someone will make the investment to bring it back to its former glory, and prices will rise to match.