Friday, July 16, 2010

Notes from Croatia

Opatija by the Sea - The Croatian Riviera.

Imperial Hotel is summer resort for some Hapsburg royalty, just as old but charming, ignoring window dry rot and other obvious "used to be great" touches, with the Baroque interior and ubiquitous yellow paint. Hot, humid; threatening thunderclouds cropped up as we drove over the border from Slovenia toward the coast. By the time we got into town, rain spreading across from Rijeka. Long lunch at Hemingway's that sufficed, then rain and thunder started on the way back to the hotel. Questionable whether we would play outside on the terrace. Sean led a group in an a capella Star Spangled Banner in honor of 4th of July.

The band set up under umbrellas on the terrace and used the festival's sound system. During the set up, Brown told the band, "Hey guys, Elvis needs some help." Has this phrase ever been used before in this context to this audience? Probably not.

Downbeat about 5:15 drew crowds from hotel, as well as off the street. Some watched from across the main drag in town and the band delivered a killer performance that left many slackjawed. In particular, New Musical Express rocked the place.

After dinner, Tower of Power (Described as 'God's Soul Band.' I like the idea of a deity with their own personal R&B revue.) at the Liburnia Jazz Festival; loud, lots of fun. Checked internet in an attempt to send email and photos, but no access so off to bed for early wake-up. Photos from Opatija here.

8 am and we are on the road to Split, 6.5 hours down the coast, through the mountains on the Croatian equivalent of the Interstate, well maintained, wide and great road, go Marco go! First, we get a ferry ride and then to Palace Hotel in Hvar.

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