Friday, 24 August 2012


Novigrad, a seaside town in Istria, Croatia, has very few taxis. I counted one on my last visit there but it was missing most nights, and the taximan was not answering his mobile.
However, Novigrad boasts an excellent service from its charming choo-choo trains (not that they puff steam, even if they are Disney-like versions of the old steam engines that made the choo-choo sound of my childhood). And while they look like they were designed to carry children around a funfair, they provide transport for people of all ages, travelling in all directions, for a modest fare, rattling their way over the streets and roads in the direction of out-of-town hotels. And while there are designated official stops along the way, you can always bargain with the driver to let you off at a place not officially designated, provided it's along the route. Late at night, the last choo-choo trains are full of jovial chatting holidaymakers, Croatians and foreigners, in the sultry summer nights. I shout at the driver to remind him that we are approaching our unscheduled stop. We get off and walk the rest of the way to our apartment.

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