When I first read that our tour would include a 2-night stay in a castle, I was excited, but a bit apprehensive. Never in a castle before; the vision was cold and drafty for sleeping. Fascinating to view. Uncomfortable to stay.
Imagine my surprise when I realize this small hill-top castle (every town on a hill for defensive purposes) in the little place called Motovun included inviting warm rooms with very comfortable beds each with a full en-suite bath (with marble no less). Our shuttered windows opened outwards (so Romeo and Juliet) to a large courtyard filled with trees and a small restaurant. Surrounded by the low fortress wall allowing overlooking the valleys and other distant villages balanced on top of the surrounding hills. In the morning, a thick mist would hang in the valleys making the villages float above the clouds.
One extremely steep, narrow road leads to our hotel (one road for the whole village, actually!) and the way is lined with little homes and small stores containing truffles, Adriatic Sea salt, and local hand crafts. All tidy, but with the inevitable eroding of the stone fronts and cobblestone over so much time. Our bus can only make it part way; so we puff, puff hiking up to our destination.
Note: Photos courtesy of my new-found tour buddy, Adria Hirsh. We focused on the same photo opportunities, but she has a better eye and a better camera! Thank you, Adria!