As I mentioned this morning, the day began with a spectacular and prolonged thunder storm that put paid to Liburnicon’s plans for a pirate cruise around the islands. I’m sorry to have missed the trip, and in particular the colony of Griffon Vultures on the island of Cres, but there were plenty of other things to see. I ended up spending a lot of the day in the large city of Rijeka which is just along the coast from Opatija.

Under its Italian name of Fiume, the city was, with Trieste, one of the major ports of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It has an excellent deep-water port which now serves container ships. And, of course, there is a local fan group. We met up with them in a pub. This one.

Prior to WWI, the US maintained a consulate in Rijeka, and one of the diplomats who held the job was one Fiorello La Guardia, better known to the world as a Mayor of New York. Rijeka is very proud of this connection. The pub is in the building where he lived, and is named after him.

Given the connection with New York, the pub serves a lot of cocktails. Currently they are promoting a Tyrolean specialty which is similar to a Mojito but is made with elderflower cordial. Traditionally it is only made around this time of year when the elderflowers are available, which is why it is getting promoted.

The name of this cocktail is Hugo.

So yes, I attended a meeting of a Croatian SF group, a few days before Worldcon, and the outside of the venue was festooned with posters proclaiming, “It’s Hugo Time!”.

4 thoughts on “Rijeka

  1. Baron von Trapp was at the Naval Academy in Rijeka. By the time of the musical/1930s, of course, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been dismembered and von Trapp was an unemployed submariner in landlocked Austria.

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