Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Croatia to Italy...Somewhere, Sometime

Just to keep things interesting, Deanne and I boarded a ferry today, a nice change from long bus and car journeys. After three days in the touristy and meat-friendly Istrian coast of Croatia, we are heading for the land of pasta, tomato, and eggplant (Italy). And more tourists.

Waiting for the ferry in Rovinj; old town in background

To make things even more interesting, we neglected making hotel reservations and decided to just “show up” somewhere, sometime. This strategy worked in the days of Lonely Planet and tourist information counters. This time it is the result of profound indecision, and a shortage of rooms in a lovely traditional B&B with a garden, balcony, view, or at least a hearty breakfast, in the right place at the right time. At least according to and Expedia.

The indecision was exacerbated by minor illness on my part—cold, sinus, and stomach upset. Too weak to swim, shop, or visit the historic churches in Rovinj, let alone research our next destination. Our room in an ancient building of stone walls and lintels in the heart of Old Town was a pleasant place to lie down and lent a touch of history to our stay.

Our room in ancient stone building, old town Rovinj

The Rovinj seafront is crowded with dozens—hundreds?—of outdoor restaurants and an equal number of shops. A tourist Mecca. 

Deanne swam off the rocks in the warm, clear Adriatic Sea—with the giant jellyfish—while I slept. 

Stairs down to the water; jellyfish are easy to spot

Together we searched markets and menus for fruit, salad, or a side dish of potatoes and greens. The local tomatoes are ripe and the ricotta is fresh and sublime.

Farmers market on Tuesdays

We boarded another bus briefly for a trip down the coast to the Roman amphitheater at Pula, near the bottom of the Istrian peninsula. Sixth largest in the world, now a concert venue.

Roman coliseum-turned-concert hall

Soon the ferry will dock at Trieste, a maritime port of the Romans, Hapsburgs, Italians. We will have lunch in the piazza then meander to the train station to contemplate our next move.

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