Rovin' through Rovinj

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Flag of Croatia  , Istarska,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 4

We are still camping at Bijela Uvala near Porec. Weather is till OK. Today we rode our bikes to the little town of Vrsar, about 7 kms south. On the way we passed a large sculpture park dedicated to Dusan Dzumanja, on a hillside plateau just short of Vrsar. He is a world famous sculptor, working mainly in metal, and most uniquely in coiled chainwork… see the photos attached. From there on to Vrsar which was quite a small hilltown, but with some nice features of middle age walls and town gates.

Back to the campground for some more late afternoon sun, and then an "evening out" at the campground's entertainment bar’restaurant for a huge meal of roasted on a spit pork, potatoes and veggies, followed by some dancing to sort of live music…ie a singer on keyboard and a drummer, but with all kinds of added effects.

September 5 was more or less a lazy day, doing some work on the van (patching some leaks), laundry, and a biy of sunning, though the weather is breaking.

September 6.

Set off south toward Rovinj. It was only an hours drive to Rovinj, but we were able to make it take 2 or 3 hours as usual. We found a campground just on the entry to town… a lovely terraced sight called Porton Biondi. Or site had a wonderful view over the harbour at the hilltown with the yachts in the foreground and the huge steeple of St. Euphemia church. (see photo)

There was rain as we made camp, and we took our raingera on a bike ride into town, but did not end up using it.  We had to ditch our bikes at the bottom of the town as it is steep and with very narrow lanes and alleyways. Very delightful, especially as it has become an artists haven, so galleries line the alleyways. At the top, we were rewarded with St.Euphemia church, and panoramic views of the harbours and islands beyond. As we descended, we came across a film crew shooting some scenes around one of the main squares…. Fun to watch for a while, and then we snaffled our bikes and rode south on a 60 minute ramble through the wooded park and coastline there.

Then back to the campsite to enjoy our million dollar view over home cooked dinner and a glass of wine (it cost about $4 for a litre).

September 7, 2010

We had planned to go back into Rovinj this morning, but it was wet and rainy so we packed up and headed east to Pula. Pula is famed for its well preserved roman ruins. Indeed, once we found our way to the old town and found parking, we did see some spectacular ruins, primarily the coliseum. This is the 6th largest roman coliseum in the world, and is one of the best preserved. It is very much like the coliseum in Rome, though perhaps about half the size.

With our bikes we are able to get to these sites from either the parking lot or campground, that we often see all the sights in just 3 or 4 hours, as we did in Pula.

So, we set off up the east coast of Istria, along the scenic small highway… everything looking very Italian, and eventually washed up in this little port town of Rabac Marina. The “marina” is about 10 kms off the main road, and is down a steep narrow road into a tiny cove, famed especially as a diving centre. The campground is terraces over a small ridge with one side overlooking the little cove, and the other side overlooking the sea and Cres Island… we chose this side.

Our supper tonight was sitting on this broad grassy bluff overlooking the sea and distant island. Maybe not the million dollar view of Rovinj, but certainly a half million!
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