World's Smallest Town?
Trip Start Jul 18, 2008
10Trip End Aug 02, 2008
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1) Rovinj - a coastal city that apparently resembles Venice in some ways, although I can't say, since I've not been there myself. We walked through the old town on hilly, winding cobblestone streets to the church, which is situated cliffside with a gorgeous view of the ocean. One of the main attractions for Leanne and me was a jewelry shop selling beautiful baubles made of Murano glass.
2) Motovun - a small village perched high on a hilltop and surrounded by a large stone wall. The place is known for truffles (not the chocolate kind!), which grow in the surrounding hilly forest areas. The place is supposedly quite sleepy for the most part, but we arrived during their annual film festival, so there were movie buffs and I suppose film-makers and such hanging out all over town. It would have been nice to stay and see a film, especially since they screen them all on outdoor big screens that are set up just for the event, but there was not time on the agenda for that unfortunately.
3) Hum - claims at 20 inhabitants to be the smallest town in the world. I'm quite sure there are a few towns in Saskatchewan that could give the place a run for its money on that claim. At one point in the 1700's, over 2000 people lived there. Believe it or not, there are actually two churches, one of which dates back to the 12th century and has ancient frescoes on the walls. Igor had to go ask at the caffe for the large skeleton key in order to let us in for a look. With its old stone farmhouses, the town reminded me of some of the villages we visited in France. Very appropriate that the trip would come full circle like that on the last day.
Back in Opatija, we had a farewell dinner with the group. Igor took us to an excellent konoba (family-run restaurant), where we had a feast with appetizers, main courses, and wine for less than $30 per person. We sang Happy Birthday to Igor, who was to turn 32 the following day, and many toasts were made. In Croatian, the most common toast is "Zivili", which means "to your health" or something to that effect. So, Zivili to all of you at home, and I'll see you soon!