… Continued from Croatia Day 4: Plitvice Lakes
Refreshed after our hike through the Plitvice National Park, we travelled north-west towards the beautiful Peninsula of Istria, or Istra.
- The road-trip. It was such an enjoyable drive! As we drove out of the Park area, we hit some smaller scenic routes for a while before we came upon the highway. The highways were in excellent shape and traffic was low, so we covered around 250 km in about 3 hours, stopping for coffee and cake on the way. There were several tolls to be paid, but hey, the infrastructure deserved it alright. The views were again splendid, greenery everywhere and mountains on the horizon, it was so soothing to the eyes. The sun and clouds played around, making a pleasant game out of light and shadow.
- Pula is the largest city on the Istria Peninsula, located practically at its tip, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The town has much to offer, from a bustling harbour, to an old town, to local wineries. But the reason why we were in Pula, was the arena, constructed between 27 BC and 68 AD. Mr.A and I love all things Rome! So when we found out that Pula has a well-preserved Roman arena to offer, we just had to add it to our itirenary 🙂 This is an awe-inspiring structure, the only remaining Roman amphitheater where all four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders have survived through the aeons. We sat there imagining how it must have been in back in the day… one of the many moments I have said to myself, oh how I wish I could go back in history and see for myself…
- Rovinj is yet another pretty coastal town on the Adriatic, about a 40-min drive along the highway to the north of Pula. It is a fishing port as is obvious by many a boat docked at the harbour. We had the perfect lunch of xxx and lazily strolled around the town. The cobbled streets jumble into one another, offering views of rows of colourful houses, tastefully planted window boxes, glimpses of the blue sea in between, and oozing a relaxed charm all the way. This could be the ideal place to unwind oneself, which is why it serves as a popular tourist town and a stop for long-distance bike teams. We ended our tour with yummy ice-creams which appeared to be another popular ‘activity’ here 😉
Followed by Croatia Day 6: Motovun, Hum…
Mr.A and I went road-tripping across Croatia, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! This trip checks off nr.3 on our 2016 wishlist, after Berlin and Prague, isn’t that awesome?!
Day 1 was Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic. And it’s proved itself rightly so during our first day in this beautiful city. Actually, I should begin with Day 0 which was spent in three flights, Stockholm-Istanbul, Istanbul-Zagreb and finally Zagreb-Dubrovnik. It was a long day but the happy anticipation of the trip ahead kept us so pumped up. We arrived at our cozy hotel which was right by the Pile Gate at the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and settled in to start off our adventure next morning.
- The city walls were definitely a high point. The entry fee is 120 Kuna. Euros are not accepted, so be sure to get some local currency. It’s a cool experience to walk atop this ancient structure, barely 2Km all around, there are only a few steps to climb up and down. It’s fun to get a different perspective of the buildings and streets from a vantage point. The views are extremely scenic, both of the Adriatic Sea on the one hand, and the trademark tiled rooftops of Dubrovnik on the other. I must have clicked a thousand photos! Can’t blame me, you’d feel the same 😉
- The food was yummy, all that we ate and drank turned out fantastic. The Old Town streets are lined with bistros and restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, from fine dining to fast food. Sea food is superb here, and always check for the local delicacy. Croatian food is said to have influences from many of its neighbours, say for example, Italy and Bosnia. But they have some delectable local cheeses, wines and of course, olive oil. Try their ice creams, too!
- Game of Thrones locations. And of course Mr.A and I went looking for some of the places that have served as sets or the inspiration behind the sets of Game of Thrones. There are tours that take you around the city and help you with prints of the scenes from the series! We didn’t have time for that. It was so much more fun to turn a corner and chance upon a structure that was familiar to us from the series! I’ll do another post exclusively on those sites 😉
- The weather was just not with us today, it rained throughout the day and winds blew strong. There were so many photo fails, too many umbrellas and rain ponchos in our line of sight 😝 Thankfully the two of us were dressed to bear the onslaught and although we ended up destroying one of our umbrellas, we didn’t let the rain dampen (so much pun!!) our spirits 😎
Followed by Croatia Day 2: Split…