Thursday, 31 October 2013

19. About Istria in Croatia

Storm with a whirlpool on the Adriatic Sea.

During our stay in Istria we toured quite a number of places. First we went by ship to Rovinj 
(Italian Rovigno). Before we reached it, we saw a storm with a whirlpool on the sea westward. Luckily the storm was a long distance from our ship, somewhere near to the Italian shore 
where Venice was. About a hundred kilometres from us. We sighed with relief... 

Below Rovinj.

Rovinj. Old Town with  St. Euphemia's basilica towering over the hill.
Rovinj. A steep alley.

There are lots of narrow lanes climbing up to the top of the hill in Rovinj. We took this one.

Lim Canal. Nine-kilometre long estuary of the river Pazincica near Rovinj.
 Then Pula. Pula (Pola in Italian) is probably the oldest town on the Croatian coast of the 
Adriatic. Its most famous monument is a great Roman amphitheatre, Pula Arena constructed 
in 1st c. A.D., still standing to this day.  

Yet we were impressed by another monument - remains of the small Roman Theatre originating from 2nd century A.D. with  fragments of auditorium and proscenium.

Pula. Impressive ancient theatre.

And below the monastery of St. Francis built in the Romanesque style from the end 
of  13th century.

Pula. St. Francis' monastery.

We also visited Opatija (Abbazia in Italian) situated on the eastern coast of Istria by the Kvarner Gulf. There we liked a long promenade along the seashore extending for 12 km.

Opatija. Sculpture of a girl with a dove. View of Rijeka in the background.

Opatija. The same sculpture from a different side with a view of the Kvarner Gulf.

Polish traces in Opatija. A plaque commemorating stay
of Marshall Józef Piłsudski.


Eventually we went to Porec (Italian Parenzo) to see the most precious monument in Istria - 
the Euphrasian Basilica (inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List) - from 6th century A.D.
It was late evening, but we found the place easily. Inside the basilica we saw the most beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Porec was worth visiting.

Porec. Byzantine mosaics in the Euphrasian Basilica.

Porec. Ancient floor mosaic from 4th /5th c.

Leaving the basilica we popped in to a small gallery, where we wanted to buy some nicely looking souvenirs from Porec. Inside there was a tourist talking to a young shop-assistant. The girl was showing her a jug decorated with traditional regional patterns.  She was telling affectionally how her father (who was a sculptor) collected the patterns  travelling around, talking to people living in this part of Croatia, trying to obtain information, and so on.

The tourist asked with excitement:  Croatia? What do you mean Croatia? We are in Istria, aren't we?
The girl:   Yes, but Istria is in Croatia. We are in Croatia, aren't we? This is the name of the country you are in.
The lady:   No, this is not Croatia. This is Istria...

Well, tourists...   
Those were the holidays...
And now I think it 's time for new dolls to turn up.

Thank you very much for popping in.  


Sunday, 20 October 2013

18. Croatia

Last shot from Croatia at the border crossing with Slovenia.
(with the view of vineyards on the hills.)

In September we were on holidays in Croatia. We spent two weeks on the most protruding southward end of Istria, on Kamenjak cape near the town Premantura.

Little bays with beaches, isles, Island Cres appearing on the horizon.  This is how the coast of Adriatic looks like from Kamenjak.
Kamenjak with Premantura far off.

Even now I can remember and feel that smell of the air, a mixture of herbal oils with spray sea water, warmth of the sun and wind. Water in the sea was not as warm as in August, but it was still much easier to get used to it than in the Baltic Sea in August (not September!) The time was going by as we swam, sunbathed and went sightseeing Istria. We started, however, with exploring Kamenjak...

Kamenjak and the view of the Uczka mountain massif on the horizon -
 the highest range of mountains in Istria.
Kamenjak. Blue thistle.

End of Istria, Kamenjak and land.   There stretches only the Adriatic Sea outside.
(You can see a tiny island and a lighthouse behind it on the left.)
Waters surrounding the end of Kamenjak are dangerous because of strong sea currents occuring there. Accordingly a relevant warning is placed nearby. However...

The last snip of Kamenjak and adventurous swimmers.

However... adventurers who like hazard can be found anywhere like the swimmers in this pic...

Gate or arch built from small pieces of rock and stones by a talented tourist
We often passed this "gate" walking to the sea. We liked it very much...

Kamenjak is a nature park. It is a beautiful place. What else have we seen in Istria? There is so much to write about that I 'll do it in a separate post.

Thank you for popping in.

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