The rail journey on this 2 months in Europe ended in Trieste, Italy so…

We travelled from TRIESTE, ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น ITALY – ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท ROVINJ CROATIA via car…highly recommended!!

It’s 1.5 hours via car, ferry or bus. In 2013 a driver was a relatively inexpensive and very comfortable option. We asked our hotel in Rovinj to recommend someone.  A delightful young man in a luxury car came to pick us up from our hotel in Trieste.  He “practised English with us” along the way, answering our questions the best he could and pointing out interesting things about the landscape (mostly rural).  The border crossing was very quick and straightforward.  At the time, the hotel was the most luxurious we’ve stayed in whilst holidaying in Europe minus the high price tag (see photo).  A beautiful, Architecturally designed, modern hotel (see photo) just outside the Old Town…an easy 20 min walk, mostly along the waterfront.

Wonderful things to see and do including the Roman amphitheatre in Pula (a short local bus trip from Rovinj…take a map for when you walk from bus stop to ruins), lots of fishing boats and seafood restaurants, swimming in clear blue waters, a fascinating Old Town…an energetic walk up the hill to see the historic church (see photo).

This blog’s lead photo was taken on our walk from the hotel to the Old Town.  The walk up to the Old Town is very interesting…cafes and markets along the way.

The hotel (will note name soon as left journal at home) was a highlight of our stay.  We usually avoid Resort style places (although this more a large hotel rather than a resort) but this one is in a superb location as it’s close to a swimming beach (minutes away) as well as walking and cycle paths into the Old Town town of Rovinj.  On our regular walk along here (see photos) we saw fishing boats (both big and small) coming and going – so a really enjoyable and interesting walk;  because we did so much walking, we loved staying when it wasn’t too hot – late April.  I had a swim in the hotel pool a few times – it felt warm enough on the sunny days we were there.  You might disagree if you’re like Tony and prefer it to be like a warm bath๐Ÿ˜‰  There is a bar service but we mostly bought our own drinks from town and used the balcony of our hotel room (see photo below).

ROMAN AMPITHEATRE – PULA (we took the local bus from Rovinj…see notes above)

Such a wonderful day!   It was lovely seeing the local pre-school there – as we walked down to the museum I chatted with a teacher (most young people speak English in Croatia) and she said they regularly take the children there to play.  The museum is small (or was 3 years ago) but has a fascinating collection of Roman earthenware- urns etc. that were found on this site.  After visiting here we walked to Pula’s Old Town (only a 5-10 min walk) – it’s smaller than Rovinj (see photo below) but has it’s own Roman ruin right in the middle of the main square – I’m standing on it in the photo.  As can also be seen from this photo, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Pula so we had a light lunch, walked around some more and then returned to Rovinj on the local bus.  The bus was modern and comfortable – getting tickets in Rovinj was a bit tricky so we recommend getting there early in the day…we tried 1 day at about 10 am and there were long queues so we returned next day at 9ish (or a bit earlier), bought our tickets for the mid morning bus and then had time for coffee at a nearby cafe.  The bus turned up according to the timetable.  We noticed that tourist advice/services have improved in Croatia since our first visit in 2005 but at 2013 it still has a way to go in some parts especially in the less touristy places.  Of course the upside is that places like this are quieter and it was rare (in 2013) to see large crowds of tourists…that may have changed now??



FOR THE CHILD IN US:


From The Travel Book for Kids, Lonely Planet Sept 15

Interesting facts that kids, big and small, might enjoy:

Land of DALMATIANS (black and white spotted dogs)

“Dalmatia is one of Croatia’s regions.  It’s famed as the birthplace of the Dalmatian breed of dog, loved for its black and white fur, and it gives it’s name to the Dalmatian Coast.”  Lonely Planet

The largest city in this region is Split…see our Dubrovnik/Split post

INVENTION OF THE TIE for men:

“Croatia invented this fashion accessory in the 17th Century.  It was worn by the Croatian military and when fighting for the French, the neckties caught the eye of French King Louis XIV and they quickly became a fashion trend that has survived to this day.”  Lonely Planet