Istria, pt.1

 

Rovinj, by me

Rovinj, by me

Trudging up through Holborn station this morning, shuffling in time with everyone else, I was reminded that two weeks ago I was in a very different place. At 9:22 when my train pulled in, I was not disembarking the Piccadilly line, but sitting down to an espresso overlooking Rovinj harbour and St Catherine island, in Istria, northern Croatia. 

 

By that time of day, I had not blearily emerged from an uncomfortable bed, eaten my breakfast cereal, showered, and read a bit until I’d woken up enough to emerge, blinking, into the crisp North London air, as with today. Rather, I was woken by the whistling and clanging of tradesmen and was out of bed and raring to go at an unbelievable half past six in the morning. The sunrise caught the tower of St Euphemia’s Cathedral, and the surrounding roofs (photo), the morning trade was beginning to make its genteel way towards the marketplace, and instead of weaving my way through the hordes of silent, muffled commuters on Kingsway, we wended around the picuresque peninsula of Rovinj’s old town, down streets with snakes (photo), around the market, casting our weather eyes to the Adriatic. 

It started before this though. Arriving in Pula’s tiny-weeny airport we found our hire car, as well as the brusque and straightforward lady at the desk, then set off, falteringly. In the wrong direction. This was quickly remedied and by the time I hit the highway, I was (almost) au fait with the lefthand drive. Almost. We found our way to Rovinj navigating the bilingual signs to Rovigno, and even didn’t crash into the weird temporary roadblock arrangement on the main road. We then worked out the car parking arrangements (surprisingly simple and generous) and found somewhere for lunch. We suspected tourist restaurant, and so it was, maybe, but the food was lovely, the view was sublime, the atmosphere delightful. Then to the apartment – a new way of holidaying for me, but it only added to the infinitely chillaxed holiday that was had. 

After a brief interlude to Fasana – home of the boats to Brijuni, of which more later (we missed the last of the day…) – it was on to Istria’s commercial hub, Pula. Part two to follow.

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