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Istria Pt.2

If I was scared of one thing in Croatia, it was the driving. No, not even that, the parking. I don’t know if this is irrational or bizarre, but I know I can drive, I know I can drive left-hand-drive cars. What I don’t know is where I can park the car, whether it’ll get towed away if I park it there (I can’t read the rules, they’re in Croatian!), whether I’m allowed to leave it overnight…

Fortunately, as we reached Pula, it was all fairly simple and self-explanatory – far more so than back home. Prices were easy and cheap, operating the machine was easy, it was all easy. And so we parked our Octavia on the harbour front at Pula and descended the hill in search of the amphitheatre which first drew us to the place.

Pula, by Orlovic (from Wikimedia Commons)

Pula, by Orlovic (from Wikimedia Commons)

It was this photo, by David Orlovic, that first swayed my companions mind to come here, and the more I see it, the more impressive it is. I was there, look! We parked right on the front, approximately where the shadow lies across the road, by the small marina bit in the centre of the photograph. From there, it was but a swift jaunt up through the park to the base of the world’s sixth-largest Roman arena, and one of the best-preserved.


Pula Arena - photo by me

Pula Arena - photo by me

It’s a spectacular place. Standing on the terraces, as it were, you get a quite incredible view through the arches, the cranes and the ships to the Adriatic beyond. It’s really quite lovely, although it’s difficult (despite the somewhat overlong audio descriptions) to get a sense of any gory action in this serene setting. It’s a nice place to stop and look though – perhaps the first chance we got to have a rest on the break, and it set the scene for the relaxing holiday.

Pula itself is small, and pleasant enough. It would be worth a revisit, as we didn’t see the castle, or explore much (time on the car was against us, besides the fact that we’d been up at 4:30am), but the Arch of the Sergii and the Temple of Augustus (photo) are impressive enough to keep me happy. 


Arch of the Sergii, Pula, by me

Arch of the Sergii, Pula, by me

And so we drive back to Rovinj – via the Lidl (where I did not crash the car) to stock up on some nosebag, back through the dark country roads of Istria to Rovinj, from where we were able to look out on a beautiful night-time view of the town. It’s beautiful!


Rovinj by night, by me

Rovinj by night, by me


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