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Croatian Adventure “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do... Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Europe on 2000 carbs a day!

CROATIA | Friday, 3 October 2008 | Views [1174]

more stunning sunsets

more stunning sunsets

Ah Rovinj, Rovinj, Rovinj… What a wonderful, romantic, relaxed, beautiful, friendly and absolutely gorgeous town! As if you haven’t already guessed we have totally fallen in love with Rovinj. We are already planning how and when we can return.

Our apartment is in a block of three and we have shared it with the Lanes, the Blacks and the Bodycombs, all friends from Australia, during our two week stay. We are right in the centre of the old town, which is pedestrian access only and a short walk to the fruit & veg market, the fish market, the butchers, the bakeries and the cheese shop. Everything is at our doorstep and the children have been free to come and go as they please. Eva has even, this morning, taken herself to the Post Office to send a card to Zoe!

Planning meals – a high priority on this trip so far – has been an absolute pleasure here. After breakfast we pop down to the markets and see what there is. Everything is local and freshly picked and if you arrive late then you miss out. The locals are very generous and always throw in a pod of garlic or a couple of chillies. I’ve been practising my Croatian on our ‘fruit man’ and can now greet, exchange pleasantries and order without using English although some pointing is required. There are lots of grubs and no uniform sizes and the best thing is the flavour – the sweetest carrots and beans, plums and tomatoes so ripe they are fit to burst, delicious waxy potatoes – yummy yummy yummy. We only need to buy what we need for the day so most things never see the inside of a fridge. The fish market is a blast too with a daily catch from the local fisherman. We have had mussels, local sea bass, scampi, prawns. Oh, and the squid is pretty damn fine too. The local prsut (ham) is yum and picek (chicken) is cheap and good. We haven’t bought much fresh meat after seeing a butcher that sells horse flesh! But we did have some excellent mince made up for us from beef, veal and pork. We’ve shared some great meals with all our friends – marnies mussels, rotisserie chicken a la murray, james’ pasta e fagioli and loads of vino, cheese, salami, tomatoes and bread.

And don’t get me started on the bakery! We have replaced pizza (although there is a fantastic pizza place here which we have been to a few times) with bureks. They are layers of filo pastry filled with cheese or meat and are delicious and filling at $1.50 each! Then there is scrumptious apple strudel, krafen (doughnuts) filled with jam, apple or chocolate. We buy fresh bread everyday and eat all of it! There are salty rolls, cheese rolls, piroshki with jam, cheese or mak (poppyseeds).  Sometimes it is a struggle to eat as much as we want in a day.

We have adopted a bar on the waterfront and the barmen treats us like family. We go there most days around 6pm for a pre dinner drink and to watch the sun sink into the Adriatic. We have 100’s of sunset photos.

The Adriatic is crystal clear and still like a lake and the water is warm. The places we don’t walk to we bike ride - mostly around to the beaches along the south side where there is a huge park. We have even managed a couple of day trips to Pula, Porec and Sveta Vincenat in the car. The kids now whine ‘do we have to drive?’ instead of ‘do we have to walk’!! 

The feature of this town though is Sveta Eufemia, a magnificent church that sits on the highest point overlooking the sea. It is in the centre of the oldest part of the town with the narrow, smooth stone paved streets winding there way up to the church. This part of town was actually an island until the narrow strip of water was filled in and became the town square.  There are lots of artists working and selling their work in the little streets. We have swum under Sveta Eufemia’s watchful gaze on the rocky edge of the old town where you jump off the rocks into the sea.

Tomorrow we farewell Rovinj and make our way down the coast to Split and the island of Brac to spend a few nights with the Nankovic’s (more friends from home) stopping on the way in Crikvenica to visit with Maté an old family friend of the Sestak’s.

If the rest of Croatia is a stunning as Rovinj we might never leave!

PS: We spent last night in Crikvenica and discovered another fantastic coastal town. Ankica fed us shnitzel and cabbage rolls, both delicious. Their house is just behind the promenade along the wide beach front. Another place we shall have to return to! Today we followed the coast road to Zadar. The scenery was spectacular. Rocky and sparse as if we were above the snow line with the sea just below us. Split tomorrow and then Brac!

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