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The traveler: An expected journey This time it's the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden & Norway before England again for several weeks and on to Croatia.

Highlights from Rovinj

CROATIA | Friday, 26 October 2018 | Views [316]

The perfect place to swim!

The perfect place to swim!

Rovinj is the perfect location for an unplanned day of simply wandering up and down the beautiful streets, which are spotlessly clean. The pale stones also shine from the thousands of feet that have passed over it.

Perhaps because I live so far from the ocean, and so rarely go swimming the highlight from the first day has to be swimming in the Adriatic. A mix of natural rock and stone steps lead down to the crystal clear water all along the upper southern coast of Rovinj. With the sun out the idea of swimming was even tempting enough for my Italian friend to buy the swim suit he’d forgotten to bring.

We first met 3 years ago in Scotland, as well as a couple times later on my same European trip. Rovinj, being so close to northern Italy, was the perfect place to catch up in person with this far flung friend. 

The salty water was the “perfect” temperature according to my friend. It was nonetheless cool, but enjoyable for 30 minutes or so of swimming and treading water before coming out to lay on the warm, if not bumpy rocks. It was blissfully free of crowds with only a few other people pursuing the same past time on this day in the late shoulder season.  

A slightly different, but nonetheless peaceful experience was the walk through the Forest Park and around Lone Bay to sit by the edge of the ocean while listening to the water lapping at the rocks. The evening sky was a grey-blue following the couple hours of unexpected afternoon rains. It blended almost seamlessly into the ocean at the horizon. A sail boat slowly made its way along the edge of the world while the little island off the coast made for a beautiful photo, and the perfect place to imagine meditating.

For a completely different view of Rovinj my friend and I climbed up to the Church of St. Euphemia on the first morning, catching views from all around the peninsula on our steady climb to the entrance. The highlight was of course ascending the bell tower with its old wooden, ladder like steps to the very top. We were all of a minute late to be at the top when as noon bells rang, but listened to the sweet echo as we climbed the steps. Like any other tower, whether it be in Copenhagen or Venice, the view of the city from a different angle always seems to be worthwhile. Perhaps it’s just the feeling of being above everything!

Any story about Rovinj would of course be missing something without a mention of the food! Each morning we had breakfast Italian style: a coffee and a pastry while watching the passers by in the square. Meals themselves are actually not as cheap as you might imagine (even in off season). Both lunches we ate out were between $16-24 each, but very filling. The best meal was probably the dinner my friend cooked with shrimp from the seafood market in a fresh tomato-garlic sauce with pasta. Perhaps it was just the fact that I was able to watch and learn something of “basic” (according to my friend) Mediterranean cooking. At the same meal I also learned about and tried mussels for the first time. There’s so much shell for such little meat!

The market in Rovinj really is a must see, though perhaps a little daunting if you’re not ready to sample the olive oil and truffles that every vendor would like to offer you. After a couple walk throughs you realize they’re really all selling exactly the same thing, so it might be worth price shopping a bit. If you go in the morning, as we did, you’ll also catch the vegetable section of the market, and if you speak Italian (or Croatia) you can have an animated discussion with the vendor about what exactly you’re looking for!

Tags: forest park, istria, lone bay, market, rovinj, seafood, st. euphemia, swimming


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