10 August, 2007

Field trip along the coast

This afternoon we drove to Rovinj, which is a lovely old village on the coast about 30km to the south. The buildings are painted colorful pastels and are built right up to the water on the coast, much like in Venice.

There’s a church with a tower that can be seen from miles around— the architecture is a mish-mash of styles from different eras.

The streets are cobblestone and wind around from one tiny, crumbling doorway to the next. You really feel like you’ve stepped back into time; it’s incredibly picturesque.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post what an interesting place Istria is— it was under Venetian rule for so long that Italian is the second official language. Most of the street signs are in Italian as well as Croatian!

I’ve been wanting to try some more of the local cuisine, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of choice for a vegetarian. They do have Fusi, though, which is a sort of cousin to gnocci, but with a special flavor all its own.

Because of the temperate climate here, though, there is an abundance of gorgeous fruits and vegetables. We’ve been gorging ourselves on nectarines and tomatoes and really enjoyed the rich variety of colors at the market in Rovinj this afternoon.

They also grow wine here and we’ve tried a couple of different local varieties. Some are better than others, but we’re really enjoying sampling them…

I know I promised funny stories but am drawing a blank at the moment. In fact, the hotspot is closed, so I've parked myself on a bench outside and am squeezed in between a group of noisy kids who are gaming and battling each other with the volume of their iPods. I know this is going to make me seem like a carmudgeon, but why is it that earphones seem to be dying out? What is it with all of these youngsters and their tinny crappy speakers?


Goofball said...

oh your pictures give me a flashback to 89 when I was on vacation with my parents near Split... your picture reminds me of Trogir, a splendid city as well.

On one of the local markets I tasted for the first time in my life fresh figs. We bought a lot of them from an old lady only to find out later that tall the trees around our appartment building were full of fresh, ripe figs to be plucked by us. Mmm!

ian said...

Hi Betsy,
Croatia is getting to be pretty well-known as a vacation spot for just what you're describing. I'd love to see it, but wonder: is it quite crowded right now? We like to avoid the throng.

Betsy said...

Hi Ellen! I've heard Split and Trogir are gorgeous. I don't know if we'll get a chance to visit them this time, but I would like to someday.

Hi Ian. Yes, it's really crowded here. But then again, we're in an area with several large campgrounds and hotel complexes. We took a trip inland yesterday, though, and there are a lot less tourists-- it was really nice to be able to wander around without tripping over Dutch and German people left and right. ;-)

That said, there are a lot of conveniences in this area that make a stay more comfortable for those of us who don't speak Croatian.

I really can't complain-- our experience so far has been excellent. If you really hate crowds you might try to come off season, but the sights and weather make visits to even the most tourist-ridden places worthwhile!