We have a failed attempt to see Hercules Gate and the Arch of the Sergii in Pula, in the morning but one way streets, lack of parking and traffic defeat us. All I get for my troubles is a grumpy Chris and this shot of a road we end up at about 6 times – it reminds me of poppies.
So delayed, we don’t make it into Rovinj until well past lunch time.
Mr Grumpy Pants needs to be fed immediately, which leads to a less than stellar restaurant choice by the harbour – it’s ok, but in a place we’ve eaten very well it’s a bit of a disappointment.
Being in Istria, famous for its truffles, I was hoping for fresh truffles in my dish but these were preserved. At least the pasta was handmade. Chris has a boring steak. I hiss at him occasionally to “ease” the tension.
Rovinj’s houses border right onto the harbour offering a tempting sea glimpse between them. Fascinatingly, Rovinj was once an island, built as a Roman port. The channel that separated it from the mainland was filled in manually, in 1763.
There are a vast array of local goods on offer – it’s such a shame we can’t bring fresh produce home. There’s a limit to what can be consumed between now and then end of our trip.
After lunch, we wind our way up the hill to the Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Euphemia, a very early martyr for Christianity.
Her tomb is a Roman sarcophagus, which is rather magnificent, flanked either side by paintings depicting her end in the Pula amphitheatre and her tomb’s journey.
The Cathedral’s tower, at 200 feet high is the second highest in Istria.
It’s modelled on San Marco in Venice, crowned with a copper statue of the Saint.
The views from here are excellent – it’s a surprisingly hot day.
We wind our way back down on honey coloured stone streets and lap the (once) island, making a few friends on the way.
Eventually, we find our way home, along the sea. I can’t resist a truffled goat’s cheese on the way. So much for restraint then…
At day’s end, we drive on a little further, to the Limski Kanal (a ria) which once marked the separation point of two Roman provinces, Dalmatia and Italia. We’re at it’s very tip – it runs for some 10 km inland. Unlike a fjord, a ria is formed not by a glacier, but rather the river carving its way to sea when the sea level was lower. These days it offers up a rich supply of mussels, oysters and seemingly endless fish.
It’s a quiet place to spend the evening. We’re challenged by the end of season – many sites are now closed and some creative thinking is called for when looking for a place to stop in the evening.