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The Brothers Do the Balkans

Croatia - Rovinj and Pula

We hit the road toward Rovinj and noticed a subtle change in the landscape; orchards and vineyards were still widespread, but olive groves began to slowly dominate the scenery. Rovinj is set right up against the Adriatic in a tight curve around a small peninsula. The massive Cathedral of St. Euphemia, built in 1736, dominates the 'skyline', though the wandering backstreets are the real draw of Rovinj.  Rovinj was mentioned in formal documents as early as the 7th century, but historians believe the town emerged several centuries before that. 

Breck and Alea, of course, had to ooh and ahh over a gull eating a baby shark on the seawalk before anyone could proceed!!
Mark and Jennifer check out the local market in Rovinj and ponder the cost/benefit ratio of purchasing (let alone consuming) ANOTHER bottle of the famous (and infamous) rakija.

(while Susan takes advantage of every free sample she can get her lips around!!)


 While the lovely coastal drive was all we expected, Susan was wondering where the famous beaches were, so the very first one we saw mandated a stop.

We saw local men stripping after (what I am sure was a chilly) local dive and reroofing a house.


The kids played boats with tree bark in the shallows while the adults meandered around. 

Jennifer and Susan stretched their legs and walked the length of the beach and Mark and Dave hit the harbor and checked out the men restoring their boats in preparation for the summer flood of Italian tourists. 


Our plan was to hit Pula - at the tip of the Peninsula and touch base with a local contact for a fishing call early the next day.  We rolled into Pula at 5:00 p.m. after a tremendous day and found out we had forgotten our cell phone at the hotel in Ljubljana.  With no way to touch base with our local 'bite' connection, we decided to search for a b & b, look around Pula that night and hit the road towards the Islands the next day. We found great places to stay, had a nice dinner at a place where we got the most 'looks askance' at our Belgrade plates and went into town to check out the spectacular Roman amphitheater. 

Did I say spectacular?  Perhaps I meant stunning, magnificent, thrilling and overwhelming.  WOW!! This amphitheater, built in the 1st century, still has its full 72 rows of double arches.  It was constructed to host Gladiator contests and could seat over 20,000.  The spectator seats, made of local limestone, were removed for other construction during the middle ages, but the rest of the building remains amazingly intact.  We hit the site at about 9:00 pm when there was no other tourists in sight.  The whole area was lit by a full moon and strategically placed floodlights.  WOW (again).  It was really something.  We walked the entire perimeter and amazed at its ethereal beauty in the moonlight.


Belgrade Welcome and Kalemegdan
Kalemegdan Fiesta
Two Churches and a Princess's Mansion
Serbian Dinner
Hiking the back roads
Manasija Monastery
Walking to the Waterfall


Lunch and a wreck
Castle and Cave


Rovinj and Pula
Rabin and Opatija

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