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The Brothers Do the Balkans

Croatia - Porec

We did a tour through the entire Croatian Istrian Peninsula during our April Spring Break.  We crossed the border from Slovenia and immediately hit the visually appealing vineyards of the Istrian interior (on the right).  Our first 'town' was the hilltop Buje (on the left), a stunning example of Medieval Europe. Comparisons were frequently drawn between Tuscany, Italy and this area (though this area won out).  We meandered down the coastal highway enjoying the stunning views.  The landscape was laden with impressions of Spring: light green, fertile earth, and budding vines. 

Our first seaside stop was Porec, home to the UNESCO Euphrasian Basilica. Built on the site of a 4th century basilica and a 5th century church,  the complex includes a newer (6th century) church, atrium and baptistery.  Mosaics from the earliest structures are still visible on the floor, though the real draw is the stunning mosaics on the apse.  These were made through the 6th - 12th centuries and feature biblical scenes and Istrian martyrs. 
Jennifer and Susan cruise the local wine market and amaze as much at the ocher roofing tiles used as wine racks as the hundreds of local red wines available.  After a heavy dose of the Euphrasian theological, we decided we needed a drink at the local round tower (very reminiscent of the White Tower in Thessaloniki, Greece).  Dave and kids chatted with local fishermen while Mark and Jennifer and I changed money.  Our first cold beer and glass of red wine in Croatia were worth the wait in line for Croatian Kuna (as the clerk wrote down every single bill's serial number, thank you).
Breck, oblivious to his historic surroundings, was enthralled with a sea crab he hauled out of the water. 

Mark and Jennifer were often oblivious to everything around them!!


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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