Thursday, September 23, 2010

At the Adriatic water's edge

The night we arrived in Croatia, it was still bucketing with rain and although we had hoped to camp by the water’s edge, it was obvious that this was a little ambitious. Instead, we managed to find a cheap room in a nice hotel in a place called Poreč. The following afternoon, the sun reappeared from behind the clouds and totally turned around our gloomy first impression of Croatia into exactly what we had hoped for….Mediterranean Bliss!

We ventured straight for the seaside and were in awe of the white stone buildings lining the shore as well as the gorgeous restaurant terraces perfectly positioned. The sky was definitely the bluest we had ever seen and as the sun shone on the crystal clear water, it glistened like a million stars, almost blinding us with its glare. We sat down at a table on the terrace feeling so blessed to be here and ordered our meal from a menu dominated by truffles. We remembered reading about this region being the homeland of the truffle delicacy and knowing how expensive they are in other places of the world, we were pleasantly surprised to order a truffle pasta for 10 Aussie bucks! Thankfully, truffles are not so expensive here in Istria where truffle hunters and special hunting dogs source them from deep inside the dark woods. We couldn’t get enough of truffles at first, but we discovered quickly, that a break from their very rich flavour is needed.

After lunch, we spent the afternoon strolling the sidewalk along the seafront and all we wanted to do was dive in. For the time being, we simply enjoyed the warmth of the sun’s rays and the tranquility of being by the ocean. We had our first glimpse of a pebble beach, hundreds of smooth stones piled on each other. Although not so comfortable under foot, it was such a novelty compared to the sandy beaches we are used to. Our first amazing day in Croatia was topped off by the most gorgeous sunset with a lighthouse in the foreground.

The following few days were much of the same – wining and dining at the water’s edge as well as wandering the shiny stone pavements in the coastal villages of Pula, Rovinj and Opatija…..yep, it all sounds pretty terrible. We found the perfect camping spot just outside Pula and set up our tent less than 10 metres from the shore. It was another surreal moment as we sat on the rocks in the evening, our gaze fixed on the water and the moon’s reflection. We talked about the obviously slower pace in which Croatians live and we decided we would observe more closely, with the expectation that we might just have something important to learn.

Istria is famous for its fresh seafood, caught locally and driving along the coast we ate it every day for about 5 days, because it was incredible! Chefs here tend to let the flavour of the fish speak for itself, mostly cooking it whole on the grill with olive oil and garlic. Delish! Experiencing the taste of these different types of fish, only caught in the Adriatic, has been a real treat.

There’s only so much wining and dining you can do, before it starts burning a serious hole in your pocket. We figured we were not spending any money on attractions, so we admittedly lived it up for a few days. On our way to Plitvice Lakes, we decided it was time to cook our own dinner.

Strolling along the seafront

A gorgeous scene in Rovinj


Post a Comment