It was our third and last day in Pula and it really has been an excellent stopover for us. The apartment has been great with plenty of room to spread ourselves out and has everything that we could have wanted in facilities including a washing machine. So for the first time on the adventure we were able to wash clothes in a washing machine rather than by hand. It was a bit like being Bear Grylls on the Discovery channel finding his way out at the end of the programme and the excitement of being rescued except for us it was the luxury of a washing machine which at home we take for granted.
Nearly 3 hours after putting the clothes in the machine they were ready to hang out (these front loaders are so s l o w! Now came the interesting bit of the exercise. In this and all the other apartment blocks of 5 or 6 stories, if you want to hang your washing outside there was two choices and it depended what your apartment had of those two options. From the upper floors there was a line on a pulley system from a window down and
across to a large tree away from the building on 3 sides of the apartment block not facing the road. Some of the lines were 10 or 15 metres long but with a pulley you doubled that space to hang your clothes. We were on the first floor and so had lines attached to the building under a couple of windows but also with a pulley system a little further on. that you could hang out one window and pull the line along so moving your clothes to the other end of the line. I must say Gretchen took to this with great skill and had the clothes tightly attached to the line with pegs in no time.
With the sun shining and the washed clothes on the line we set off to check out a military cemetery nearby and then take a walk around a couple of the beaches.
We hadn’t noticed from our view of the harbour in the apartment that a small cruise ship had arrived in and although there appeared to be a lot of wharf area it was at anchor in the harbour. We assume that the wharves are for ships either being
overhauled or after they have been launched from the shipyard.
We found the cemetery and at first thought it was going to be another place where we wouldn’t be able to get in to have a look as the imposing gates were padlocked. However as we started to walk on we found a small side gate open and so went in to check out the history of the graves which dated back to the late 19th
century when Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and many of its people had died in the various wars fought by that empire to maintain the vast area of land under its control. Towards the rear was a recently laid wreath with writing on the ribbon that referred to Austria and obviously had been laid to commemorate a significant day in history recently.
We walked onto the seaside a short distance away. Here the pebbly beach was no good for lying on to sunbathe.However; a sand area had been created back from the pebbly area by bringing sand in from somewhere else which looked like a good idea. The water, without sand and a lack of rivers or streams in the
area, was a beautiful blue in colour and with the pines in the background lining the shore it made an idyllic and photographic setting. With a bar right on the beach area we could have been tempted to stop and have a beer or a wine but it wasn’t yet midday and there was more to see so we walked on.
The road followed the coast around two more points and it was on the last stretch to the next inlet that we noticed some darker clouds out to sea and before we knew it a shower of rain arrived and our minds automatically went to the washing at the apartment out on the pulley line probably almost dry by now. Would the old caretaker lady we met on our arrival do the rounds of the apartments and take in the washing for those not home? That was just a thought of course as she didn’t have a key to our apartment.........or did she?
Anyway after we sheltered as best we could under a pine tree for about 5 minutes the rain was gone and the sun was out shining as brightly and warm as ever. We decided
that even if the shower passed over the washing on the line it would still be dry by the time we got back home. You see, even on the BBA V2 you still have to do the home chores and hope your washing will dry!
We picked up some more Croatian sweet treats to have with our lunch in the apartment after we finished our morning walk. There certainly is a wide range of these sweet treats but you also have to be careful you don’t indicate to the shop assistant that you want ‘that one ‘only to find out later that it was savoury!
We had saved the major attraction until today hoping the sun would shine and as the weather had now improved over the first two days we were in luck.
It is quite remarkable to find such a structure as the Roman amphitheatre over 2000 years old and still intact (well at least the outside walls) in the middle of a city in 2013.We had seen pictures taken from the air in a guide book and it really does dominate the area where it is sited and it is startling to be walking
along one of the main shopping streets and go over a small rise in the road and then to come up against the imposing structure.
We found after paying the small entrance fee that we could have done the ‘Scotsman grandstand ‘and viewed it from the outside on a hill behind the structure but the BBA V2 decided that the K40 each we spent was well worth it to get the real feel of what it might have been like to be a gladiator or a lion(or some other fierce man hungry animal used by the Romans for their sport and entertainment)and visit the area beneath the amphitheatre where the animals were kept and to also stroll the flat area looking up at the tiered seating imagining the locals cheering on their favourite. You can’t get all that from the ‘Scotsman grandstand’!
The structure is reportedly the 6th
largest Roman amphitheatre in the world left standing and is one of the most complete. There appeared to be only one small area of the high outside walls that had been reconstructed in more recent times to make the structure complete.
It is not as big as the coliseum
in Rome or the arena in Verona but it certainly is more complete all the way around the walls. All in all a very satisfying way to end our tour of the ancient sights of a city that for many travellers might be a little off the beaten track but well worth a visit.
We decided to go out for dinner for our last night in Pula and there were heaps of options in the old city area as each time we had walked through the streets over the past 3 days, the waiters at almost every restaurant we passed tried to entice us inside.
Gretchen had a place in mind near the church but we took a wrong turn in the street and ended up at Restaurant Barbara with the waiter showing us the fresh fish that was on offer. He was too irresistible to refuse especially when we noticed the Kuna120 for two fish meal deal. So with a half carafe of wine we dined on garlic bread and the fish dinner for two. The fish served would have been rejected because of their size in NZ but here anything goes which is probably why the
Mediterranean is depleted of fish stocks. We had 3 fish, each of about 6” long and half a dozen sprats which were one mouthful on their own. Lightly fried potatoes and spinach made a nice compliment. The fish had been cooked in olive oil with a good amount of garlic and despite their size, were very tasty.
We were pleased we had made it clear we would have the fish special as the same meal on the menu but with larger portions (which we couldn’t have managed anyway) was twice the price. The people at the table behind us had the more expensive meal but jipped at paying the K240 when the bill came and there seemed like there might be an incident. However they appeared to get away with it saying they didn’t have any more money on them with the guy opening his wallet and showing the waiter that it was empty.
We were fare welled with' thank you,Kiwis' after paying our K180 bill in full.They had picked up we were from NZ with me wearing my NZ labelled black shirt.
We had our final walk back up the hill to our apartment discussing our
time in Pula which had been a very enjoyable one made even more so by the great apartment that was excellent value at €30 per night, that we had located on Air BNB.
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