Istria Peninsula 14 July 2013

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July 15th 2013
Published: July 16th 2013
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Istria Peninsula 14 July 2013
As the Istria Peninsula is very busy and quite small, we travelled its boundary in 1 day. We arrived at Lovran (Camping Medveja) on the afternoon of 13 July, which was about 8 kms south of Opatija on the eastern coast of the peninsula. The camp was on the beach which was lovely. It was a big affair, with supermarket, restaurant and all the other services expected. The beach was really busy – as expected at this time of the year.
In the morning Tom & I both went for a swim. It was lovely although there were some very, very cold patches of water. It was refreshing. Before dinner we went for a walk up the coast and down the coast. Again, it was beautiful.
The next morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we drove down the coast to Pula, via the coast road rather than the freeway. Pula is on the southern tip of the peninsula. Its main feature is the most amazing Amphitheatre. It has been maintained beautifully with some restoration. It also has an oil museum under the main structure, an industry which was an important part of the economy.
We then walked around the town, having coffee and chatting to some locals.
Tom had the servicing of the car in his mind which he planned for Trieste in Italy, so because of time we drove further north to Rovinj. The secondary road was pretty good (even though windy) so we continued to stay off the motorway.
On arriving in Rovinj, we found a park and went for a walk around the town. Other than being the Truffles centre of the universe (their claim) – and we ate some garlic-based fungi – as well as looking like Venice with buildings going into the water, we have added another feature to the town. It’s the wheel-clamping capital of Croatia. Our story is based on this being a very quiet Sunday. The park we parked in, we paid 5 kuna through the parking machine and diligently putting the parking ticket on our dashboard. Off we went and came back 10 minutes before our time expired only to find notes to tell us not to drive off as our camper wheel was clamped. The park we had chosen was not for campers apparently. We and 3 other cars were parked in this car large park which had over 30 vacant parks.
To cut a long story short, we arranged for the motorbike-riding inspector to come back to our car to unlock the clamp – as long as we paid 80 kuna. The money wasn’t the point in my view. It was the principle. I gently argued with the parking inspector (having a bit of fun with him!!!). I even told him to get a different job!!!! Poor guy.
Other than being “clamped” is was a beautiful town. We loved the ‘feel’ of it. It had a fantastic atmosphere. We sat at one of the café-bars for a drink and more people watching and planned our next section of the trip.
We also make it a routine at night to plan what we are going to do the next day and were we will be staying. We have several accommodation books, and description book on Europe (thanks to our lovely daughter), electronic copies of Lonely Planet eastern-European countries, plus the ADAC (German) book which we are challenged with re trying to understand as it is written in German. Every time we catch up with someone from Germany I ask them to translate a bit more for us. We also have the internet of course.
So off we went after the clamping event. Driving further north we arrived at Porec. Being careful to park in the right car park this time (!) we decided to ride out bikes into the old town. The major feature of this town was the beautiful Basilica of Euphrasius which they also claim as the best preserved in Europe. It was lovely riding around the waterfront. It was hot but the breeze was lovely on the bike. No one wears helmets in Europe which is fantastic – not that anyone goes very fast anyway. In fact, we haven’t even got bike helmets!
We had a really good day and saw so much. It was time to book into Camp Mereda at Novi Grad which was about 15 kms north of Porec. This was on the beach, so a swim was the 1st thing Tom did. I decided to do bits and pieces around the camper, meeting the neighbours and then walking around the camp getting oriented. In fact the neighbours allowed us to plug into their double adaptor because the power box was too far for our extension cord. It worked well. They also picked our Australian accent straight away – a nice change from being told we were from England.
With the camper registered in The Netherlands, we have a stack of new friends from Holland because they come up to speak with us, speaking Dutch, but they quickly learn they have to speak English for us to understand them.
We had our dinner at the camper this night after “happy-hour”. We then went for another walk. Oh, what a life. What we find is these Parks are very quiet at night. By 11.00pm everyone is very quiet.
This was out last night in Croatia after 11 days. It’s a beautiful country. The next morning (on 15 July) we drove north to Trieste in Italy.

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