Roamin’ from Rovingo to Pula to Rijeka

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June 22nd 2011
Published: June 23rd 2011
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This was another of those 2 stop hops – local 45 min bus to Pula – then more frequent connections, but 2 hr trip, to the large port city of Rijeka where I was going to be staying. Having checked the bus timetable (first thing you have to do when you get off the bus) I decided on the 2pm – but then had to wait until the 2.30pm bus anyway as unbeknownst to me it was a public holiday in Croatia. Yes folks, 22 June, the commemoration of the start of the Anti-Fascist Uprising in 1941 (why can’t we have holidays like that?). And today 23 June is Corpus Christi also a holiday – and Sunday 25th is National Founding Day or somesuch. Because this has all given people a large reason to have a 5 or 6 day weekend I am thinking of getting out of Croatia due to tightness of accommodation!

I did a quick walk around of Rovinj/Rovingo (the Roman name). The alleys are all paved with very well-polished with use large limestone marble cobbles – would be a total nightmare after rain! Up to the church of martyr St Euphemia on the hill and that was about it really. Had a quick seafood soup in a square on the way down for about $6 – enough for a snack. And another gelato cone scoop – hey at $1.20 why not? No wonder everyone is eating them at all hours of the day!
Anyway short hop of 45mins to Pula where there is a very large Roman amphitheatre largely still complete (it could hold 20,000 people). They seem to have a certain number of rock concerts etc there and seemed to be setting it up inside with seats for something. It was rather dusty and hot (continues) and the Triumphal Arch of Sergius from Roman times (27BC) and a small treasure house for the archaeological museum in the main square. Just a quick dash around for 90mins before my next bus really This was the 2 hr trip to Rijeka. There was some truly spectacular coastal scenery of the Kvarner Gulf – we fortunately had a rest stop at the most spectacular point with a restaurant and views up and down the coast. The Croatian coastline is certainly spectacular with normally steep rocky hills running down to the azure blue sea etc etc.

In Rijeka
those slippery limestone cobblesthose slippery limestone cobblesthose slippery limestone cobbles

disastrous when wet (bad when dry!)
it was a relatively straightahead 10min walk to the Hotel Continental. It’s a 5 story hotel and no doubt was the place for apparatchik and officials to stay at one time. It has had a large makeover which it probably needed but now has wired internet (broken cable but I got a new long one off them as mine is only 2m). Remodeled bathroom but you notice things like the taps being a bit loose on the wall etc – not plumbers masterclass then. Belatedly realized an aircon unit up on the wall later.

Out to dinner about 9.15pm and cos it was public holiday a bit concerned about finding some things open. Persisted and found the supposedly best restaurant Zletna Skoljka almost by accident – just as wwell they had a lit sign on the Korso as the street was not signed. Somewhat surprised to see no one inside and thought they had closed but place was supposed to be open until 23.00 so I guess one extra cover was better than nothing. Complimentary taster of a picked sardine, then down to business. I had dark beer marinated thick octopus tentacles with roasted pine nuts and a rocket salad under. This was very tasty. Then a custom main really – I did not fancy the polenta with the monkfish so they did grilled veges instead. The fish was in a creamy tomatoey sauce with lots of capers and black olives. He fish in relatively small pieces and a bit chewy as fish goes but overall flavour was good. A couple of glasses of local dry white malvasija. And even a fruit of the forest crostata style flan – not I really ‘needed’ it. All up this was quite a bit cheaper that the meal in Rovinj and mostly better. This cost around 230 Kuna (local currency here it being Croatia – another reason not to change too many countries) so about $45.

Home to hop on the Net and panic about accommodation in the next few days. Booked Zadar – finally did Split this morning (later realised cash only – damn!)and am really concerned (will have to do tonight and decide) whether with this car crash of Croat public holidays whether Dubrovnik will be doable on Sat/Sun/Mon. – and still get back to Vienna for concert on 30 June. Might have to cut that leg off, which would be a shame as I am so close (yet so far).

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


St EuphemiaSt Euphemia
St Euphemia

the outer view
Pula- Arch of SergiusPula- Arch of Sergius
Pula- Arch of Sergius

what good Roman soldiers get
a deserted Zlatna Skoljkaa deserted Zlatna Skoljka
a deserted Zlatna Skoljka

was it the public holiday?

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