We are finally back in Scandiano after an amazing eight day trip in Croatia. Beautiful country, beautiful warm-hearted people! I have to admit that I am kind of glad to be “home”, though. Hotel living was starting to wear on us with the little ones.
Our time in Croatia was divided into 6 days in Rovinj and 2 days in Plitvice Lakes National Park. I have way too many pictures to share so I will have to save the post about Plitvice for the next time.
Rovinj is a smallish fishing village on the coast of the Adriatic, in the region of Croatia called Istria. It is very similar to Venice, and in fact you can see Venice from across the ocean when you climb the bell tower in the center of Rovinj. I loved it because, although it was packed with other European families (mostly German, Italian, Croatian, and British), it was still a working fishing village. The harbor was spilling over with speed boats, small fishing boats, huge fishing boats, and a yacht or two (or ten).
We took a tour on one of the boats to get a view of Rovinj from a nearby island. The boat was called the Glass Dolphin and was considered a half submarine….so half of the boat was above the water and half was below. We got to sit beneath and watch all of the little fishes going about their business which was pretty cool. We also got to get the view from above, which was gorgeous as well! This trip was more for the kiddos, and they loved it. Vance was a little sad that we didn’t see a shark, but I was totally fine with it since we had been swimming in that water…
The downtown area of Rovinj is super cute. The streets are made of smooth and slippery stone, worn over from years and years of foot traffic. It is twisty and narrow and easy to get lost. If you go the right way, though, you will run into the little farmers market, packed with local produce including figs as big as my hand!
The main church, St. Euphemia, is in the center of town on top of a hill. From there, houses, apartments, and buildings tumble down the hill until they literally make a dead stop at the ocean. There is not one patch of grass in that entire jumble, but they have the most beautiful patio gardens I have seen anywhere. We climbed to the top to get a look inside of the ancient church and had a great view overlooking the ocean while we were there.
Outside of the main downtown area, there are hotels, the harbor, and beaches. Aaaahhhh we loved the beach. We were there everyday. The water was so clear that you could see down to the bottom even when you couldn’t touch. It was salty and cool but not cold enough that you didn’t want to go in. I swam farther out than I ever have in an ocean, undeterred by sea life because of the vast number of Europeans doing the same thing. I figured if it was safe enough for them to swim, it was safe enough for me.
I could have lived at that beach for the rest of my life. And the best part? No SAND. Just small rocks. I know it sounds crazy to us Americans but Europeans love their rocky beaches, and I think I have crossed over as well. We wore water shoes so the rocks wouldn’t hurt our feet. And guess what? It was so CLEAN. The water was cleaner, there was no sand to track into our hotel, and no messy stuff to clean off of the kids. I loved it.
So that was our time in Rovinj. It was a wonderfully relaxing way to live. Beach, lunch, walking in the downtown, cocktail hour, dinner. Plitvice is another story, as we hiked our butts off in the rain. But that is for the next post.
Have I convinced you to give Croatia a try? The trip brought us closer as a family and we had a great time together. I consider that a success!