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June 2013

Part 4: Istria

After 3 days staying at the least known place on earth called "Lukovo Sugarje" I have more Croatian beauties to explore heading North: peninsula of Istria is next. I really enjoy the first km by the sea on great tarmac but I definitely don't enjoy the lack of it later when on a straight I am doing 100km/h or so when...it's suddenly pure gravel without any warning signs. Glad I keep the rubbers down but my spirit was not that much up after this. Lovely scenic coastal km around Karlobag and Rijeka later make up for this. The same goes for my route on Istria heading for my next AirBnB except it rained a lot during the last part till I arrive at Marcana for my stay. How could I know beforehand that this would me one of the most Value For Money AirBnB ever if not the sole most VFM. I have a whole brand new, fully equipped, pristinely clean, spacious apartment owned by the loveliest family possible. They welcome me with a fantastic BBQ which was more than welcome for a hungry biker on a Sunday (all closed).

They also offered shelter to my iron horse in their barn:

And the view from the balcony is not bad:

The cosiness of the house and the questionable weather make me stay in for the rest of the day and leave exploring Istria peninsula for the next ones.

Next morning offers me the best weather possible and that brings me to Rovinj without second thought. Such a sweet town by the sea. Picturesque as it is, I start taking mine in a heartbeat walking by the sea:

It's not only about the sea though, the town itself is so colourful and cute:

The Italian influences on this part of Croatia are more than obvious and Rovinj, cute as it gets, is no exception. I head back to my AirBnb at Marcana to cook and rest. The day is still young and beautiful so I jump on my bike again to visit Pula this time.

Some might not know that Pula has it's own huge Colosseum, Pula arena:

Pula looked less cute than Rovinj to my eyes but for its Arena alone I could never regret that visit. Back at my AirBnb again, I decide to finish this nice day with some nice wine:

I wake up to start my last day at the beautiful peninsula of Istria which would be my last day in Croatia as well. In order to Carpe Diem under perfect weather I take a short ride up to Vodnjan. There I captured the beauty of the Bradamante Palace:

Back to the house I stay it was time to consume my supplies as next day I'm leaving it behind or in other words time for some cooking improvisation. I come up with a one off recipe which actually is quite delicious. Never tried it again but here it is in case anyone's interested:

"Fresh Tortellini Oresti ala Croata":

Carrots, ginger, parsley, potatoes from my host family, fresh tortellini with 4 cheeses. Boiled all together (except the parsley and ginger) for 15 minutes (I put the tortellini 5 minutes later). A bit of olive oil on the dish, cut some parsley and ginger on top and...bon apettito!

A nice ending to my nice days around West Croatia. I loved my km around this country. Next morning I'm leaving it behind for Slovenia.

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