The second day’s activity involved kayaking around Rovinj.
We started north of the town, went round an island and back towards Rovinj, landing on the island we’d been staying on a few days earlier at the Hotel Katarina.
The boat was a two-person sit-on kayak, and very stable. It was nice seeing the town from different angles.
TJ and Tim from Huck Finn collected us from Rovinj and drove us to Poreč, where we were based for three nights on the first stage of the Huck Finn Istria Multisport trip. It turned out that we were the only participants, and it was in essence a private tour.
Poreč is another lovely town on the coast of Istria, similar in some ways to Rovinj in that it has a major Venetian influence, though there are also Roman remains as well. Unlike Rovinj, you can walk around the edge of the peninsula old town.
We had a lovely room in a newly renovated building next to a restaurant.
The first day’s kayaking started near the Huck Finn offices and included landing on an small island where gulls were nesting and there were various herbs, then on to a larger island with an hotel, and finally kayaking around Poreč. As usual, Lindsey wore her Spirit f the Spey hat for the kayak trip.
Rovinj is a stunning town.
The area was inhabited by man in the Bronze and Iron ages, and later the Romans had a presence here. The main influence of what you can see today comes from the Venetians. I was intrigued by the fact that it was once an island, but in 1763 the isthmus (just to the left of the photo above) was filled in as the town grew bigger.
The older parts of the town consist of winding alleys.
I reckoned that Under a Croatian Sun, by Anthony Stancomb, would be a suitable read for our travels in Istria. It’s a gentle, entertaining read.
We enjoyed three days in the Hotel Katarina, before joining a Huck Finn multisport trip. This attractive hotel is situated on an island, a short boat ride from Rovinj, and it enjoys superb views over the bay towards the town.
There’s a path around the island, which takes about fifteen minutes to walk, though in practise it’s much longer as you’re forever stopping to enjoy viewpoints.
Hotel residents don’t have to pay for the ferry to the town.
Most of the Istrian peninsula is in the Republika Hrvatska (Croatia, to you and I). It’s a lovely part of the world, and surprisingly varied, with attractive ports on the coast, and beautiful medieval hill towns inland.
Istria goes in for quality, rather than quantity. The olive oils are world renowned, and the food is excellent. Lindsey and I enjoyed a number of delicious meals there.
Stuffed garlic squid with potatoes and spinach.
One of the most tasty meals was also about the cheapest – ćevapčići with lepinja bread (a Bosnian speciality).
Grilled meat platter for two (it would feed 4).
Motovun is a very scenic hill town, and truffles can be found in the surrounding forest. This simple dish of home-made pasta with creamy sauce and sliced truffles at the Fakin Restaurant was exceptional.
Steak with truffle sauce.
We visited Vina Benazić near Pula, and while tasting a couple of spectacularly fine wines, enjoyed a platter of local food.
When you see this sort of thing from the road, you have to stop and partake. In the event, though tasty, the spit roast meat was slightly dry for my liking.