The town of Ronvinj has a very ecological way to collect the wastes deposited in the small bins (see on the wall) scattered everywhere in the town, which makes it always perfectly clean. This man pours them into larger bins fastened on his bicycle. No pollution by a truck !
According to the Lonely planet, the Limska Draga Fjord is the most dramatic sight in Istria. This is a bit of an exaggeration I think and there are several other places I would award this title to. In some sources it's described as the Limska Kanal and this is a more realistic description. A relic of the last ice-age, the inlet is about 9km long and 60m wide. Turning in from the sea it has little appearance of a fjord but as you move further in the cliiffs do become higher and more dramatic. Cruising along here in 20 degree Autumn sunshine is idyllic but if you're expecting a Norwegian-style fjord ( like a small optimistic part of me was) then you'll be a little disappointed. It's more like cruising up a river valley with high wooded escarpments on both sides. For some reason the Hudson River and the Danube kept coming to mind. The head of the fjord looks distinctly Canadian or Upper NY State, but what should have been peace, perfect peace was shattered by the roar of souped-up hotrods and the blare of their radios. We had a beer on the terrace of one of the restaurants and anticipated the journey back to Rovinj with pleasure.
This trip, which lasted four hours, cost just EUR15 each and included free grappa, wine, water or orange juice.These liquid refreshments were served by a very entertaining Croatian who assured us he'd made them all himself. This guy was layng it on with a trowel for the tourists and us tourists, assisted no doubt by the free drink, were lapping it up. I sampled the wine and found it more like cider than any wine I was aware of. But the sun was shining and everyone was having a good time so I had one or two more ....... A great afternoon.
About half-way up Lim Fjord is Romauld's cave.When the boat docks you climb up about 50 steps through the trees and crumbly soil. At the top, rather incongrously, is a sort of viewing point of the type you'd expect to see in a ship - a sort of crows nest. Two people at a time can climb up here to photograph the surrounding area and of course each other. Not feeling like a crow and decidedly woozy from the wine/cider, I declined.
Romauld the Hermit and former member of the Benedictine order came to live in this cave around 1002. His previous home at Captain's Cave was too accessible to visitors ( probably Quo Vadis trippers ) so he moved to this cave with the small church of St Martin above. Scrambling about in side was quite interesting and an opportunity of actually geting up on those cliffs I'd been gazing at all afternoon. The cave is about 105m deep with plenty of rocks to act as built-in furniture. Nice view over the fjord as well - what more could any hermit want ?
Apparently he lived here in this cave and had no contact with another human being apart from one sheperd. When he left in 1005 it became a place of pilgrimage for visitors. Poor Romauld would turn in his solitary hermit's grave if he saw the numbers of people trailing up and down to his front door these days. It's definitely worth the hike up here for the view but be careful going down because the handrail is broken in several places.
One beer later, we spotted him in another place of town, pouring the medium bins he had filled with the smaller ones into a larger bin. I guess that in the end, a petrol powered truck will have to come and collect this one. Though, that avoids any pollution in the smaller streets !
Only a quick ferry-ride off the beaten path, Red Island is an absolute must-visit on a trip to Rovinj. There is a large hotel on the island, the Hotel Istra but if you ignore that and veer left on landing it's another world. A wide stone path lined with columns leads up through the trees and you get the feeing that you're headed for a Greek or Roman temple. It's actually just the remains of a castle and Benedictine monastery but it's absolutely perfect. Lots of Cypress trees here as well as other Mediterranean vegetation, beds of lavender and a jumble of overgrown shrubs. At the top of the steps you look back at the sea and feel grateful to be in such a beautiful place. Beyond the Istra a causeway connects Red Island to the densely wooded Island of Sveti Andreij. Over here you can really be on your own and if you want to have the world to yourself , once you keep away from the parts used a naturist resort , it seems quite possible.Leaving Creveni Otok, guarded by its majestic stone lion, you promise yourself you'll come back. A promise I sincerely intend keeping.
The ferry to Red Island leaves the dock in Rovinj at regular intervals. Just go along and wait for the next one.
This is the same spot as the previous photo but reversing at the other side on the top of the street where the Cathedral is situated.
In spite of the stone made houses and the walls aroud it, there are many gardens with lots of flowers and trees in it.
The short and narrow streets, like this one, characterized most of the Mediterranean towns. People live different kind of life here, knowing each other, what we miss living in a huge cities of the hinterland.
Must be very charming living in those houses, you hust know everything what is happening in the apartment on the opposite side of the street.
Do not leave your bike at home! I had the luck to travel to Croatia from neighbouring Hungary via bike (the distance is 600km or so). In Croatia (within the cities) helmets may be legally left home, providing you with great experiences in feeling the warm air, or to have much greater chance to park fast anywhere (you will see that travelling by car may cause difficulties in that). Pula, Novigrad, Vrsar is also a must by bike, splendid jewels in mediterrania...
Most of the streets in the old core of the town are short and very narrow, it is the way to be protected from the strong wind, called Bura, and the summer heat.
Besides, it is a very practicle way to dry the loundry. You may like it or not but it gives a very pitoresque look of the town, which is very characteristic in whole Mediterranean area.
In the narrow alleys of the old town, you can get across cats awaiting for a petting hand ! Some seem to be half wild and homeless but others, such as this one, are well groomed and are just looking for some adventure outside home !
"Only a few kilometers west of Kanfanara the remains of the mediaeval town of Dvigrad are located, which still dominates in the Lim Draga."
more infos: http://www.inforovinj.com/eng/rovinj/dvigrad.asp
A dense network of strings is tighten cross any alley of old Rovinj, On washing days, they make garlands of linen that make washing days a celebration of colors and shapes under the hot sun, flapping happily !
In other alleys, when everything is white, both the houses and the linen, these garlands do not bring any color but anyhow, add some shade in the alley and when they flap in the wind, it seems that the city is singing.
When the strings are not loaded with freshly washed linen, these "ready for anything" strings can be used to hang carpets, tablecloth or blankets. There seems to be always something that needs to be hang in the sun !
Familiar Sea gulls are everywhere at home in Rovinj ! As soon as they identify something that can be eaten, one or several of them will arrive. They can be a nuisance as they will also look for bins and take everything out of it !