We took the three-hour drive from the coastal Rovinj to the central Croatian capital city of Zagreb yesterday. As we had some time to kill between check out at one Airbnb and check in at the next one, we needed somewhere along the way to have a stroll around and feed the kids our picnic lunch. Opatija, Croatia’s oldest tourist destination, was along the way so we climbed down off the mountaintop and meandered down, down, down into the little town.
Not a ton to do here if I’m being honest, but it was an ideal way to kill an hour and fill our bellies along the car ride. It’s got that old school glitzy tourist feel with a promenade and a frequently visited statue of a Maiden and the Seagull. The day we visited it was pretty overcast. I’ll bet the views are amazing on a clear day, especially on the 12km seaside promenade walk from Opatija to Lovran.
We are now enjoyoing time in Zagreb. We watched a cannon shoot out of a building yesterday! More to come!
Nothing like starting your Croatian leg of the journey with a trip to the hospital in the middle of the night because your four-year-old falls out of bed and gashes his head really badly on the side of the nightstand. That is why KJ looks like this in some of the pics:
All’s well that ends well though! We stayed in Rovinj the last couple of days and took in Croatia’s Istrian towns of Rovinj and Pula. The Airbnb we are staying at is pretty sweet from the kids’ points of view with both a swimming pool and a trampoline in the backyard. They are in heaven!
Rovinj: Mini Venice.
Rovinj is a picturesque, Croatian, Istrian town that is built right onto the sea in the same manner as Venice. There is what we are coming to realize as the typical Istrian town church, a charming port, and a lovely clock tower.
Yes, Rovinj is a beautiful little Istrian town….but if I’m being honest it has not captured my heart to the same extent as Slovenia’s Piran!
The beaches of Croatia’s Istrian North coast are not typically sandy. They are the beautiful rocky cove types with gorgeous views of the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Last night we took the daily, obligatory ice cream trip to Amarin Beach and watched the sun dunk lazily into the sea.
Pula: Mini Rome
This morning’s outing involved a quick 30-minute drive from Rovinj down to historic Pula. This Croatian city is spilling over with a breathtaking amphitheater, interesting temples, a forbidding fortress and some beautiful arches.
And we happened upon the fact that Pula has an Irish flare! A 22 year old James Joyce eloped from Irleand with his then girlfriend (and future wife) and spent some time teaching English in Pula.
Our final leg in this part of the country was a mini hike at Monkodonja. Monkodonja is a Bronje Age hillfort ruin. Today was overcast, but I bet on a sunny day the view goes for miles.
Tomorrow we head for the Croatian capital city of Zagreb to see what wonders it has to offer.