Friday, 12 August 2016

Day 52: Matulji to Rovinj on the Adriatic coast of the Istrian peninsula.85km

Dick has planned a short ride on Orlanda to The Istrian Peninsula while we wait for her orthotic to arrive from Munich.

Over and under the hills we ride,
Over viaducts
Through olive groves, 
Through vineyards
Through truffle country
Under the arc of forked lightning  
To a perfectly formed small town Rovinj on the western coast of Istria 

Where food is closeby every step we take.
The streets are pedestrian zones...
But, temporarily a motorcycle co-exists with pedestrians as we ride through the market 
and through the holiday crowds.
To our hotel on the waterfront.
I am glad there were no steps along our route.
He would have ridden up them just like he did in Zacatecas, Mexico.

 

 
 
"Look at me," said the dog!
   
 

Back to the farmers' market where we meet the dried fig grower who presses his samples upon us.
The handsome young truffle trader offers samples, too.
The nectarines are the size of cricket balls and are tender and delicious.

 
Plenty of  peppers and garlic galore.
 



 
 

 
Gelato - hugely popular on this warm summer afternoon.
Yes, I'll have hazelnut, hvala (thank you)
 
Fish and meat tapas for lunch.
Sardine, anchovy mousse, squid, fish tartare: prosciutto, speck, olives, bruschetta a local wine and a local beer.

 
 This splendid seafood platter has crab, oysters, cockles, langoustine and prawns. 
All except the crab are raw. I really should have asked for my portion to be poached.
 
The setting sun casts a warm glow over the  the harbour scene.
 
After dinner we walk  through narrow alleyways with stone cobbles polished my thousands of feet over centuries.
Dick stops to do what all good RTW riders do... He stops to inspect the stickers on offer. 

 
And I look at the pearls...
And the Chagall exhibition.
 

Through the ages this region has had lots of different colonisers. First  the Illyrian tribes, then the  Byzantines, the Franks, the Republic of Venice, a brief  
Napoleonic interlude, Austrian empire, Italy after WW1, Yugoslavia after WW11 and now Croatia since independence in 1991.

New Zealand's history is uncomplicated by comparison.

Rovinj has caste her spell over us.
We were seduced by this lovely town. 
Neither of us knew that it existed until today.
If you are ever in Venice it is a quick ferry ride across the Adriatic for around €10.

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