CROATIA BY CAR (with bikes)

Slovenia’s central European location allows you to visit 4 different countries with just a couple hour drive.  I biked through Rovinj, Croatia last summer and only spent 1 afternoon there.  I thought it was a must re-visit kinda place back then.  Natasa got 2 days off work combined with the weekend, 4 days of vacation.  We put a 3 hour maximum of “willing” to drive to our vacation spot, Rovinj was perfect, 2.5 hrs.

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ROVINJ’S MAIN BUSINESS IS TOURISM AND FISHING

We got an Air B&B apartment for 3 nights $150.   While driving down the street looking for our place, we noticed nearly every house had an apartment for rent.  We probably didn’t need to book ahead.  We unpack the car and bike into the old town (photos).

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YOU COULD NEVER HANG YOUR LAUNDRY OUTSIDE LIKE THIS IN AMERICA. SOME COMMUNITIES IN AMERICA HAVE BANNED CLOTHES LINES ALTOGETHER

We decide to bike north along the coast, to see what we see.

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THAT’S ROVINJ AND A CLIPPER SHIP THAT DOES TOURS AROUND THE ADRIATIC, THE SHIP WAS AMAZING.

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THIS IS A PICTURE FROM THE SOUTH SIDE OF ROVINJ, YES WE HAD AMAZING WEATHER THE WHOLE TIME.

Natasa wants to visit Brijuni National Park (photos), I don’t know anything about the Park.  It’s only a 30 minute drive, 15 minute boat ride and tourist train ride around the island, I can do that.

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THIS IS ME WITH TITO, YUGOSLAVIA’S COMMUNIST LEADER FOR OVER 30 YEARS.

Tito spent 6 months a year on the Brijuni island, there’s a museum dedicated to him. While walking through the museum and looking and reading everything, I became infatuated with Josip Broz Tito(if you’ve got the time read the link, he’s amazing).  He had many visitors to the island including Castro and Stalin.

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ELIZABETH TAYLOR AND RICHARD BURTON VISIT TITO IN 1971. RICHARD BURTON PLAYED TITO IN THE FILM SUTJESKA (MOVIE).

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HO CHI MINH OF VIETNAM, GOES BOATING WITH TITO IN 1957

After our miniature train tour of the Island, we decide to rent bikes.  The train took us by some places that, with a bike, we can spend more time visiting.

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SINGLE SPEED RENTAL BIKES WITH ROMAN WALL IN FRONT

The islands first inhabitants can be traced to 3000 BC,

THERE ARE ROMAN RUINS ON THE ISLAND, THERE IS EVIDENCE THE ISLAND WAS INHABITED AS FAR BACK AS 3000 BC

Tito had a collection of animals given by heads of states from other countries.

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THE ZEBRA CAME AS A GIFT FROM SEHUN TURE OF GUINEA IN 1960 AND 1961

The train acknowledged, but didn’t stop at the Dinosaur Exhibit, so by bike, we stop

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HERE’S SOME DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS FILLED WITH WATER.  THERE ARE MORE THAN 200 DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS IN THE AREA. THEY’RE 65-145 MILLION YEARS OLD.

Right next to the footprints is this

SHORELINE MILITARY OUTLOOK

SHORELINE MILITARY LOOKOUT

The ferry leaves in 15 minutes and were way north on the island.  We race back, return the bikes, hop on board, the sun sets as we reach the mainland.  Were beat, it was a long day.

Yesterday back in Rovinj they were setting up an elementary grade school “art” exhibit, of  “what they wanted in the city” and today it’s up.

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TRANSLATION: “LOTS OF FREE BIKES SO KIDS CAN RIDE AROUND TOWN”

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SHOPPING IS SOMETHING YOU DO IN A TOURIST TOWN

When I biked through Croatia last year, it was with two vegetarians, Carolyn and Tyler of Two Wheel Travel Blog.  We kept passing roadside BBQ’s, I kept requesting we stop for the BBQ Pig, it wasn’t going happen.  So I told Natasa, I really want to have the BBQ pig, when we go out.

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I FINALLY GOT TO TRY IT. IT ACTUALLY WASN’T AS GOOD AS I HAD IMAGINED, I CAN CHECK IT OFF THE BUCKET LIST NOW THOUGH.

The Rovinj Farmers market was run like a Mafia market.  There were maybe 15 vendors who all had nearly the same products at the same prices.  I wanted to buy the Lavender Soap, but not at the fixed Mafia price.  I made an offer to one vendor then another, both refused my deal.  I finally found a willing seller and paid a price I felt was closer to what I felt the soap was worth.

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EVEN THE BEAUTIFUL HOT CHILI STRINGS WERE PRICED THE SAME.

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I HAD TO TAKE ONE LAST PHOTO ON OUR LAST BIKE TRIP THROUGH TOWN.

We had a good time in Croatia, it’s so great being so close to so many different countries all with there own cultures and foods.

NEXT: As promised “WHERE THE HELL IS SKOFJA LOKA?” It’s gonna be BIG!

CROATIA PHOTOS HERE

Thanks for reading.

Jeff

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