Eastern Europe, Day 14 – Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Rovinj, Istria, Croatia

We awoke taking in the  peaceful beauty of our room and of our view of the Adriatic from our window. This day was called “Vacation from Vacation.” We were free until 6 PM to do as we pleased.

The breakfast buffet choices were more numerous and varied than all we had encountered before. There were  typical breakfast foods, including many kinds of fruit and  a variety of muffins. There were also  less typical breakfast items, such  as fish, cakes and cookies.  I chose creamy polenta with chocolate sauce, while Nick had a made-to-order cheese and mushroom omelette. I know it seems that we did a ridiculous amount of eating, but my belt was actually a notch smaller because of all the walking we did.

We were ready to go to the town and do some exploring.  Once off the ferry, we admired the boats, remembering our days with our sailboat. We followed the Rovinj walking tour in Rick Steves’ Eastern Europe book.  As the book says, “Rovinj’s main attraction is simply its gorgeous Old Town, rising dramatically from the Adriatic as though being pulled up to heaven by its grand bell tower.” We enjoyed a leisurely walk  through the open air market to the Old Town, taking in the colorful buildings.

We ascended   the  charming, narrow cobblestone  streets  to the Church of Saint Euphemia, built in the 1700s. Euphemia was one of the earliest Christian martyrs.  Legend has it that after being severely tortured, she was thrown to the lions, but  instead of killing her, the lions licked her wounds.

On the way down the hill, we celebrated the first warm, sunny afternoon of the trip with ice cream cones.  After dessert, Nick craved a salad. We stopped at  a restaurant called Veli Joze, where we joined another couple from our group. After lunch we took the ferry back to the hotel, and then we explored the island. We admired both the  natural beauty  of the varied trees, shrubs, and flowers, as well as the man-made structures like the swimming pool, reflecting pond, and bridges.

We met at 6 PM for a Happy Hour  on a boat, during which we were looking for dolphins, and Katerina provided a variety of liquid refreshments for us. Unfortunately, this was not the calm boat ride I was expecting, and I had not brought my Dramamine. We saw no dolphins. It seemed that everyone had enjoyed the ride, but as for me, I was relieved when it ended. The group enjoyed dinner together at the hotel restaurant. Nick ordered beef, and I had a nice, mild cod.

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