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Welcome to Croatia!

September 22, 2018

The road from Venice to the Istrian Peninsula winds through tiny Slovenia, and during a coffee break Livio pointed out where First Lady Melania comes from. Jama, aka Vanna, helpfully shows us.JuXs5eyqRfK9gkn7ntNHcQ

But enough about politics. Once through the border checkpoint (Slovenia is part of the EU, Croatia is not a full member yet — complicated), a short drive took us to the Kozlovic Winery for a grand tasting of Valle, Malvasia, Teran and Muskat on a terrace overlooking the vineyards and a castle ruin.

 

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Malvasia became my new favorite white wine, and the Teran was a delicious red.

A short walk took us to the restaurant Stari Podrum, snuggled amid olive trees, where we had amazing pasta with white truffles for lunch — the first of many truffle dishes we would have during our time in Istria. I can still smell its unmistakable earthiness, and the flavor lingers in my memory.

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Today’s history lesson came at Poreč, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Euphrasius Basilica. The original parts of the building date from the 6th century, but additions and modifications were made up through the 18th. The mosaics are stunning, especially at the entrance.

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Inside there are well-preserved remnants of mosaics, and the apse in the church is a stunning masterpiece depicting the Annunciation and the Visitation.

 

 

 

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I always have a hard time getting my head around 1500 year-old pieces of art, regardless of the medium.

In the old town there are ancient Roman ruins and the remains of the city wall.

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By late afternoon we had reached Rovinj and the marvelous Hotel Lone, our base for the next three nights. We’ve immediately taken to Livio, who is from Istria himself and is eager to reveal his country to us. We arranged this walking trip through Classic Journeys, and learned a couple of months before we left that, despite there usually being 12-14 people on this itinerary, Jama and I would be the only travelers. So we essentially have a private guide and driver (the wonderful Ivana) for the next six days!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

We walked into old town Rovinj to enjoy dinner overlooking the busy harbor.fullsizeoutput_262f

After walking a total of 24 miles in the three days before we started our walking trip, today’s 5 miles seemed like a stroll.

 

 

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