We’ll start this newest entry from yesterday morning after I signed off. We headed back to the house, and on the way, were hailed into the home of Pieter and Marenka, from Slovenia. They don’t know much English, but insisted we come in and have some fresh figs from their tree, fresh-baked cookies from Marenka’s brother, a baker, fresh grapes from the vines on their patio and some more homemade rakija made with what Marenka calls “Rose-of-a-thousand-Cures”. So, We started are morning essentially with drinking. Ahhhh, Croatia.
We hauled ourselves off to the beach, soaked in the sun for a couple hours, played a game called “How the Hell do you Know That?” and then headed back to home for a late lunch. The afternoon was spent Farkling ( the dice game, not a euphamism for something else), and then we relaxed before heading off to Konoba “Lucky”, a third restuarant started by the owners of the restaurants Tropicana and Tropicana 2. We enjoyed fish, appetizers, and wine, and then headed off to Tropicana for dessert. Again, it’s good to know people who know people. T and the rest of us were ushered in and given tables right by the main entrance. A large (what is normal for them) dessert was ordered with 5 spoons, and then it was back to home for sleep. I personally was falling asleep after dinner while we were all talking around the table.
This morning, the morning walk was skipped as we were all sound asleep, R and M made an American-style breakfast, and then it was off to Vodnjan to register with the country and pay our “tourist tax”, 20 Kuna a day/person plus a 20 K fee FOR registering. Good to know for future visits. Vodnjan was an interesting, old Roman town and I took more pics (sorry… no photos have been put onto the computer yet). We toured around the main town square a bit, and I was kicked out of a Catholic Church for not being covered up enough. My knees were covered (my skirt was long enough), but my tank top was unacceptable. I grinned, said thank you for letting me stand there for 5 minutes before kicking me out (I DID get one picture snapped), and walked back out to the main square.
After Vodnjan, it was off to Fazana for lunch, where we toured the boardwalk/waterfront, found T, Ri and Benji at a sidewalk cafe and we ordered lunch and WATER (voda)!! Fresh mozzarella and tomato salad and the Istrian Platter for two (very thinly sliced cured ham, cheese, olives and hot peppers. After lunch we walked down to finish the boardwalk area tours, ordered tickets for a ferry ride and tour of Vela Brejuni (Brejuni Island) for Thursday and headed off to Pula.
Pula is home to a large Roman arena, much of which is still intact. I can’t remember if it’s the 6th largest arena ever built or remaining, or 6th oldest, etc. It’s one of those things. After the arena, we headed to the shopping district and I had my first experience with a pay-toilet, 2 Kuna. It was all I ever hoped for. Hey, it was clean and there was toilet paper… that really is all I ever hoped for. After that, it was some cold drinks (more water and limonada for myself) and then off to shop. LOTS of Italian fashions. So ladies… what I have learned about fashion in this area, which has a heavy population of Italian folks is: Tiered skirts, tube top dresses and jumpers are in. Men: SAGGING jeans are out (THANK GOODNESS!)… I have not seen a SINGLE man wearing sagging pants here in Europe. I have also learned that LOTS of people smoke here.
We headed back to Barbariga about 5 PM, and came through a small town called Peroj. This town, again, another Roman town, has very narrow streets – the kind that American’s cringe over as oncoming traffic is hurtling toward you at what appears to be high-speed. The rock walls come right up to the edge of the road and often, the road wide is only about one and a half cars wide. Someone has to stop, or “think thin”.
This evening, we had some fruit salad and ice cream to cool off, and Joze insisted that my fruit salad had to have Croatian rum on it. It was shortly after that when Pieter came to the house and Joze and Pieter were trying to get me to drink more rakija. I declined. They were disappointed but, I was starting to feel as if I hadn’t been sober the whole time I’ve been here. Not true, but that’s what it felt like.
Currently, we’re all at the Tropicana 2, ordering pizza, pilfering the WiFi and ordering up some red wine and water. Enjoy! Tonight I’ll attempt to get the pics downloaded onto Brutus (DH’s laptop) so I can share them the next go around. Also, a HUGE THANK YOU to Jeff for loaning me the camera lenses. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!