Before reading my description of this side trip, you might want to check out another blogger.
Unlike me, this gal actually has some facts. I just have impressions.
We managed to take public transportation everywhere we went on this trip except for the trip to the Istrian hill towns of Motovun and Groznjan. With no public bus or rail options, we rented a car and drove, opting for the hilly country roads instead of the huge freeway which ran parallel just a couple of miles to the west.
Motovun was easy to spot from quite a distance. This is about as good an example of "hill town" as you can expect to find any where.
Reading about a castle and approaching it in real life are two entirely different things. We knew our hotel was located in an old castle at the very top of the hill, but facing this wall was a bit intimidating. Read about the castle at http://www.hotel-kastel-motovun.hr/eng/Index.aspx?lang=eng.
The following pictures were taken as we walked around the hill, through the castle, up and down the narrow streets. The scenery was spectacular and combined with the misty, cloudy weather one could imagine the fairy tale setting as it must have been long, long ago.
It was truffle season and after sampling some of those little gems at dinner, we knew we had to visit the home of the largest truffle ever found. I wish I could share the taste sensation of truffles on this blog. Technology seems to be lagging in this area. I can provide a great visual at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWqHfAH6YO8.
After visiting the truffle museum and making our small purchases (quantity not cost), we set out for our next town, Groznjan. On the way, I got this great shot of truffle hunter with her dogs.
Groznjan was lovely, a lot more tourist friendly than Movotun which is much more like a real working town than a tourist trap. However, before we could begin to enjoy the village, the rain started coming down in buckets.
We persevered, snapping pictures through the rain, but it just wasn't letting up. Finally, we gave up and got back on the road.
As luck would have it, we encountered just enough sunshine to take this picture of the lovely fall foliage. Pretty nice, huh?