Friday, October 14, 2011

Rovinj - First Few Days

We slipped out of Italy and into Slovenia without so much as a blip, but making the move from Slovenia (a European Union country) and Croatia (still only a candidate) required a immigration stop and a passport stamp. 
The bus sped on, past postcard sized villages and giant swaths of fields, until - as last, we came to Rovinj.

Every single day, has ended with a spectacular sunset.  From our little apartment at 17 Vitomira, we have a lovely view of the sun setting over the Adriatic, just to the left of St. Euphemia's towering steeple. 
Rovinj is an active fishing village with an impressive fleet of fishing boats.  We arrived at the end of one of the most productive seasons along this particular course.  Sardines.  Wonderful little fish that fry up or grill beautifully.  All they need is a squirt of lemon juice and they turn to the tastiest little morsels you can imagine.
In this collage, the boat has just arrived.  It's been out all night attracting the little guys with giant spotlights.  The little fish are being scooped up into small styrofoam boxes, topped with crushed ice and packed in a waiting truck for shipment. 
Several people were buying fish directly from the boat for their restaurants.  I couldn't imagine troubling those guys for the 1/2 kilo I wanted so we purchased ours a little later from the fish market.
All sizes of excursion boats service Rovinj, including a passenger ferry that travels between Rovinj and Venice several times a week during the summer.  Smaller boats take visitors to several neighboring islands, on fish picnics up the canal, and the occasional cruise ship docks here for the day, as well.
This is an interesting boat.  It delivers freight to the nearby islands, and brings their trash and recyclables to Rovinj on the return trip.  Rovinj has a mega recycling operation for paper, glass, plastic, and cardboard. 
Here comes a boat with its signature flock of seagulls.  Hmmm . . . they must have had a successful night.
Tourists and fishermen certainly make up the bulk of traffic in Rovinj, but from time to time Hollywood comes around.  International film-makers are hard pressed to find settings more romantic than this tiny Medieval town with steps that dip into the ocean and an ancient steeple that punches a hole in the sky. 

We wandered completely unaware into a shoot.  As you can see, no matter what the plot or setting for your romantic story, it takes a boat-load of sound and light equipment, the requisite hair and make-up girl and, of course, the smoldering bad boy love interest.  I haven't caught sight of the virginal young woman character yet. 
This is a good example of the upstairs-downstairs beauty of Rovinj.  That's the ocean in the photo on the left; the sky in the photo on the right.  The whole town is a Stair Master!

Just walking around town . . .

While I was inside getting a pedicure, Stanley saw a blond woman taking this this old car for a spin down the street.  Later, we saw it all ready for transport.  Perhaps it was part of the movie, or perhaps the blond just wanted to go for a drive along the wharf in Rovinj.  It's hard to tell.

Aside from the ocean and the sky and the village itself, one of the most attractive points of interest is a 100 acre wooded park with extensive trails - some travel right along the coast and others take the visitor deep into the woods, across grassy meadows, and past an old stone quarry.
The quarry was abandoned long ago, but it was the source for much of the stone used in the creation of Venice.  Today it is favorite site for free-climbing.

Back through the trees . . .

And to the wharf for white wine and calamari at our favorite fish restaurant Skiver de Marco.

I promise to ease up on the sunset pictures in the future, but I have to include this one!

More Rovinj soon!