Exploring Istria – National Park Brijuni

From Bale, it was an easy day trip to the island of Brijuni, a place we had long wanted to visit. Since the 1990s it’s a National Park that anyone can go to, but before that, it was the summer residence of Yugoslavia’s President Tito and off-limits to all but government officials and foreign dignitaries.…

Clocktower

Rijeka in a day

Rijeka is known as the city that flows (grad koji teče). Not just for the Rječina river, but it seems they also have more rain here. Another thing we learnt about Rijeka is that its museums and galleries, several of which we planned to visit, are closed on Mondays. We arrived on a Sunday evening…

Mala Paklenica from across the bay

The Adriatic Highway and Mala Paklenica canyon

We’re following part of the beautiful Adriatic highway up the coast from Split to Rijeka, the Jadranska Magistrala in Croatian or more prosaically the D8. Various earlier sections of road were connected up during 1945-1965 to form a complete coastal route from Trieste via Rovinj and Pula all the way down to the Albanian border.…

Korčula east side

A tasty trip to Korčula

Korčula’s Pjatanca – the annual Spring Food & Wine Festival that takes place at the end of April, offered a fine excuse for a little overnight  expedition to our neighbouring island. Arriving on the morning catamaran, we get all day to explore the old town before the special dinner and wine pairing event, and then…

St Martin

Exploring Istria: Beram’s beautiful frescoes

Our final cultural destination in Istria (at least for this trip) is a visit to the truly wonderful frescoes in Beram. These are not in the parish church in the town centre, but in a tiny chapel in the graveyard, just a little way out of town. This is the church of St Mary on…

West gate - from outside

Exploring Istria: the bronze age town of Monkodonja

There are over 300 Bronze Age hillforts around Istria, of which Monkodonja is one of the most impressive. Not simply for the glorious location  and the massive defensive walls, but the careful interpretive boards that really help you to visualise what it was like when it was inhabited. Monkodonja means Quince Mountain in the local…