First, thank you all who took the trouble to reply to a couple of questions I had before this trip, especially re the driving to the hill towns in Istria! I am happy to report that it was a marvellous experience, I pre booked the car with Vetura rent a car in Rovinj and it was totally hassle free, thanks to them, we had an Opel Corsa which was great to drive. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of the gears in the right hand, but once I was over that, the driving itself was really fun, aside from the Pula number plates making a sport out of overtaking on blind bends, but we contentedly chugged along that B road up to Grozjnan. That was really stunning, a wonderful place, musicians practising in the houses and gorgeous to wander around. The countryside is glorious. I agree that Motovun was rather charmless by comparison, as everybody said, it's very impressive when you approach, but the town doesn't have a lot of atmosphere. We loved the views from there though. Finally went to Hum, and despite a coach party overwhelming it, loved the cuteness. So we were olive oiled and truffled out going back as tasted pretty much everything in the shops. Although the toll road was absolutely empty, I didn't quite get the bravery to go back to Rovinj on it, we were happy to go back along the same roads. The parking was easy and free in all three places, only the approach up to Motovun was a bit hair raising, but an attendant to help you find a space along the hill. I'm glad we did it the first week we were there, as can imagine it would get a lot busier later on. As it was, it was a relaxing day.
As for Rovinj, first time back there for us since 2007, a lot of changes as can be imagined, the new hotels of course, which we peeked at the first day, impressive but we are not hotel people, and a new boat over to Red Island rather than the homely wooden boat we remember, and twice as expensive, although we did only go there one afternoon after a very tedious bus journey back from Rijeka from Rab. Rovinj is itself as beautiful, pristine and as lovely as always, thankfully the eating out prices not changed a lot. We very much enjoyed Balbi three times, an excellent well priced menu to please everyone in beautiful surroundings, though that didn't stop the most asinine comment from one woman that I can imagine, when she asked the waiter if he had an English menu. Notwithstanding the menu is in four different languages, perhaps she wanted British food. These people really don't deserve to go to such a wonderful place. I felt embarrassed, not for the first time, of our nationality. We also liked Scuba and Sidro is always a reliable stand by. We spent most of the days at Rovinj going to Valalta on the bus from the station, and enjoying the town at night, the facilities are superb there, (prices up a bit for a day visit, expected) although it has to be said, that the water there is not the cleanest in Croatia by a long way. But as always, good for the soul to enjoy the sun and sea without a care and clothing in the company of all ages. When we returned to Rovinj on the second week it was very much busier than the first, and a bit overwhelming, I think now I like the peace and tranquillity of the islands more. As it was, it was 4 wonderful nights in Rab, which was the first time there for us. We hope to return soon to see more of the island, as it was, we spent three blissful days on Kandalora beach, very much in the minority nationality wise, but that suited us fine. We had Apartment Balda right in the old town near the main church and although were joking beforehand about the bells! the bells! actually it was just a very gentle little chime. We had booked ahead with Kristofor travel, and they were kind enough to let us off the deposit being as it was a relatively short time. Rab was what we had expected, it wasn't a town I instantly fell in love with like Hvar, more of a slow burner like Korcula, but we hated leaving in the end. We ate twice at Santa Maria, we liked the atmosphere there. It was quiet in the town, although on our last night it was getting noticeably busier. The only blot was the rather awful shopping centre near the bus station, but thankfully we didn't have to see it more than once. Rijeka was interesting passing through. The centre was nicer than I had expected. Even after 8 times in Croatia, always something new to see, to treasure, the locals are fantastic, some in Rovinj even remembered us. We were also really lucky with the weather. Thanks to Croatia for another lovely holiday.Edited: 25 June 2013, 15:08