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Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Yorkshire
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Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

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
Istria, Croatia
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1. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

What an awesome report! Thanks for taking the time to give wonderful details. So glad you enjoyed Groznjan, Motovun and Hum. They really are delightful! You have also proven it is indeed easy to drive in Istria.

Yorkshire
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2. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Thank you, yes, plenty more details and funny stories but still assimilating! Yes, it really is easy to drive in Istria, I'm not saying I'd be up to going on any bigger roads and in busier areas, but the traffic is ludicrous there, I mean like, literally a vehicle once every five minutes so nothing to get panicked about once my right hand knew what my left was doing. I was dreading the first roundabout but it was good. The fuel price at the end when we filled up was good as well, bearing in mind what it costs in the UK.

Apologies, I keep mispelling Groznjan. I'd really like to go back there, for a night, it was adorable.

Belgrade, Serbia
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3. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Well, you can always go back to Grožnjan - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obZhjAH3Nh8. ;) Thanks for your report and so nice to see you were able to switch to the correct ;) hand drive so easily. But not sure what you meant about water in Rovinj - drinking or sea water?

Yorkshire
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4. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Seawater srdjan! Never have problem drinking water from taps in Croatia. Of course we have been spoiled by crystalline water elsewhere and it is expected that by a large camp it won't be quite like that. Been home 3 days and missing Croatia and the people so much. Oh and the car. Thanks for another memento.)

Belgrade, Serbia
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5. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Yes, you must've been to some place which spoiled you. :) Though, I didn't really check the water in camps around Rovinj, but chose a rather secluded area (not to get into more details ;)), I found the sea water in Rovinj to be very clear. But again, haven't been looking too hard. :)

Yorkshire
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6. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Sea at Lumbarda in Korcula was like gin, also off Vis. Red Island and another island on a boat trip out from Rovinj had beautiful swimming. Not saying it wasn't pleasant swimming at camp but..no fish! Whereas beach in Rab there were large ones coming to surface to get bread.

Edited: 26 June 2013, 22:13
Yorkshire
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7. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Just adding some travel detail on getting to Rab. We left Rovinj on an 'early' bus, on the off chance there would be a morning connection through to Rab, but as it was, there wasn't until 2pm. We didn't mind, as Rijeka was really interesting to look around after leaving luggage at station, quite different from the tourist towns, also there was an excellent market and on the Korzo, bowls of free calamari being doled out from huge vats! We had breakfast both ways at Filodrammatica cafe on the Korzo, which had a lovely interior with chandeliers, historically where Mussolini gave a speech in 1919. The drive down the coast on Autotrans to the ferry port at Stinica was relatively painless. First time I have been on that kind of roll on roll off ferry for many years, very cute. We drove straight on, but later in the season it's easy to see that rows of cars would be waiting all the way up that hill.

We took the cat on the way back early morning 4 days later, and had to hang around for 2 hours for a bus back to Rovinj at 11.15. It was Croatia Bus this time around and unfortunately compared to Autotrans it was pretty ancient and the springs must have been last replaced under Tito. So it was a bit of a grim 3 hours. But then, to get to any island, you have to accept some suffering, well aside from the hour cat from Split to Hvar, that's as easy as it gets. Rab was worth any hassle however. It was a recce more than anything else, and next time will certainly stop for longer.

UK
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8. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Glad everything worked out for you Rosebrid and you found the driving fine. Thought about you on the flight over and wondered if you were sitting near us! I don't know what the weather was like in Rovinj when you arrived. It was certainly pretty chilly for the first 4 days where we were staying. Then the temperatures rose rapidly and continued for the next 10 days. Our last few days on Brijuni (just returned last night) was distinctly cold with the Bura blowing for a couple of days. Not much different from Yorkshire then!

Yorkshire
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9. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Hi danny, yes I wondered as well! It was coolish with a few spots of rain that Sunday in Rovinj and there was a thunderstorm that night and Monday night. Apart from that it was wonderful for the two weeks so we were very lucky compared to what it apparently had been for the previous month. Glad to hear you had good weather for the most part as well.

Yorkshire
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10. Re: Trip report, Rovinj and Rab, June 2013.

Hi danny, yes I wondered as well! It was coolish with a few spots of rain that Sunday in Rovinj and there was a thunderstorm that night and Monday night. Apart from that it was wonderful for the two weeks so we were very lucky compared to what it apparently had been for the previous month. Glad to hear you had good weather for the most part as well. Aye, you can get so many different climates in Yorkshire!

Edited: 01 July 2013, 17:34