Due to the weather forecast of warm temps and rain, my birthday day trip back in January ended up being a little journey to Rovinj on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula. (Originally it was to be Plitvice Lakes in the snow, but that trip got postponed. CLICK HERE to read all about when we WERE able to go to Plitvice in the snow!) Rovinj is about an hour and a half drive away from Miloš’ home town of Crikvenica.
Istria is the peninsula at the top of Croatia’s coastline, right next to Italy. The area is well known for its history, natural beauty, and food and wine.
We left midday and made it there with no troubles. The route there is mostly main roads and highways. The town is situated on the edge of the sea and rises up in the middle, like a natural tower. Crowning the old town’s point in the center is its historic church.
Before entering the old town, we had a drink at a cafe by the marina and enjoyed a little bit of the day’s only sunshine. Here are a few photos from around the marina area of the town:
As we walked, we started looking for some of the restaurants we had read about on Trip Advisor. We were hoping to try out a new place to eat. But the more we walked around, the more we noticed that this town was truly closed for winter. We thought that perhaps there might be something in the old town, and it’s not like we were looking to eat right then – we were just scoping the area out for later.
The old town was really quite lovely. Due to the fact that this part of Croatia is right next to Italy, the architecture reflected that, and reminded us a bit of Venice.
We explored the little narrow streets and continued our climb up to the town’s pinnacle. Just like many of these pedestrian old towns, Rovinj had many adorable feline inhabitants.
But there were certain residents that stole our hearts more than others. We met two of the sweetest little baby kittens you ever did see! One was black and white, and the other was calico. They followed us around as we walked up the cobblestone street, meowing and vying for attention. They clearly had eye infections and needed some medicine, but it didn’t seem to slow them down. They were so charming and adorable! The calico was especially courageous and followed us all the way up to the church yard area at the top of town. She made her little mewing sounds and rubbed against our legs. We were worried that she was walking too far away from her home base, and tried to ignore her so she would walk back home. All that did was make her stand her ground and meow even louder, in her high-pitched kitten voice. Oh how I wanted to be able to take these kittens home with us, but alas, we couldn’t.
We continued our walk around the narrow streets of Rovinj, looking to see if we’d have any luck finding a restaurant. While walking down a narrow alley, we came across an old man who looked to be the stereotypical traditional fisherman type. He walked us along to show us a restaurant that he thought would be open. Turns out, we had already seen that one, and it WAS open during the off-season. But it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and this particular day was a Tuesday. We admitted defeat and acknowledged that dinner would not be in Rovinj, and we’d just have to stop in Rijeka on the way back home to eat somewhere there. (Rijeka is a hopping city all year round.)
Our few hours exploring Rovinj were very nice, and I got some great pics to show for it. I’d definitely be interested in visiting again during the warmer months to see more of what it has to offer.
p.s. I’m STILL thinking of those adorable little kittens!
Here are some more pics from our day!