Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Croatia June 2017: Post 1

To Croatia for a week's break. We flew into Pula in the Istrian province and then headed some 40 miles to the north to our villa in Barat, a hamlet in the rolling hillside to the east of Porec. A few photographs to give a flavour of our first few days.
The ancient Roman town of Porec in the evening light. It is confined to a small peninsula, although there is quite a lot of newer development 'inland'. The old town is dominated by the campanile/bell tower of the 6th Century Euphrasian Basilica (more of which to come in another post, possibly).
Yachts off Porec as the light begins to fade.
The hilltop town of Motovun, fortified by the Venetians in the 14th Century. Within the walls are a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic buildings and narrow cobbled streets.
Relatively newer houses have sprung up higgly piggly on the slopes leading up to the old town of Motovun.
Inside the Church of St Stephen at Motovun.
Up until the end of WW2, Istria was part of Italy but was ceded to Yugoslavia as part of the reparation package. There are two formal languages, Croation and Italian. All road signs show them both: Croation on top.
A male Common Blue butterfly, looking unusually elongated because of the camera angle.
Not absolutely sure what this one is but it's either a female Common Blue (yes, I know what you are thinking) or a Brown Argus. However, give the number of male Common Blues around, I'm going with it being a female of that ilk.

A  Boskarin bull, a rare and ancient breed. There is an active breeding programme to maintain this important genotype. Up close, they are big animals. And the golden balls on the top of the horns are a characteristic of the breed, or so I'm told.
Looking towards the peninsular town of Rovinj, dominated by the Church of St Euphemia. Rovinj was originally an island but was connected to the mainland in the mid 1700s.
The market at Rovinj, featuring the most abundant Istrian products - wine, honey, olive oil and truffles. The province has been reknowned for the first three since Roman times but truffles have been quite a new addition. Some say their popularity dates back only as far as the 1930s.
The statue of St Euphemia atop the pinnacle of the church tower. It is mounted on a set of ball bearings and is functions as a rather grand weather vane.
There's a story behind these odd shaped door posts. Apparently the house was built by Guido Stupido, a carpenter who thought that he could only carry his lengths of wood sideways. One day someone pointed out that there was another way of doing it....
In the absence of a garden, stringing your washing across the street is as good a way as any of getting it dry.

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