Riding around the Istrian coast

Trip Start Jan 17, 2006
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28
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Trip End Dec 01, 2006


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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Porec was meant to be a three night stay, but because I got stuck in Zadar for a night, it was severly shortened - to two nights! I wanted to stay there for three nights because I was CouchSurfing there, which means good times with the locals and free accommodation. When I finally got to Porec, my host Marlon picked me up at the bus station and we went back to his house to have dinner and relax. It turns out that he has a deep passion for the lives and history of indigenous people all over the world, but mostly American Indians. Most of the walls in his house were decorated with pictures of Indians or artefacts from their culture. When we were watching an American TV show about Indians, one of Marlon's friends came over and tried to converse with me - in the end it was just easier for the conversation to be translated.

The first and only full day I had in Porec, I was determined to make the most of. Marlon was nice enough to lend me his bike while he was at work and I used it to ride up and down the coast and through the old town. The coast in Porec was absolutely gorgeous. There is a huge difference between the north and the south of Croatia in the way that the landscape is formed and how it looks. Down south, there is little forest, but it is still mostly green. In the north, there are cliffs everywhere and some of the islands are just big rocks in the middle of the sea. Istria is the state where Porec is and it reminded me a lot of the way that the landscape along Pacific highway looks. Hilly and lots of trees and cliffs in some places. I don't have any pictures of Croatia after Split, because it was there that the battery died. Unfortunate I know.

Along the coast, I found many 'beaches' that were cliffs that lowered into the sea. In all of Croatia, I didn't find one sandy beach. I decided that I would go swimming at said beach and try out this Adriatic water. It was a little chilly at first, but I got used to it. What I didn't like was the still water and the bed of rocks and seaweed underneath me. My swim was short lived. Call me picky, but I really love sandy beaches with waves that toss you about a bit - make it into a struggle for survival, otherwise you might as well go swim in a pool.

I rode around the old town for a while. It was really surprising as to how nice it was as it is a relatively unknown city. I would go so far as to say that the old town in Porec is equally as beautiful as the one in Dubrovnik, except for the city walls. Other than the walls, the white bricks and buildings are there and they have the nice winding back streets. There is a church there that was built during Roman times and is now a UNESCO protected area. Go check it out if you are in Croatia.

When I couchsurf, I like to give something back, which is generally me cooking a meal. As there is no real Australian cuisine, I usually make a foolproof chicken stirfry. It was really well received by Marlon and his girlfriend and they even asked me for the recipe. Fortunately for me, the recipe isn't rocket science and I could write it down quickly and easily. Yum, stirfry - I am getting hungry while I am writing this...

Other than what I mentioned, nothing noteworthy happened in Porec: it was time for me to chill out. Marlon was an absolute champion of a host and even helped me organise my next bed in Zagreb.

Before I let you go, I will mention that Porec and Istria in general is about the price that I expected Croatia to be. The south on the other hand (Dubrovnik and Split) was hideously expensive. In retrospect, I should have spent more time in the north than the south.

Signing off for now. My next entry will be a mini entry about Pula and then about Zagreb.
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