Undaunted in Poreč - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

September 16, 2018

Undaunted in Poreč

In Rovinj

We went out for breakfast today at a nearby cafe that opened at 7 - the same one I went out for coffee at yesterday.  The same young waitress served us, and she flashed a smile as she anticipated my drink order, remembering me from yesterday.  You can go a long ways on a warm smile, in my book.

Afterwards we wandered through the old city, thoroughly enjoying its colors and angles at a time when its streets are nearly empty save for early risers having a smoke on their stoop or leaning out a window to string up a wash.  It feels like a real city and not just a spectacle once most of the tourists have left the stage.  It makes me anxious to see what southern France feels like in November, when presumably the beaches will be empty and the crowds have gone home for the winter.

OK, I admit it. Rovinj really is a very beautiful place.
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Saint Euphemia Church sits Oton Rovinj’s little islet, its giant campanile towering above the town.
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The apse, Saint Euphemia Church
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All of the stained glass windows in Saint Euphemia are modern. I wonder if the originals were blown out in a war.
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You really can’t look down any of Rovinj’s narrow streets without seeing someone’s drying laundry.
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Chimneys like these that snake three or four floors up the exterior wall of their building are a characteristic sight in Rovinj.
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Cats, cats, cats! I demand equal time for dogs! Some of us are cute too, you know.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesCats, dogs, sheep, cows......it's all good.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesAnd goats and donkeys too, of course - my personal favorites. Any other important categories we’re missing here?
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonBirds are good, but they are usually too fast for me.

Flowers and plants also have a solid place in blogs.

Insects, lizards, snakes, fish, and of course, people.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyThis dog is definitely worthy of a blog appearance!!
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2 months ago

The Ride

A short ride today, to the next major attraction up the Istrian coast.  It would be even shorter if we could hop over the Lim Fjord, an eight mile finger that penetrates the coastline just north of Rovinj.   The ride has the hybrid character we’ve come to expect here - a fifty fifty blend of beautiful, relaxed riding on empty lanes and some rather more tense miles when we share the road with cars, buses and campers racing to get to their destination that precious one minute faster.

We arrive at the outskirts of Porec at one, and stop at a cafe for a lunch salad before checking into our room at two.  We’re staying in a pleasant, inexpensive apartment a bit away from the old town.  It has a lot going for it, but surprisingly does not have A/C.  We’re lucky that the temperatures have started to drop a bit, or we would have been significantly uncomfortable.

Leaving Rovinj
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We found an unpaved minor road on the way out of Rovinj, sparing us a few miles of the busy arterial road. We should probably have just slowed down a bit and spent more time on roads like these.
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Biking in Istria: when it is good, it is very, very good. But when it is bad?
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The Lim Fjord/Limski Kanal
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Spanferkel (suckling pig) is Rachael’s new favorite word, and her new nickname for her traveling mate. For some reason it throws her into a laughing fit whenever she sees it. There’s no explaining these things.
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And here is Scott’s reaction to his new nickname. You got to admit it has a nice ring to it and it’s better than being called an old boat anchor.
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Jen GrumbyThat face reminds me of one of my middle school teachers .. I think his name was Mr. Spanferkel.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThank you for that, I guess. You just made Rocky’s day.
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2 months ago

In Poreč

After lying around sweating in our un-A/C apartment for a couple of hours, we walk down to the historical town.  The greater city is quite large, sprawled up and down the beach in a string of resorts.  The walled  old town is quite small though, and confined to a tiny islet.  Sort of like Primosten, that we saw a week or so back.

It doesn’t take long to walk through town, other than to visit the magnificent Euphrasian Basilica, surely the most impressive monument we’ve seen in Croatia.  It is the reason Porec made it onto our itinerary, and it was unquestionably worth the journey.

The bell tower of the Euphrasian Basilica, Porec’s great tourism site and a UNESCO world heritage site.
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Undaunted in Poreč: the fearless Grumby bottle opener has nerves of stainless steel, and is about to dive into the Adriatic when we remind it that it can’t swim, and that stainless steel doesn’t float.
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Jen GrumbyWhew! Good thing the GBO has such diligent caretakers.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYup. It’s those years I put in as a day care teacher years ago. I’ve always got an eye out for hazards and daredevils.
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2 months ago
Old Porec has some fine old mansions, most of which have been converted into shops.
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I was struck by this image of Porec in the Middle Ages that we saw on a wall of the Basilica. Obviously a thriving place back then, but it was devistated by plague in the XVII century, and its population reduced to only 100.
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Live art
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The east wall of the Euphrasian Basilica. I was really surprised at how quiet this part of the city is. Down on the waterfront it’s quite congested, but not here,
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Rachael is claiming her own quota of food photos, so blame her for sharing her latest favorite meal with us: grilled sea bass stuffed with cheese and asparagus, with grilled vegetables on the side.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesFood photos - good !
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2 months ago
Walking back to our apartment after dinner, we stop to enjoy the best sunset of the tour so far.
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The Euphrasian Basilica

It’s late, and past my bedtime because our apartment has rather weak WiFi and it’s taken awhile to upload photos.  I’ll probably come back and add more later when we find a faster connection.  I’ll spare you my impressions of the magnificent sixth century Basilica, but if you aren’t lucky enough to come and see it for your some day, you can at least read about it here.

The entrance to Euphrasian Basilica
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Ride stats today: 26 miles, 2,700’; for the tour: 594 miles, 42,700’

Today's ride: 26 miles (42 km)
Total: 601 miles (967 km)

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