In Buje: a loop along the coast - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

September 19, 2020

In Buje: a loop along the coast

Another beautiful and cooler day, which is fine with us.  And another easy day, which is fine with us too.  Buje is inland, but only a few miles down to the coast.  We start with about a seven mile Mostly downhill leg to Novigrad, a less well known coastal towns - not one of the famous ones that draw the masses like Porec, Pula, Piran and especially Rovinj, the so-called Pearl of the Adriatic.

Dropping down from Buje, bound for the sea.
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This part of Istria close to the coast reminds us a bit of Tuscany. It’s not just the hills and vineyards either. The coastal strip is strongly Italian-influenced. We hear as much Italian as Croatian here, and the town names are bilingual on the road signs.
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In Istria, the ‘New Tuscany’.
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Looking back on Buje. From this vantage point, it’s easy to see its historical importance as a fortified town guarding the road between Trieste and Pula.
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From Novigrad we follow the sea northward for fifteen miles.  They’re slow, relaxed miles as we hug the coastline as closely as possible, often riding on quiet cycle paths with other bikers.  Different miles than we’ve had on this tour so far, getting us in mind for the weeks ahead on the islands.

Novigrad is small, but quite appealing. You don’t have to mix with the masses in Rovinj to find your perfect seaside retreat.
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Nice of the city of Novigrad to put this row of perches out in the bay for their full population.
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Nets on the harbor wall, Novigrad.
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Very nice. That’s still Novigrad on the left. We haven’t gotten too far here yet, which is fine. We’re in no big hurry today.
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Beautiful cycling, beside the sea, beneath the pines.
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Video sound track: Good Vibrations, by The Beach Boys

I forget where this is, but it could be anywhere along the way.
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Dalja Beach maybe?
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A closer look at the same spot, wherever it is.
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By the time we’re ready to leave the coast we’re starting to think lunch.  We stop in at a shop just south of Umag, grab some sandwiches from their deli, and take them to the bar next door to eat them at a shaded table.

Then, back up to Buje, rolling our way uphill on mostly quiet backroads.  We’re back by midafternoon, and then I head across the street to Atrij for a glass of wine and access to their fast WiFi (the service in our room is quite slow).  Rachael joins me after a bit to upload her video, and then we walk back across the street to the restaurant beneath the window of our apartment for a fine dinner.  Everyone here from staff to clients (except us, of course) converse in Italian.

Istria, the New Tuscany.  You should give it a try.

Lazy climbing back up from the coast. Starting to get on the warmish side though.
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Approaching from this side, we get our best view of Buje.
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Would you like a glass of wine with your WiFi?
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Waiting for our meal at Rondo, the best restaurant in town. Our window is directly above, and we’ll hear customers from our window well into the night.
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Our dinner at Rondo: grilled chicken with grilled vegetables; grilled sea bass in a basil sauce; and a side of grilled polenta with cheese. Grilled everything!
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Ride stats today: 36 miles, 1,800’; for the tour: 1,104 miles, 47,700’

Today's ride: 36 miles (58 km)
Total: 1,105 miles (1,778 km)

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