Thursday was our last day in Istria. We’d really enjoyed the scenery and towns we’d visited inland, so decided to head northeast. The mountain scenery was lovely on the drive. The roads were almost empty, and it wasn’t until talking to someone later in the day we discovered in was Croatian Independence Day, so many people weren’t working.
Oh, want to buy the 20 million dollar yacht that sailed into Rovinj?
I knew that Motovan is a town that gets the most guidebook mention and visitors, so figured we’d head toward the smaller places instead.
The first was Roc, a tiny village on top of a hillside. It was eerily quiet as we walked around.
The town has two medieval town gates still remaining, one has an overly whitewashed plaque giving the date 1064. And inside the gate are the remains of a Roman Lapidarium.
We found the minuscule church of St. Anthony the Monk, closed up tight. We circled back to find the tourist office actually open, and the bored young man behind the desk went off to get the keys to the town’s two out of three churches, and gave us a nice little tour. He first took us to the 14th century St Roch Church, with frescoes of St. Anthony nad the Apostles.
Inside St. Anthony’s are the Roc Glagolitic Alphabet frescoes, 14th century frescos using the local Glagolitic writing that was developed in the 12th century.
After Roc we visited Buzet. We parked near the town cemetery, and walked up to the town along the old walls. Or rather, climbed up the steep stone steps. In retrospect, we could have driven up, since there was some parking at the top in the village. Ah well, we needed the exercise.
Another lovely, silent village. There was a woman washing her carpet on the Renaissance fountain, as you do.
I’d found somewhere a reference to a nearby restaurant, so we headed toward Konoba Doline in Gradinje. For the first time in a restaurant, we were surrounded by people only speaking Croatian, large family groups having a holiday lunch. We started with a delicious soup of beans and vegetables, and then each had a pasta, made with homemade fusi noodles. Mine was tossed with truffles; Larry’s in a sauce (after the waiter and us tried three languages to find the word) wild boar. Both wonderful. We were offered a plate of two little pastries with the bill. We were driving, so refused the grappa.
For the afternoon, we lazed on a rock shelf town beach at Novograd. I loved this little girl who spent an hour silently maneuvering rocks, branches and water, trying this and that as she played.
For dinner we ate up the street from the apartment, at the ten-table Dinocastiel. Very good octopus salad followed by a fish platter for two, with absolutely delicious fish and seafood. We enjoyed talking with a woman at the next table who owns a dance studio, in town for the Salsa Festival.
A last gelato, and to bed.
Oh, for your amusement, a local advertisement. Is this a thing?