Pula: A Week in Paradise
This is the Adriatic Sea. And, this is what we did for the entire week. There was some island exploring and mixing with the Istrian locals, but for the most part we just floated. And it was mahhvelous.It took us a little while to figure out what roads were on this little peninsula, so we ended up lost...quite a bit. Thankfully so, because we stumbled upon this quiet, little cove on the first day that had a perfectly untouched, natural beauty and declared it our favorite. There was one other group that must have felt the same way, because they set up shop with a leaf-covered fort that looked pretty permanent. We were highly impressed.We had a fool-proof agenda everyday:
wake up // head to a cove // grab a beer and float to the middle // repeat.
Sometimes we'd pack a lunch or sometimes we'd run back to the flat for a quick bite, before we'd move on to another beach. We tried different coves, but ultimately decided that first quiet one we stumbled upon was just our type...perfect for maximum floating agendas.The locals seemed to be impressed with the Stoja area..it was wonderfully picturesque, if a little too populated for our tastes...wink.At the southern most tip of the Istrian peninsula lies the Kamenjak National Park. The combination of the cliffs and the turquoise water around that park...man. We tried out multiple spots along the coast, guided by the amount of clothed humans.On the last day, we took a break from all of that floating and toured the town of Pula. It holds the incredibly preserved, 6th largest Roman amphitheater, Pula Arena. Apparently, they hold shows and concerts inside. I'm pretty sure that would be the ultimate date night - dinner on a yacht in the Adriatic and movie in the arena. Honey, take note.The day was a scorcher, so after a tour through the arena and a run through midtown to find a patch for our aging travel bag (the 'Dad bag' as I like to call it when J keeps snacks in there. So prepared that one.), we moved right along to the town of Fažana to catch a boat ride out to the Brijuni Islands.Talk about exotic. There are dinosaur footprints scattered around the largest of the 14 isles. Before it became a Croatian National Park with these fabulous striped creatures, the island was the personal State Summer Residence to then Yugoslavia's president, Josep Broz Tito. Guy liked animals. While entertaining visiting heads of state they'd often bring him a new little pet to add to his collection. Indian elephants, cougars, goats, pretty much anything.We rented a flat just outside of Pula in Štinjan, it was our first Airbnb experience, and, it was awesome. Place was: 1 - huge, 2 - brand new, 3 - air conditioned, 4 - close to our favorite beaches, and 5 - had the best hosts we could have hoped for. Ingrid and Franco made us feel so at home and we were so excited to have them accept our invitation for drinks on our (their?) balcony one evening. They shared stories about growing up in the area, how they met (Annie's standard question when meeting new couples), and brought us a giant platter of deserts from their bakery on the ground floor. Hearts, won. As beautiful as everything was during our visit, staying at their Villa YoYo was the best, and if you make your way down to Pula (trust us, you should), a stay with Ingrid and Franco is recommended.that feeling? why, that feeling is called bliss.
This post is part of a two week long road trip around central Europe. Check out the other stops on our trip: