If the Dalmatian Islands have so many yachts that "there is nowhere for an apple to fall", then on the Istrian coast the atmosphere is much quieter. Take advantage of this great opportunity, as the largest peninsula in the Adriatic has a lot to offer.
Istrian Peninsula, Croatia
Cappuccino with James Joyce
Umag town considered a Mecca of tourism in Istrien... Whenever possible, I try to avoid such crowded travel spots. And yet this evening I am strolling through the small streets of the old part of the city. The reason for this was the capricious weather that reigned a couple of days ago, because of which the whole sky is covered with low gray clouds. In a region dominated by the Bora and Yugo winds, you never know what surprises to expect from the weather. So I decided to stop at the nearest safe port - in the Umag Marina (Umag), which is the largest in the whole of Croatia.
Istrian Peninsula, Croatia
There is a town just a few miles south of Novigrad, in the port of which we arrived the next day. There are free parking spaces in the marina and the pier. But we had a desire to relax and retire, so we decided to stand on one of the buoys located far from the coast. We had not yet lowered the boat into the water when we were already asked to pay for the stay. True, they asked very friendly, and the fee was very reasonable, so while walking around the city we did not have to deny ourselves a cup of coffee, which is simply delicious here. He gave us energy, and we needed it to climb the steep and very narrow stairs to the top of the church bell tower.
No travel guide will forget to mention the market at Valdibora Square. Here you can find everything you need for a galley kitchen and more. And at very reasonable prices.
In the fabulous light of the sunset, the harbor stretches before us, like a kingdom of silence and peace. And on the other side, the medieval city center beckons with its tavern lights, as if inviting us to end this wonderful day of travel there.
It was not difficult for us to choose a suitable place, because we decided in advance: today we want to try the national Croatian cuisine! But if you ask me how I was impressed by such dishes as Cevapcici (Cevapcici grilled sausages made from ground meat), Raznjici (a kind of shish kebab) and Pljeskavica (round flat cutlet), I would say “boring”.
The very next evening I had to change my mind about Croatian cuisine. Go to Porec did not particularly tire us, because it was more like a walk in a light wind, which did not want to gain full strength. With great enthusiasm, we rush into the crooked streets of the old city in search of a restaurant in order to be in time before the "rush hour", when all the tables are full.
When placing an order, I try to remember all my knowledge of Italian, because the language of the occupiers who occupied this area between the First and Second World War is still understood in Istria. And it is not surprising that Italian flags are gradually beginning to replace the colors of the red-white-red flag, which has been dominant in ports and marinas for a long time.
In the medieval streets of Porec, you immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the past centuries
I can understand Italians. Take, for example, grilled octopus garnished with potatoes and chard. It's just a poem! In addition, few coastal cities in Italy can boast such a compact cityscape as Porec... In its narrow medieval streets, you risk getting lost, and in its many cafes and bars you can literally drown. If you suddenly feel lost in the late evening, then use the hint that my friend once gave me. "All roads lead down to the embankment", he said philosophically.
But still a real gem Istrien is an Rovinj... For me personally, there is only one parking place - this is a place near the northern breakwater, where a narrow strip of land serves as a kind of bridge to the old part of the city, which is very much like a separate island. When I was here last time, only large yachts could afford this luxury: too strong wind was blowing in their berths. But today, a light southwest breeze invites us to stay here and helps our yacht to pass along the facades of houses located in the old part of Rovinj and steeply rising above the sea. The bow mooring buoys are free and the quay wall rings are eagerly awaiting when we anchor our yacht's aft mooring lines in them; there is only one hindrance and that is the numerous pleasure boats.
Whole crowds of people wander through the alleys of the old city, heading for the cathedral. However, due to the fear of heights, not everyone is able to overcome the steep climb to the tower, which resembles the famous bell tower of St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice. Therefore, there is no room for jostling on the observation deck of the tower.
From here we can see that in the southern harbor there are free places only at the customs berth, that is, even in such an expensive marina, there are almost no free parking spaces left, and that the bays in the south of the city, where it would be possible to anchor, are too far from the coast ... During breakfast we were very surprised that so far no one has come to pay for the luxurious seat our yacht has inherited. Therefore, I send a friend to the port administration, providing him with documents for the yacht and a decent amount of money from the on-board cash desk. Soon he returns and says: “The parking space is free. We are grateful for the displayed consciousness and wish you a pleasant stay. " Well, for such a friendly attitude, it is not a pity and a good tip.
Free parking spaces
In Pula We did not find much hospitality. After we moored at the shipyard and demanded an exorbitant fee from us, we returned back to the bay. Anchorage here is not free, we realized that when one of the harbor master's assistants rushed to us and demanded 80 kuna (10 euros). We felt that this price was quite acceptable for a "box seat" right in front of the local amphitheater, which is one of the best preserved. However, this majestic structure is not the only relic of the times of the Roman Empire here. On Republic Square located temple of august, built almost two thousand years ago. A Arch of Sergiuslocated at the end of the street Prvog maia, marks the border of the old part of the city.
There, in one of the cafes, I was honored to sit at a table with myself James Joyce... This bronze gentleman is very silent, and it does not surprise me that he does not answer my question, how he was brought to this naval base, which he himself called "Spiritual Siberia" of Austria-Hungary... Maybe this is better, because Joyce was known as a great beggar, and now I have a hard time with money.
Thunderstorms are common in the northern Adriatic during the summer months, and weather forecasts are poor. Therefore, if cumulus clouds form in the sky, open parking areas should be avoided and poisoned into well-protected bays or marinas.
We already knew from the guide that Pula port far from fragrant with roses. But there was nothing said about the fact that this is a real breeding ground for mosquitoes. Therefore, the next day we stayed away from the coast. Interesting town Medulin protects against the influx of yachts by prohibiting anchorage, and in the bay Portic Parking buoys are subject to a charge. So we headed to the south side of the island Bodula, where we are trying to anchor to a depth of 6 meters on a silty bottom overgrown with algae.
After several attempts, we succeed. The next day we said goodbye to the east coast of Istria and headed towards the island Cres... However, this had nothing to do with the unattractiveness of the ports and anchorages in Istria. We just need to return the yacht in the city's marina Punat... There is no gas station, and in the port Krka (Krk) not many yachts manage to make their way to the gas station. Therefore, we decide to take the opportunity to fill the tank in Cres. And we do not regret it. The last free parking lot at the city pier seems to have been reserved for us. Finally, a platter of fish, combined with a fine white wine, was the final culinary touch to complete our journey. What more could the heart of a yachtsman want?
Text and photos: Karl Victor
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