Posted by: Stevie D | October 14, 2012

History in Istria.

It’s a strange feeling when you’ve lived by the coast all your life and then you spend several months without seeing the sea and smelling the salt in the air.

Jayney and I crossed into Croatia and headed south for the Istrian Peninsula. We didn’t realise how much we’d missed the old briney until we got our first view of it since we left Seignosse some months ago. There was a weird feeling of exhilaration, like meeting up with a long-lost friend. It helped,of course, that the friend in question was the beautiful Adriatic, glinting in the late afternoon sun as if studded with diamonds. However, I had the feeling that any sea would have done just then.

We drove down the coast to a campsite near Lovran but the site was poor and there was nothing around which caught our imaginations. So next morning we were off once more down firstly the lovely coast road which runs along Istrias north east coast, then across some unexpectedly beautiful ย mountainous terrain to the small village of Fazana near Pula, at Istrias most southerly point.

We camped at the rather quaintly named ‘Bi Village’ a huge campsite which, apart from the pitches next to the sea, was largely deserted. It had some great walks along the coast however, and we used it as a base for some amazing rides up and down the length of Istria.

The old church and village square in Fazana were a pleasant walk by the sea from our campsite.

The Limski Kanal is several miles long and would be called a fjord in many other countries.

The roads in Istria were surprisingly good, and with weather and scenery like this…..biking heaven.

We took a ride into Pula and found a city with more intact ancient history than I think I’ve ever seen. In fact, it was an altogether lovely place to visit.

The Arch of the Sergi is the first of several monuments to take the eye.

Down the road is the Temple of Augustus

To prove that size is, in fact, important, check out the Roman Amphitheatre.

Those Romans were something else. They built it 2000 years ago, and it’s still being used today.

Our rides took us through some lovely Croatian villages and finally to the southermost point at Premantura. Near there, we found a narrow walkway across an inlet which led to a tiny bar overlooking the sea. We parked the bike and went across. As we sat with a cold one watching an Egret graze in the shallow water, I realised that we were as far from home, as the crow flies, as we would get on this trip. Frankly, there were few more atmospheric places to have that thought than there, at that tiny bar.

Just an unnamed Istrian village, but passing through places like this helped make our rides a bit special.

The walkway was too tempting to ignore.

We shared a cold beer and it was a place and a moment we didn’t really want to leave.

All too soon we had to leave Istria but it is a place to which we would definitely, if the chance arose, return.

The sun sets across the Adriatic, as seen from the campsite bar.

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Responses

  1. Stunning pictures, once again! The Romans knew a little something about architecture, didn’t they!
    What’s the weather been like for you all? Are the temperatures dropping at all? From your pictures, it looks like the weather is perfect!

  2. Istria was at the end of September Shadowrun and yes, the weather was great. In fact, it’s only now that the evenings and early mornings are becoming,shall we say, a little bracing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Nice shots Steve envious ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Jim. It was a really great week we spent in Istria. Hard to leave.

  4. Pleased to see you’re back on the road again ๐Ÿ™‚ It is lovely to see all of the lovely nooks and crannies you are discovering. Avis x

    • Thanks Avis. Once you leave the tourist areas, that’s where the real country begins. Just glad to be able to see it.

  5. Hi Steve and Jayne, Great to see you back on the road. We just spent 8 days on the Cote D’Azur and are now headed to Italy. Hope you are both well. Keep riding!

    • Strangely, we left all our gear on a campsite on the Cote D’Azur whilst we were back in England. Only picked it up 4 days ago. We seem to be like ships in the night. Great to hear from you again. Hope you’re still enjoying your amazing tour.

  6. Good to see you back on the road again with some super pics. We spent a week in Avignon area earlier this year and visited a lot of Roman sites. They were amazing and interesting that it has taken millenia for the rest of the world to catch up with their building design & techniques.

  7. It’s a small world Ian. Where am I reading this? Avignon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wow. You have probably left the area now but by chance we found a bike museum, musee de la moto & du velo at Chateau de Bosc which is near Domazan between Avignon & Nimes. The owner rides a softtail and has some lovely bikes, bicycles and very interesting sculptures in the grounds. Hope its warm & sunny.

  8. Hi Both, some of the photo’s I’ve seen in real life. Istria is nice when it’s not too busy. You could have met my Mom and Dad on Bi Village, they left the site last friday!

    Enjoy Wim D

    • It was a couple of weeks ago we were there Wim and it was quiet then. Your Mum and Dad must have been the last ones standing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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