Family holiday in Lone Hotel, Rovinj, continues at a relaxed pace. Each morning Husband greets the girl at the desk with a new phrase he has learnt in Croatian. She has real fear in her eyes when she sees us approach, but he feels he is making progress and learning the local language – despite no one understanding him. Ever. The best word to learn is thank you – which sounds like “Farla”. Today the girl at the desk replied, and said something which sounds like “Ooga dan dan” We think it means: “Have a nice day.” Husband plans to practise on various shop assistants.
Last few nights we have eaten at Tipico Old Town, a cosy restaurant with an open kitchen, so we can watch them cook while we eat. They offer a couple of vegetarian options (and I recommend the stuffed courgettes!)
We hired bikes and cycled along the coast. There’s a gravel path, so it was hard going in places, but the views are fabulous. Lots of coves with local people swimming, and the cliff tops are a huge park, with trees and paths. There are climbers on the cliffs, boats on the sea, tiny islands, sunshine, pine trees…..lovely.
Drove to Restaurant Maslima for lunch. Sat under olive trees. Lots of mosquitoes in Croatia, so bring repellent. The pizzas were huge – I had a ‘mini’ one, which was normal sized, the others had ‘normal’ ones which were very large, and J chose a ‘jumbo’ one, which was the size of a table.
Menu also offered some nice looking drinks. Some were lavender flavoured – there are lots of lavender products here. I chose a lemon and ginger one.
The picture in the menu looked lovely, and it was described as being Dalmatian lemon juice with fresh ginger……
What actually arrived was a glass of tap water and a sachet of flavoured syrup. Disappointing…
Decided to walk to a bay to swim. We walked a long way (all the bays were quite crowded). Found a nice empty spot and settled onto the rocks, then noticed the sea was FULL of jellyfish. Tiny transparent globs of jelly. Didn’t swim, went back to hotel pool.
I later learned these jellyfish are also called “walnut sea jellies”. They are native to America, and often transported via ship ballast. They reproduce rapidly, and cause huge problems to ecosystems as they eat plankton, which upsets the food chain for bigger fish. Big problem for fishing based industries. However, they do not sting, so later we swam quite happily in water infested with them. It’s a little odd swimming with jelly, but not harmful.
Had a day in Pula. Huge Roman amphitheatre, which is very hot in the midday sun (just thought I’d mention that). There are some interesting chambers underground, where you can imagine the prisoners and animals being kept. There were also lots of pots. Not sure why lots of pots are interesting, but they seem to be a feature of Roman monuments.
Husband wears a hat we are all very rude about. Pula had a whole family, all dressed the same, all wearing same hats. Perhaps they get lost a lot and it makes it easy to identify them. We sent husband over to join them.
Pula also has Hercules Arch, which I was keen to see. Family led me to a variety of arches. The one I think actually IS Hercules Arch appears to be incorporated into a modern apartment complex.
Tried to have coffee and cocktails in a pretty square. Managed to have beers and nasty wine in a mosquito infested alley. Husband wished them “Ooga dan dan,” when we left. They looked confused.
Ate in Sareni Papar restaurant. This was great, if slow. Lovely stuffed peppers, served straight from the oven in a boiling hot baking dish. (Stuffed veg are, apparently, a feature of Croatian food.) Husband said “Ooga dan dan” to friendly waitress. She looked worried. Blokes drank 1L glasses of beer, sang all the way home (surprisingly tuneful) and then happily walked to the wrong hotel. A nice day.
Thanks for reading.
Love, Anne x
PS. We later learned ‘Ooga dan dan’ does NOT mean ‘have a nice day’, it means something like ‘on, and on, every day.’ Explains why no one understood Husband, though I guess he gets credit for trying.
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