We’ve got our first guests staying with us at the moment, friends from West Didsbury. It’s been brilliant to have people we know here and to be able to communicate, once again, without having to speak in Esperanto. In fact, being able to speak without thinking. Without having to compute in your head what might come out of your mouth. We haven’t shut up for a whole week and we think our friends might just have headaches 😉
The other brilliant thing is that we’ve sort of become tourists again, back on the road and discovering. Since we arrived at The House, our days have been a whirl of visits to various bureaucratic offices and DIY, to break up the madness, but this last week, we’ve hit the road and have made some amazing discoveries.
We’ve actually stayed in Savudrija before, but it was in December and everything (apart from our hotel) was closed. And, it was cold. This time, it was different. Savudrija is located on the most north-westerly tip of Istria, with a very distinctive landmark – the 19th century lighthouse, which is the oldest in Croatia, and the oldest operational light of the Adriatic. It’s an ancient settlement going back to Roman times – more recently, during the period of Italian rule (1922–1945), the area was almost completely Italianized and today it still retains the feel of an Italian coastal village, with road signs (like in most of northern Istria) being in Italian and Croatian. It’s a fishing village and there’s nothing more beautiful than just watching the small boats take to the water – although I’m sure that fishing for a living has enormous stresses, there is something just so serene and peaceful about it all, if you are an observer. We visited on a Monday morning, just as the village was starting to get ready for the season, so no-one else was around. Perfect…
This is another place we have visited a few times before, but always out of season, and so although beautiful, cold and deserted. We decided to let our friends see for themselves how astonishingly beautiful this little town, on the eastern side of the peninsula is – we don’t think they’ll ever see Saturday afternoons the same way again 😉 The horseshoe shaped pebble beach is small, with a few lovely restaurants and bars. But the jewel in the crown is looking out across the crystal clear turquoise waters to Riejka and Opatija to the left and the isalnd of Krk to the right. And hearing nothing but the lapping waves and fishing boats. (And not forgetting the drive down into Mošćenička Draga, which I think rivals The Amalfi Coast). Bliss…
The Secret Waterfall
I think this has been our most amazing discovery to date. We regularly take the road from Zrenj to Buje – it’s a main road, but very much in the Istrian countryside. We rarely pass another car. Today, the weather was warm and all of the car windows were down, and suddenly we heard the sound of a waterfall. Although we are high up, we are on a plateau so just couldn’t see where there could be the height for a waterfall. We took the car off the road (but still within about 50m of it) to where the sound of tumbling water was coming from – and were blown away! Standing on a little iron bridge, we looked down and there was the waterfall – cascading down into a turquoise pool, which then ran off under the road. We’d been driving over it all the time! And then as if that wasn’t enough magic, we walked a little bit further and spotted a tiny, dolls-house – which was full of books. It was a book swap, in the middle of no-where! Only in Istria – which, as we found out today, is also know as Terra Magica 😉