This is going to be an experiment, so bear with me. I’m trying to document what we get up to on our travels and on our new adventure in Istria but sometimes I’m aware that I can’t do a blog about everything we do. However, I do want to have a record – you never know, there could be a book in all of this! Gerald Durrell did it. Peter Mayle did it. I might do it 😉 Going forward, I’m going to try and do a weekly round up of all the little things that might not make it into a blog of their own, but are pieces of the picture we are painting. So, here goes…
Our lovely mate, Jesse, came to stay with us in Istria, after a week sailing around the Croatian island of Murter. We love it when family & friends come to stay. Not only is it so brilliant to see them, but we get to do things we wouldn’t do normally. We’re not here on holiday, we now live here and run our design business from here, so it’s not all fun, fun, fun. *Honest*. So when we have people here, we do try and make the most of it.
The renowned Kozlović Winery is located not too far from us, in the gorgeous hills of Momjan. We’ve driven past lots of times, saying that we must visit – and this week, we did. Unlike many Istrian buildings, this winery is very contemporary and modern. Sitting on a hillside and built largely of glass and steel girders, covered with bulging vines, it looks interesting and well worth exploring.
And it is. It’s a class act. Unlike many places, we weren’t put under any pressure to buy wines or book in on a tour. We had a very pleasant bottle of rosé wine and then went off to eat – although that’s another story for another update or blog. Stari Podrum is a famous restaurant around these parts – and we stupidly thought we could stroll in at 6pm on a Tuesday evening. No chance. Fully booked. For days ahead. What a good sign 🙂
We were picking Jesse up from Murter Island, so decided to stay a couple of nights and explore. Murter is beautiful, as was Camp Rehut where we stayed. But what blew me away was the drive down. We’ve been lucky enough to tour Italy, and drive along the famous Amalfi Coast, which was spoiled for me by lots of other cars and tourist coaches. The views along this Italian road are stunning, but as you are always quite high up you don’t really feel the connection with the sea. If that’s what you want, get on the E65, the Jadranska Magistrala, where at times you are so close to the Adriatic, you could lean out of the window and put your hand into it. We drove alongside the islands of Krk and Rab and Pag and Ugljan and were just blown away. And all of this, no more than three to fours hours from our front door. Less than Manchester to London…
There are the staple places we take people to – if you come and visit, we will definitely introduce you to our favourites of Rovinj, Opatija, Pula and Grožnjan. But, with the help of family and friends, we know we can discover so, so much more about this unbelievably stunningly beautiful part of the world we call home – Istria, and Croatia.
Next week looks to be a roller-coaster week – not only are we full on with design work and house renovation, but we’ve squeezed in a night tomorrow in Rovinj to catch the Croatia v Russia game and then on Tuesday we head off to Novigrad with our neighbour Marino, to finalise the purchase of a piece of land. Wish us luck. It will most definitely not be straightforward 😉