Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Roman Ruins of Pula - Croatia

After our morning in the Slovenian underground, we booked it back to the car and got on our way into country number two - Croatia! Which we'd later nickname 'tunnel land'. I wish I'd counted how many we went through.




Down the Istrian Peninsula we went to Pula. We drove to our AirBnB rental, which is managed by a girl for her parents. She lives in another city during the week, and helps her parents rent out their spare apartment in the back of their house when she's not there. Her dad doesn't speak English, but he's super nice and got us all settled. They live in a nice neighborhood a little outside the city center. When we booked the place we didn't check the wifi or air conditioning options, so this place was without either, but we survived. 

We dropped our bags and went off to explore. We parked near the amphitheater and tried not to burn up of heat stroke. And score one for us, figuring out the parking meter in Croatian. 

The Pula Arena is super old (like 68 AD old) and one of the best preserved Roman areas in the world. Not a lot of info displayed around it, so I had to read up on my own. But hey, I could pay the entry fee with my AMEX card, so that was nice. 





They were setting up a stage for some event happening later, and I danced my way across the floor to some Tracy Chapman songs. Meghan and I were also a bit sad to realize that we'd just missed the Dimensions Festival there by a day or something. Seriously, that would've been amazing. Better planning next time. 









Okay, you get it - Romans, Romans, Romans. And then a nearby church.



We got our fill of the arena, so we kept walking (after finding bottles of water and some shade. So hot outside). I popped into this little boutique and wanted to buy this bag so badly. Get it?

Cuteness.

This Golden Date is for the Sergia family, who built it to honor themselves. It's been standing since around 27 BC, and it's the gateway into the old and pretty part of the city.



It was right around here that I saw a little girl start to throw a tantrum about 'sladoled' which is about the only Croatian/Slovenian word I'd learned, and it means ice cream. I'd be wanting some too, little girl. Instead, we stopped at a pirate candy shop, where I found some of the candy that I loved in Spain and manged to buy $12 worth. Whoops. Granted, it lasted me a week, but still....




This is the Temple of Augustus, a well preserved Roman temple, though it had to be reconstructed after a WWII bombing.



Back to the car we went, in search of something else to see. This town is small - a day is plenty of time to get around, unless you're REALLY into Roman ruins.

As with most 'beaches' in the area, it's mostly hanging out on concrete. We caught some sunshine here though and people-watched. And we realized that little girls don't wear swimsuit tops until puberty.

We drove back into town after a bit and scored with the perfect parking spot. We found a place with wifi (since our apt didn't have any) and some delicious food. I went with the shrimp risotto.

We did a bit more of a walk through old town and stopped at a market for some snacks. Then back to our home, where we explored the neighborhood and walked into a nearby marina.



I remember showering here and getting water all over the bathroom - whoops. The shower nozzle was very strong and flew out of control (handheld thing, remember) and water went everywhere. Poor Meghan had to deal with my aftermath. 

It was a pretty hot night, no AC, and I left my little pillow there the next morning. Sad face. My overall Pula review - probably worth it if you want to spend more time in Istria and if you're really into Roman architecture. Otherwise, I'd skip it and keep on heading down the coast.  

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