Following Celtic Ways

Ramblings and reviews by John Willmott as he travels the Celtic Ways and Waterways visiting hidden ancient Celtic temples, sacred wells, and provoking legends .... plus music and theatre along the way

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Croatia: Day 2 - Rovinj

by John Willmott of Celtic Ways

The sail to Croatia was like crossing a huge bath. I cannot remember seeing such stillness in the sea. Unfortunately due to time constraints we could not raise and use the sails due to little wind. The Adriatic is a very blue sea, quite a delight. As I write this we have just been greeted by jumping dolphins, but alas my camera was not set to capture the moment.

Our first stop was to a wonderful peaceful northern Croatia town, said to be of 35,000 people, but looked much smaller. I have rarely experienced the peace we enjoyed at this stop. Rovinj seemed like an untouched market town. The open air market seems to be a daily trading experience from early morning until evening with food and household items at prices unbelievable to a western European budget. I could not resist buying a huge bag of cherries for the equivalent of under two euros that would have cost me at least 10 times more in Ireland.

After the abundant and priceless input from Venice it was wonderful to arrive in a "normal" small town in glorious Mediterranean summer weather along with a feeling of calm and peace. It seemed like an "undiscovered" town and there no evidence of "fleecing" the tourists. I gather there are many events such as concerts and regattas in July and August, but for June it was a welcome peace.

The local people are not instantly warm, friendly and welcoming as in Ireland. This must be due to suspicion after a couple of generations of horrific and cruel war. However, if you approach them with friendliness and hospitality they return it back unconditionally and with enormous gratitude.

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