Sunday, June 30, 2013

We Will, We Will Rab You!

We finally left Istria behind to begin our trek down the Croatian coastline.   And what a coastline it is: over a 1000 kilometers long, and over 1,400 islands.   Somehow we had to count them all!

We rounded the northern edge of the Kvarner Gulf, which set the stage for much of the coast that would follow: steep, barren mountains that pushed right up to the water's edge; narrow, winding roads carved into them at unknown expense; a maze of waterways and islands, some filled with fleets of boats and others vast and empty.  

Not for the first time, the islands themselves would remind us of Washington's San Juans, with their complex ferry schedules and quirky hamlets, crossed with the weather of Baja California.   The landscape alternated between lush vegetation and total desert, depending on exposure to the Bora, a salt-laden northern wind capable of extinguishing any life form larger than a lizard.

A surprisingly efficient ferry crossing took us to the island of Rab, where the iconic four-towered Old Town would be our home for the next few days.

Once again, Mrs. Falvy scored on the accommodations.   As views from one's balcony go, it was hard to beat this one.  

The view of the harbor wasn't bad, either.

It was also an excellent place from which to blow bubbles at terrestrial tourists below.

Rab also happens to be ground zero for a phenomenon with which we would become increasingly familiar in coming days: FKK, the German initials for Freikorperkultur (Free Body Culture).   We will let you use your imagination about what that might entail, at least for the moment.   But we began to notice lots of signs for FKK beaches, campgrounds, and even water taxis, existing in happy parallel to the amenities for less free bodies like our own.


That's Istriatainment!

For most visitors, a stroll or two around the Old City of Rovinj must suffice before catching a boat to Venice or moving up or down the coast.   But, having a little more time to work with, we were able to sample some of the myriad entertainments the town has to offer.

Like the fish pedicure.  There's nothing like getting dead flesh nibbled off your feet.

How relaxing!   Well, at least it wasn't live flesh.


There was plenty of exotic dining for people, too.

And plenty of opportunities to take revenge against fish.

At night, a convention of thousands of salsa dancers kept hips swaying and speakers thumping.


By day, you could do a little rock climbing....

... or tackle some softer structures.

You could just take it easy and bask on the rocks.

Or drink in the scene in other ways.

After a hard day taking in the sights, it was important to relax a bit....

... and take in another Adriatic sunset.

And, to top it all off, you could try to escape through the city gates in your car.   It's easier than getting a camel through the eye of a needle, apparently.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Team in Rovinj

After the semi-aquatic labyrinth of Venice, the little town of Rovinj initially appeared like a fairly straightforward place.   However, its narrow streets, though mostly dry, proved sufficiently complex to keep us occupied for several days.