On Saturday September 29th, We sailed from our last stop, after an overnight trip, into a huge water area with many islands. Except for the lack of trees and vegetation the islands look like the San Juans with no beaches and rocky shores. After traveling into the bay some distance, trees and green vegetation appear and the islands look like the San Juans. There are small, flat round islands, without vegetation as well. We anchor in Triluke Bay which is a cove off the coast of Pasman. Close to our anchored ship is the very small village of Sali, Croatia with a year round population of 1700 people. The weather turns from overcast to sunny after we take the water taxi from the ship to shore
Just outside the jetty a boat is pulling it's net using a power block just like the ones our purse seine boats use. There is a small skill pulling the fishing boat away from net as we do in salmon fishing. However, the fish must be small because as the net comes in they jump and some jump over the cork line and escape. There are only a fee cafe's here along the water and not much to do except walk around the harbor. We take the walk and stop to have coffee before returning to the ship. The rest of the afternoon is sent doing nothing except reading and relaxing. We ate in the main dining room and went to the 10:00 pm show in the hopes it would be better then the last one we attended. A young man with the interesting name of Hyperion Knight is a classical pianist. He gave a thoroughly entertaining show with a mixture of Gershwin to the traditional classics. What was particularly enjoyable was his explanations of the music history and his dramatic playing. For the first time we stayed for the whole show.
The ship sailed on to it's next destination Rovinj, Croatia before it completes it journey in Venice. It poured rain during the night, but whenwe arrived Sunday morning the rain had stopped with a dark overcast. The harbor of this city is beautiful, with the town spread out up a hill and a church with a very high steeple. The bells were ringing for Mass on our arrival. This city is located on the Western coast of the Istrian peninsula and is an active fishing port. Rovinj was part of the Austrian Empire until after World War I. It has steep winding streets and many shops as well as outdoor cafes. Shops, bars,restaurants and homes line the narrow streets of old town. This city has close cultural ties to Italy. There are ferries and fast passenger ships that bring Italian tourists from Venice and other areas. Most residents are fluent in Italian and many either work or have worked in Italy. I decide to abandon my poor efforts at speaking Croatian and go back to Italian which works very well.
We walked from the harbor to old town and up the narrow streets. They are paved with white stones that have become rounded and smooth from years of wear and are difficult to walk on. After climbing some distance we came to a very small outside cafe where locals were drinking espresso. I stopped to have one too while Lita went on climbing towards the church. Afterwards, we walked back to the outdoor market located at harbor level. While not large, the market had rows of stalls about 50' long with everything from grapes, vegetables, mushrooms to all kinds of other items. There were bottles of olive oil in all sizes, honey jars and other similar items packaged in attractive ways. Strings of white garlic and red peppers were hanging at the stalls. Each vendor on either side of the middle aisle had things to offer as you walked down the aisle and there were vendors for each 10 to 12 foot section of the stall so if you kept walking you passed a vendor's section. Their response to this was aggressive selling. Calling out to you in different languages in hopes of hitting the right one. It reminded me of walking out of baggage in Mexico to a crowd of taxi drivers calling out to you to hire them.
if you stopped to look or touch the vendor was on you like a saddle on a horse promoting the product in the hopes of selling you before you moved on down the aisle to a competitor. This was annoying and It made it a point to act as if I were deaf. The printed prices were only for those who didn't offer a discounted amount and often the selling price was much lower then the price for the uninformed. We didn't do much haggling at all, but were offered discounts anyway. We bought some items to take home. It was a lot of fun if you don't count the vendors.
What was striking were the various kinds of mushrooms for sale. There were large ones with a yellow underside I have not seen before as well as the usual. Truffles were being sold too. The jams and honey looked very good and the items were a lot above the usual junk being sold in harbors where cruise ships come in. We walked on to an outdoor cafe where we had an excellent meal. The tomatoes were fresh and delicious for our salad. I had grilled squid with potatoes and greens. Lita order a pizza. On the way back to the ship,the large sailing cruise ship was coming in the harbor with all of its sails up. A beautiful sight to see.
That night was caviar and champagne on deck. We've managed to have caviar every night on the ship, but we didn't pass this up anyway. There was a very nice caviar section and salmon with people talking on the main deck while enjoying it. We had dinner and were in bed early.
We are in this harbor until 6:30 pm when we move on to Venice where we spend the night and then go to the airport for our flight home.