Lijepa Naša Domovino – a Pictorial Blog about Croatia
As I am sure you all know Lijepa Naša Domovino is both the title and the opening line of the Croatian National Anthem. It starts:
Lijepa naša domovino; Oj junačka zemljo mila;
Stare slave djedovino; Da bi vazda sretna bila! …
The English translation is:
Our beautiful homeland; O so fearless and gracious;
Our fathers’ ancient glory; May you be blessed forever …
This is one of three blogs about Croatia. It will be mostly pictures in a fairly random order and it’s really about some time we spent there in May. Most pictures are from an area of a few square miles around our hotel including the town of Rovinj [Rovigno] and the Golden Cape Forest Park to the South. Some may come from the wider area of Istria [Istra]; the towns of Pula [Pola], Koper [Capodistria] (in Slovenia) and Trieste (in Italy) and the island of Brijuni [Brioni].
It’s an area with a complicated history and towns all have Italian names. You can see more about the area in  Istria and  Croatian Wildlife has an introduction to the Forest Park and many pictures of the animal life.
I will start with some pictures of the Hotel Eden, our home for two weeks. It was not the high season but I was up for an early trip to get shots of it empty!
The outside area was generally fairly empty.
Some views from our balcony.
Not far from our hotel is the town of Rovinj, dominated by the tall tower of it church on a hilltop.
It used to be an island town and the little circle of the old town projects into the sea.
Here is the arch to the old town, shown from both sides.
It’s a steep climb up to the Church of Saint Euphemia.
The houses within the old city look largely unchanged.
We couldn’t get near to this chimney in Rovinj but I think it’s from an old factory that may have something to do with tobacco.
The last buildings shown here are an old house in the Forest Park, the castle at Miramar, near Trieste, and a bell tower in the town of Koper in Slovenia.
Here are some pictures that might have appeared in  Clocks.
The first clock tower was prominent at the centre of Rovinj. Others include pictures from Koper and Trieste.
The last one is a large sundial on the side of a building.
This really was a diversion. Until recently you could walk from the hotel along the sea edge to Rovinj. It was a pleasant scenic walk. Now if you try it you come to a fenced-off area with cranes and building works as another nearby hotel is being re-built. The new building will include a new marina so there is no way along by the sea. The diversion is quite a steep climb of a hill taking you almost back to the hotel where you started.
The quick way is out of the front of the hotel where Rovinj is still a short walk away. It’s just not quite so pretty.
The Forest Park
We often walked in the Park. Here is one entrance and the walk down by a high stone wall.
Further on is another entrance and the roads inside are well managed.
The last picture above shows a walk along by the sea. Below is I think what we might call a folly.
There are nest-boxes for birds and others for bats!
There were also the remains of extensive Venetian quarries.
Most of the trees of the Forest Park and elsewhere were pine trees, sometimes almost horizontal as they leaned over the sea. Olive trees were also common.
This olive tree at Brijuni is over a thousand years old.
The pine cones are a colourful orange as they emerge.
Rock Rose (Cistus) was common but there were other wild flowers.
Here are some of the goods on sale at the local market and in the shops.
For my last pictures of Rovinj here are some from the climb up the tower and some views from the top. The stairs were narrow, wooden and old with large gaps between them.
Wikipedia says it is known locally as the Arena but we all called it the Coliseum because of its similarity with the one in Rome.
There must have been a way inside but I just walked round the outside.