May kicks off a series of public holidays, most of which land on a Thursday, Friday or Monday. It’s not really a deliberate routine, but we usually end up taking a short trip some where when one of these long weekends arrives.
One of the things I love about living in Europe, and specifically Munich, is that you can drive 4 to 5 hours in any direction and be in another country; The Czech Republic, Austria, Italy(!), France. Over the last couple of years though, we’ve taken a particular shine to making a beeline directly south to Slovenia and Croatia.
Last year we spent time on the gorgeous Istrian peninsula in Croatia. We stayed in the charming town of Rovinj, which is a straight shot across the Adriatic from Venice. This is actually where we trying to go last year, but couldn’t because I didn’t think to bring my Passport, but that happy accident led us to discover the delightful town of Piran, Slovenia.
Rovinj is a small fishing town, which at times it feels like Italy. Indeed, both Italian and Croatian are spoken, and many Italians commute in from Trieste. We heartily glugged down both delicious wine (the region is known for it's white wine, Malvasia) and olive oil - we even went olive oil tasting!
One day we took a day trip to the town of Pula. Pulas claim to fame is an almost fully intact Roman coliseum. Not as large or spectacular as the one in Rome, but still an impressive sight.
A bizarre and wacky highlight was a ferry trip out to Brijuni island. The island was a holiday refuge for Tito, the former Yugoslavian dictator (and avid nudist). He would host diplomats and dignitaries on it’s spacious grounds, also full of Roman ruins.
Dozens of petrified dinosaur (Velociraptor?) prints can be found on the stone beaches of the archipelego of islands of with Brijuni is a part of. As a result, the island has earned the name ‘Jurassic Park’ (for effect they've placed giant plaster dinosaurs by the actual footprints).
To our utter delight you could rent golf carts to tour the island and we had a blast zipping around the place. I'd never been on a golf cart before in my life, who knew they were so much fun?!?
This year we’re heading to the Julian Alps in Slovenia, stay tuned for another Ausflug update!