Our last day of cycling in Croatia was stellar. The weather was perfect for biking- cool and sunny. We didn’t get lost. The bikes worked great. We continued to enjoy the stunning scenery of this loveliest of places. Our cycle ended in the seaside city of Rovinj.
Dave takes a break in Rovinj as my brother-in-law Ken tries to find directions to our guest house on his phone.
With my sister in front of the Baron Gautsch Guesthouse in Rovinj
Our guest house here is called The Baron Gautsch. It is named after a ship that sank during World War I. The Baron Gautsch was a merchant vessel that had been pressed into service by the military to transport evacuees to safer destinations. That’s what it was doing on August 13, 1914, taking refugees and the families of military personnel from Kotor to Trieste, Italy.
A mural of the sunken ship on a window in our guest house. The Baron Gautsch wreck near Rovinj is popular with divers.
Due to an error by an inexperienced second officer left in charge of the bridge, the Baron Gautsch ran into a minefield and it sank in just a few minutes. Sadly 130 people, most of them women and children, drowned. Many of the crew survived and were accused of different acts of negligence including putting themselves into the lifeboats before the passengers.
Drawing of the Baron Gautsch in the hallway of our guesthouse
After checking into our guesthouse we went for a stroll through the city. Rovinj has been inhabited for thousands of years and has been in the hands of the Romans, the Venetians, the Austrians, the Italians, the Yugoslavians and now is part of Croatia.
Rovinj is a tourist mecca and the harbour was crowded with boats. Most of them were leisure craft but we also saw some people working on repairing their fishing boats.
Dave and Ken survey Rovinj
The sea wall is crowded with restaurants advertising fresh fish and even in the ‘low season’ now in October, there were plenty of tourists walking the sea wall with us. I wrote yesterday about how every city or town in Croatia used to have a tree at its heart which served as a meeting place for residents. Sure enough, I found that tree in the centre of Rovinj. We stopped for a gelato break and sat by the seaside to people watch and enjoy our cones. Dave insisted his pistachio cone was the best.
View of Rovinj from our guesthouse balcony
We had e-mailed our friends Bruno and Caroline whose children lived in Rovinj for several months and we had dinner in a restaurant they recommended. It was a good choice. I took this photo of Dave actually walking by a wine and spirits shop in Rovinj. He has been on a bit of a quest in Croatia to find the best brandy. He has already tried mint, mistletoe, cherry, plum, pear and peach and really wanted to get another kind to try from this shop, but realized since it is our last day in Croatia that he wouldn’t have time to finish even a small bottle. So he walked on by!
And just like that our bike trip is over. Tomorrow our cycling company will come to take our bikes back. Dave wondered if he shouldn’t scratch his initials into his bike somewhere since he has become quite attached to it in the last week.
Pearl Harbor – Sleeping with Torpedoes
House Barns and Gelato