Exploring Pula and the Amphitheatre

Day 16, Wednesday. September 20, 2017

Today was cloudy, but thankfully we didn’t have any rain.  It certainly makes a big difference in our enjoyment of the day and our walk about. This post will be a bit picture heavy, there are just so many interesting things to show you.

Pula’s old buildings are either very dilapidated looking and/or they have been colourfully painted. Here are a few of the streets we walked today.There are a few more people out and about today now that the rain has stopped.Loved these balconies with all the pots of plants. I think a gardener lives here!This is the biggest ship we have ever seen. it was way more than a block long and it is simply enormous!
We went into the Temple of Augustus, only 10 Kuna each, or $2.00 Canadian.  These huge feet were my favourite exhibit inside. They were incredibly detailed. That is my foot in black at the bottom of the picture to give an idea of their size.More narrow streets…
and interesting balconies. You must look up in these cities or you miss so much.Here are some interesting fishing boats. We noticed that they all had lots of lights for attracting the fish at night. We thought that this was illegal, but I guess it isn’t here?

We sat for a while in St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, enjoying the quiet simplicity of this cathedral. It is so different from all the very ornate churches we saw in Spain and Portugal on our last trip.I thought that the church’s Madonna was particularly beautiful This seems to be the church’s bell tower, but I am not certain about that. It is right in front of the church.Next stop is the Roman Amphitheatre that we walked around yesterday. It is the sixth largest amphitheater in the world. It held up to 20,000 spectators and was built in the 1st Century AD., so it is over 2,000 years old! Gladiatorial games were banished in the beginning of the 5th Century and after that it was neglected and gradually fell into ruin.Today this arena is used for festivals and performances in the summer months.Seems we were into ‘selfies’ today!Note the remains of an arched entrance in the foreground.There were rooms and chambers around the arena, some were used to hold wild beasts, and I am not sure what the others were used for. This animation video give a better idea of what the arena and the area around it looked like when it was intact.  The very beginning of the video looks fuzzy but it quickly gets better. Underneath the Amphitheater is a display about making olive oil with many ancient amphoras.Guess what I thought these look like?As we were leaving we saw a pair of lions guarding the entrance into the arena.Here is an artist’s print of the Arena as it is today.We found some more interesting streets to wander, and stopped for some tea and nourishment. All this sightseeing is hard work! We seem to walk between 13,000 to 16,000 steps each day according to my Fitbit. Just a few more steps than I usually walk at home.We climbed up to the Marine Museum but elected to walk around it rather than go inside.  There were some great views of the city and the Amphitheater..As we headed back to our car we were treated to the sights and smells of a little flower marketIt still seems bizarre to me that we can walk down a city street and there it is, a 2,000 year old Roman Amphitheater!

Zagreb to Pula

Day 14, Monday September 18, 2017

We were all packed and on the road by 10:30, which is really pretty good for us!  We really liked our apartment in Zagreb. it was not very big but it had everything we needed for our stay and the location was fantastic, within walking distance to everything! If you are curious you can check out this Airbnb link.

We had a four hour drive to our next destination, the town of Pula, in the area of Croatia known as Istria: Zagreb is in Central Croatia. This is one of the first views we had of Croatian homes in the countryside as we left Zagreb.

We drove through about 25 tunnels on the toll highway between Zagreb and Pula. It cost 138 Kuna in tolls, $27.60 Can. but it saved us more than three more hours of driving. The tunnels were pretty amazing. The longest one was 5,062 meters, over five kilometres long! …and there were several more that were over 1,000 to 2,000 meters long.

We stopped for groceries before we arrived at our apartment and we  found our next ‘home away from home’ with only one wrong turn. The only bad news of the day is that the weather from Amsterdam seems to be following us. We are not sure what tomorrow will be like. Oh well…

Severe Weather Alerts – Pula, Istria 

  • Red Warning for Rain

    Red Warning for Rain in effect from Tuesday, 1:00 AM CEST until Wednesday, 12:59 AM CEST. Source: Meteorological and Hydrological Service