Objects in the mirror…

Every road trip that Mr.A and I brings so many transient moments like this one captured in the side view mirror of our car, when we feel we own the road, the landscape, the world! And they make me wish if only I could hit a pause button and hold on to this feeling a little longer. But as they say, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, so are those memories held closer in our minds than we know, and they come back to us at inadvertent occasions to surprise us and bring a smile on our lips…

In response to the weekly prompt “Transient” on The Daily Post.

There’s more of the weekly photo challenges on Sunny District, hope you enjoy them, too!

Where has she been?

I’ve been right here all along! But what this post is really wants you to know is that¬†Sunny District has a new page¬†where I share links to all the places I have been to & written about. Just click on the link ‘WHERE SHE’S BEEN‘ below the header image and read about my travel stories. I know¬†there are some countries I am yet to talk about, but I’m going to close that gap soon, soon… I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Croatia Day 7, 8 : Zagreb

… Continued from Croatia Day¬†6: Motovun, Hum
We spent most of Day 7 on the road, stopping here and there, at no particular destination. The drive from Hum to the capital Zagreb was  about 200km, we finally arrived at our apartment hotel by sundown and settled in for the last leg of our awesome Croatian road-trip.

Highlights

  • Next morning the plan was to walk through Zagreb’s Upper Town. Mr.A and I started our tour at the¬†Ban Jelańćińá Square &¬†the ManduŇ°evac Fountain. Next, up to the Kaptol dominated by the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then onto the colorfully umbrella-ed Dolac Market where local farmers bring fresh produce every day of the week. Strolling through¬†the happening Tkalciceva Street, we passed¬†under¬†the¬†Gradec Stone Gate, dating back to the 1200’s. Here locals and tourists light candles to the Virgin Mary even today. Next stop was the colorfully¬†tiled St.Marks¬†Church. We toured Gradec some more, listening to piano music floating in from a ballet school, such a pleasant¬†touch to our afternoon! And then ended up somewhere in the Lower Town. The final high-point was the fun funicular ride up to the¬†Strossmayer promenade. At the top, we were¬†enchanted by the bird’s eye-view of the city warmly¬†lit by¬†the setting sun.
  • Tkalciceva Street¬†(pronounced tkal-chee-tseva) needs special mention when one is talking about Zagreb. This is the city’s hep street lined with scores of restaurants, cafes and fast-food joints that to satisfy any craving you might have. Of course, the cuisine is not limited to Croatian food, but a large variety from all over the world. This is where you will find the best dressed Croatians sipping on their coffee, meeting friends and family, hanging out with friends, and generally enjoying the good life. Mr. A and I happily joined the scene strolling through to the very end.We even witnessed some sort of horse procession! We rewarded ourselves with an excellent lunch and coffee ūüôā
  • You might have noticed that I have a thing for street-art¬† ūüėČ and Zagreb had lots to offer on that front. Zagreb’s prominently young population is owed¬†to its universities that¬†attract students from not only the rest of Croatia but also neighbouring countries. As such, it is not surprising that graffiti show up on its walls as an expression of the young voices. Also, there are several inspiring installations all over the city in the form of sculptures &¬†statues.

And that brought us to the end of our amazing week in Croatia, the fascinating, versatile land of natural & cultural wealth. We could wish to stay on much longer, but it was time to head back to new adventures. And there is always a way back to places we love, isn’t that right?!

Croatia Day 6: Motovun, Hum

… Continued from Croatia Day 5 : Pula, Rovinj

Carrying forward on our Croatian road-trip, from the quaint seaside towns of Pula and Rovinj, we drove towards the center of the Istra Peninsula, up through the hills, into the town of Motovun.

Highlights

  • Motovun¬†is a tiny mountain village with a medieval history¬†in the heart of the Istra Peninsula. It is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is so small that the city wall can be traced in about ten minutes. No kidding. Hotels and restaurants share walls with the ancient fortress and everything seems to be part of a harmonious whole. The town is fabled to be protected by the gentle giant, Veli¬†JoŇĺe.¬†Since it is nestled atop a hill, the uninterrupted view of miles of green forests and plains is a treat for the eyes. This is a place where you do nothing, just soak in the atmosphere and be happy!
  • Truffles and wine.¬†Motovun’s grapes yield grapes for delicious local wines. Our hotel had a selection that we could buy from. We enjoyed a heavenly¬†ros√© on the balcony by the sunset. We surely will remember that for a long time ūüôā¬†The region is also famous for its truffles, the most expensive mushrooms in the world. They are locally called ‘tartufi’. A small area of the surrounding forests are home to white and black truffles that have such a fine aroma that they have to be¬†hunted by specially trained sniffer dogs. Some excursions allow visitors to join such a hunting trip.¬†Most¬†restaurant dishes incorporate truffles in some form or another, and so¬†did our hotel breakfast… yummmy. Some of them, like the renowned Konoba Mondo, even shut down for a few months every year when the truffle season ends, because they only serve fresh truffles ūüėģ¬†For those who are less particular than that,¬†you can buy souvenirs of whole or crushed truffles and¬†truffle oils and many other variations of this precious mushroom.
  • Hum, the smallest town in the world!¬†Yes, you read that right. It has a total population of 21 by the 2011 census. Yes, 21 persons, no more! A placard tells you¬†“Since Hum contains administrative facilities, facilities for public affairs and has its own mayor, it is regarded as the world’s smallest town.” The drive from Motovun is barely 40 mins, and I would definitely recommend a visit. Hum has its own medieval history, with a bell tower from the 1500’s and a church from the 1800’s. Walking the cobbled streets, taking in¬†the aromas¬†from¬†pretty cafes, glancing at dainty little cottages, a feeling of timelessness and bliss washed over Mr.A and me.

Followed by¬†Croatia Day 7 & 8 : Zagreb…