Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park is a group of islands off the coast of Istria, Croatia. There are plenty of boat cruises on offer, but, since it’s a protected area, it’s forbidden to set foot on most of the islands. But never mind, from the boat one has the chance to see quite a bit of scenery.

Brijuni National parkOn the biggest island, there’s a safari park with zebras and other non-Istrian animals. Don’t ask, politicians with excessively large egos were involved.

For the humble day-tourist, there’s an option to stay for a few hours on one of the islands and go for a swim or snorkel.

fish

It is also possible to stay overnight on the biggest island – seems to be a ‘working’ retreat for Croatian politicians.

The Yellow-legged Gulls have learned to take advantage of the tourist trade. They know where to find a meal.

gull on roof feeding gullsIt seems to me that feeding the birds is not the best idea, but then mainly juvenile birds were accepting those handouts. The adults might have learned to stay away from humans. A sign of intelligence!gull

Pula – Croatia between the Romans and Tourism

Situated on the southern tip of Istria, Croatia, Pula has a lot to offer. There is a substantial colosseum with an amphitheatre inside, all in very good repair.

colosseum PulaThe overall amount of Roman ruins or monuments was surprisingly high, but small wonder, since Pula was a centre of administration back then as it is now. If you look closely, you can see a plaque on the yellow building – this is where the writer, James Joyce, used to teach.

gate and James JoyceWith so many treasures to admire it came as no surprise that the town was crammed with tourists. I can highly recommend going there, but avoid the summer menumonths. The mild climate should make for a nice trip during winter, too. Oh, and if you’re vegetarian, pay close attention to what’s on offer:

 

 

Pula delighted not only with its Roman remains, but also with a lot of modern history, even spaceflight. Mr Hermann Noordung (or Potocnik), a local, developed ideas for space stations. NASA recognizes his work on their website: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1217.html

Mr NoordungPula also has a shipyard and big marina. On the north side of the harbour there is an old military area earmarked for touristic development, but at the moment one can still go there, find large green lizards and enjoy a walk between more recent ruins and pine trees. Pula northern side