Leaving Pula, the tour coach heads north about 33 miles to Porec to continue our daytrip to Croatiaâ€™s Istrian Peninsula.Â Porec, like Pula, is located on the Adriatic Sea.Â Also like Pula, it has a long history encompassing different cultures.Â With its fine harbor, interesting historical sites, and many restaurants, Porec attracts tourists and boating enthusiasts.
Itâ€™s lunchtime when we arrive, and my daughter Pam and I head toward the harbor. Bordering one side of the waterfront is a string of restaurants. We select one at the harborâ€™s edge with empty seats on the terrace and enjoy not only the food, but also the ambience.
The harbor at Porec
After finishing our lunch, Pam and I meander through the town and come upon Roman architecture. The Romans, who built a fortified town at Porec in the 1st century BCE, left behind their trademark arches and entryways.
The keystone of a Roman arch in Porec
Walking further, we encounter a single orange cat.Â Iâ€™m a sucker for a cat and canâ€™t help myself in murmuring baby talk to it and photographing it.
A stray, orange cat eyes us as it sits next to a shed near the harbor at Porec. Perhaps itâ€™s baffled by the English baby talk Iâ€™m cooing at it
Reaching the area where we are to reconnect with our tour group, we note a bride and groom heading our way.Â A small crowd, apparently wedding guests, stands near us.Â The bride and groom appear to be heading toward them. Weâ€™re not sure if the bride and groom are coming from the ceremony or going to it.
A Croatian bride and groom greet well-wishers.
Our tour leader Brane (pronounced Brah-nee) arrives and leads us to a large, outdoor street map of the area, where he points out places we might like to explore.
When heâ€™s done, Pam and I take off and come to a narrow, obviously old, residential street.Â Itâ€™s well maintained and charming, but I wouldnâ€™t want to live in such a crowed locale.
Well-preserved buildings line a narrow street in Porec
A bit later, we reach the area where the Euphrasian Basilica stands.Â Considered the historic center of Porec, the Basilica is a collection of several buildings, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Christianity began to be established in Porec during the 4th century BCE. (1)
We enter through a door crowned with a mosaic framed in an arch.
Mosaic arch above the entrance to the Euphrasican Basilica complex in Porec
The complex is large, well maintained, and rich in history, art and architecture.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica â€œis the most integrally preserved early Christian cathedral complex and unique by virtue of the fact that all the basic componentsâ€”church, memorial chapel, atrium, baptistry and episcopal palaceâ€”are preserved.â€ Â (1)
We leave the complex and head back to the coach along a narrow street. The flower boxes that residents have planted at their apartment windows add charm and freshness to the streetâ€™s deep history.
Attractive flower boxes at apartment windows in Porec catch my eye.
Our site-seeing for the day over, we board the coach, which takes us the 18 miles to the Hotel Bristol in Opatija, Croatia, where we stayed our first night in Croatia and will stay one more night.
The Hotel Bristol in Opatija, Croatia, where our tour group stayed the first two nights of our trip. Opatija is located on the eastern side of the Istrian Peninsula.
Tomorrow we visit Zadar where we will see and hear a sea organâ€”whatever that is.
Of further interest
Previous post in this series
Exploring the Southeastern Crossroads of Europe 1:Â Pula, Croatia.Â Six photos.Â Posted March 7, 2012