Thursday, December 15, 2011

Porec, Croatia--May 20

I've had these typed up since we got back, but have kept forgetting to post them. So...7 months later, here goes.

We set out the next day early (ish), headed for northern Croatia, Istria. The drive was relatively uneventful. We stopped for pretty a pretty mediocre lunch and had to suffer through miles of hideous scenery:

We reached our destination, the coastal town of Porec in the mid afternoon. I was actually kind of proud of this find. Porec is a town that was written off by a few travel guides I had read as focused on resort-culture (a cheap escape for Germans and Austrians) with relatively little culture of its own. Which meant in low season, rooms were cheap and abundant. I was able to book an apartment for less than $20 a night. Granted, it did look like it hadn't been renovated since Tito's rule, but it was clean and comfortable. We were able to watch movies on the deck during the evenings and cook up our own breakfast each morning. While it was too cold to swim in the sea, the pool was warm enough to justify having brought our suits

The town itself was adorable. There wasn't a lot to do, but the TI was friendly and informative, there were some nice little restaurants, and a nice board walk (well, concrete, but the point still stands)

Porec as we walk from our apartment:

The Italian influence was definitely noticable here:

The highlight of the town is the Euphrasian Basilica. There has been a Catholic church on the site since the 4th century, however, the structure of this one only dates from around 554. It is a UNESCO site because of its intricate mosaics, considered some of the best preserved in the world The light made it difficult to capture, but everything above the lower roofline is mosaic.

Under the current floor, there are well preserved mosaics dating from the 5th century that was part of an earlier structure:

There were others scattered around the church, but the highlight was the atrium, which was completely done in mosaic:

A different angle of the atrium:

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