This may have been mentioned before, but with every visitor we host we make it a point to see at least one new place. When our friends from college visited for two weeks, we visited Rovinj to share one of our faves and witness an adorable marriage proposal on the pier! Then, on the drive home, we stopped in nearby Pula to finally see the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia.
As the sixth largest arena in the world, the Pula Arena is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world. Walking through it is incredible. I admit there is not very much in the way of guided history, so I recommend getting a tour guide to really enjoy the experience. In the basement you can see artifacts and read a few blurbs about the Arena and those who used it.
Nowadays, the Arena is used for sightseing, events and concerts. This seems to be a common theme in Europe - creating a dual purpose for historic sights to capitalize on tourism.
While in Istria, we decided to stop by a beach for a little cool-off. We chose Ambrela Beach because it was a quick drive from the Pula Arena. There was parking around Ambrela Beach, but the beach was really rocky and a bit crowded, even in September.
Another surprise at this beach was the overcrowding of Cone jellyfish. I mean, you cannot walk out into the water without bumping into two or twenty. I saw kids and adults swimming with the jellyfish, but I had to research it myself to make sure we were safe.
Turns out, Cone jellyfish are not harmful to humans. They are not native to this part of the world but were brought by ships who dumped their ballast waters into the Adriatic. The jellyfish have no known predators here but they are eating the crap out of our anchovies. It will be interesting to see what the Croatian and Italian governments decide to do about them.
All in all, a beach is a beach and we had fun. The guys swam out to the inflatable obstacle pieces that were tied up on the edge of the swimming area. Us girls got some sun and reading down. It was my least favorite Croatian beach, but you may have better luck in discovering a hidden gem near Pula.
And then, per usual, there was amazing food to follow.
On our way out of town, we happened upon Konobar Boccaporta for a late lunch. The hubs just found it on the map and we gave it a shot. Such luck we had. Boccaporta has some of the best food I have had on the coast so far. We enjoyed a sea platter as an appetizer, and everything on it was amazing. I am not a lover of "exotic" seafood, but I loved everything on the plate. We also split a pasta dish and Peka.