July 28, 2023: Our final return to Rovinj provided happy reminiscing, with one cold shadow of a memory.
Rovinj was one of the first European cities we visited when we began our MnJTravel2 European adventures. The city vistas were eye-opening and wonderful, with stunning sunsets over the Adriatic sea, and pastel architecture that stacked up the hill, lifting the steeple of St. Euphema to the heavens in prayer.
The Perfect Day Redux
That first trip included a (nearly) perfect day. The return to Rovinj was just as nice. In the mornings, an early swim and market time. The hot afternoons were spent wandering the cool narrow cobble streets. We enjoyed fiery sunsets, and dinner at a favorite restaurant, Giannino. To top it all, Jean discovered that the shop below our apartment still carried the golden knit wrap that she’d loved and lost since our first trip.
The Sweater and Genocide
The loss of the original golden wrap is itself an interesting story. While we were in an Athen’s laundry, a nice old lady kindly helped us with translating the machines. She complimented the wrap that Jean was wearing. In appreciation for her help, Jean took it off, folded it neatly, and gifted it to her.
Delighted, the woman continued the conversation, which included an exchange around her immigration to Athens. Jean learned that the woman was Serbian and had formerly been a driver for Radovan Karadžić. The same Radovan Karadžić that is a former President of Serbia – and a convicted war criminal. Karadžić is currently serving a life term for genocide at the Srebrenica Massacre. We were stunned. You never know whom you will meet when you travel… six degrees of separation indeed.
That memory was but a brief shadow, and we were back to our happy days.
Leaving Rovinj felt a bit like a forever goodbye. While we really enjoy the town, Croatia is now part of the Schengen zone, along with nearly all of Western and Central Europe. As we are not EU residents, our time in the zone is limited each year. And we have our favorite places to visit, and so many new places to explore.
On our last morning, I enjoyed a final Rovinj run, we bid the city adieu, were on our way down the coast to our next stop, Baška Voda.