June 26, Day 8: After savoring the sunrise with Jean, I begin running Rovinj to collect a new city. The blessedly cool breeze lightens my steps as I explore the Aegean shoreline opposite the old-town harbor in the bright morning.
A broad promenade stretches south from our temporary home at Barbieri BnB. As I begin to run, I share the path with only a few fellow runners; 8 am is too early for the partying tourists. On my left, a luxury resort and shops overlooking swaths of lavender and rosemary and the sea. The quay on my right moors no working boats as it does in oldtown. In this part of the harbor, sailboats and pleasure cruisers only.
At about a quarter-mile, the wharf transitions to rocky beaches with umbrellas and lounges for the resort, clean and ready for the afternoon’s crowds. Beyond, a few bright sailboats lie anchored on the shining sea.
At one mile, the pavement ends. A gravel path continues through a public park with a vivid shore shaded by twisted trees. More runners now, who have discovered this magic path. We nod a greeting as we pass, but don’t speak, saving both breath and the silence. Along the way, a few early sunbathers stake out their spot on the rocks.
Another mile and I’m huffing up a steep limestone bluff. Stopping at the top, I capture a few pictures as I catch my breath! The views are stunning, and the curving path beckons me onward to see what lies beyond the bend.
I continue under seaside pines a bit further before reversing course and running back to Rovinj.
About halfway back, I find a flat rock just about the lapping waves and stretch out in the sun. A young German family is splashing about nearby as I close my eyes and soak in the sun. Soon enough, the heat rises, and I lace up. Then, to finish, I kick up the pace as I race down the promenade, weaving between the tourists who march out, towels in hand, to claim my sunny rock.