Well, it’s officially been one month since I’ve arrived home from this Eurotrip, but it feels like a lifetime ago. We started our first leg in Pula, which is the biggest city in Istra. There are several reasons that factored into our decision to spend most of our time in Istra:
- Istra is less frequented by Americans, and more so by Europeans. We wanted a less touristy vacation, and yeah… there were barely any tourists in most of the areas we biked to.
- Angela had found a blog detailing a girl’s trip to Pula, and since Ryanair flies directly to Pula from London, it was sealed logistically
- After I had the genius idea to ride across the country, we found a company that offers roadside assistance and bike pickup anywhere in Pula
- Istra is supposedly one of the most beautiful places to bike around
So there you have it. We arrived on 3:30pm on a Tuesday, left in the early morning the day after, and came back to Pula to spend the last day and a half here. It’s quite a beautiful city with sprawling beaches, a giant green market, and plenty of terrible gelato. There is only one restaurant worth mentioning, and it is Gina’s Restaurant, which you’ll find if you scroll all the way to the bottom.
**Bikes** I’ll go into a bit more detail in my next post about Pula Bike, which is where we rented our bikes from. All you need to know is that the two guys who rented the bikes to us (Florian and Adam, pictured above) were simply awesome. Angela was a bit shocked when they actually showed up to pick up our bikes in a few towns away. The best part was, they plopped down and grabbed a beer from the hostel we were staying at to chat with us. They even offered us free paddle boats upon returning back to Pula. We trekked 45 minutes to Stoja, where they’re located, but upon arriving, we had no idea where to begin looking for them. But lo and behold, they just happened to by driving by with their signature white van and yelled “Americans”! Long story short, we expected a legit storefront, but instead got a lemonade stand that rents boats. Still, if you need bikes in Pula, rent from them- they’re awesome!
HR-52100 Pula, Hrvatska
We found Gina via an abridged edition Rough Guides for Pula. The place gets only mediocre love on Tripadvisor and Adam had said that it’s “just okay”. Our view was that the food was above average (not the best that we’ve had on our trip, but certainly among the better), but the service was over and beyond. We had the truffle pasta, a special that involved polenta and seafood, and a seafood entree. We went all out for dessert, ordering three. The standout was the truffle ice cream, which was interesting, but very truffle-y. It’s probably the first and last time I’ll ever have it, but definitely worth trying.
Upon paying, the owner gave us another small flask of wine, and we sipped away another 30 minutes before we headed back to the hotel. Sometimes, it’s the experience that triumphs the food and helps you remember a city fondly. We also love that the restaurant is family owned.