Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the "Road" Again

Saturday, October 23

Another good biking day. We left Novigrad around 1:00pm and didn't get back until 6pm. We biked about 30km (18.5 miles) and returned pretty tired. The "road" covered quite a variety of conditions. Everything from paved highways, gravel roads along the river Mirna which empties into the Adriatic, steep one- lane roads, and tractor paths.

Istria has set up a pretty sophisticated biking (mountain bike and road bike) program with three levels of difficulty. We have taken the green or easiest routes for mountain bikes. Even so, we at one point climbed 150m (over 450 feet) within a mile distance. Admittedly, we walked most of that distance pushing the bikes. At the end of the climb, we were greeted by a small church and a goat farm.

We passed through numerous small villages, and past olive groves, vineyards. we saw a bride and groom coming out of a church in Nova Vas (or Villanova or New Village). It cooled down around 4pm, but we continued along Trail #7 all the way to Fiorini, then followed a highway back to Novigrad. On the side of the road we saw what look like lots of tennis balls. They are actually some kind of fruit fallen from branches.

Most towns here have the Croatian name and the Italian equivalent; so, Novigrad and Cittanova, Nova Vas or Villanova. The Italian version sounds more romantic, doesn't it?

After a pretty strenuous day, we treated ourselves to dinner at Tobasco kornoba, just a few doors down Bolnicki, our street. We had eaten sea bass here last November, 2010.

Beletic is the owner/chef. This time we had sole (no sea bass was available) with potatoes and spinach. It was fried in the fireplace. The konoba (Taverna) is closed during week at this time of year so Beletic can help his father harvest olives.

We had a friendly neighbor at the table next to us who came to visit us, Lily, a spaniel, with her Italian parents.

Really a great day! Dick was a super map reader. We saw some beautiful large birds when we were riding near the river. It is so stimulating to see different sights and try to figure out sayings and signs. Dinner was special and quite reasonable. After next week-end, Beletic may close so we will have to go back for sea bass and truffle noodles.

We received our first phone - not counting Fidelity - and it was Matt ! So great to hear his voice. I told him, like "Mission Impossible", his next assignment,u if he chooses to accept it, is dealing with Community Bank in Chicago, since that checkbook is missing, too. He takes it all in stride and just says to enjoy.

Think we figured out the time for church tomorrow is 11am, so we plan on attending before another biking day.

Relaxing for the night, when we began to read our ibook (In the 'Garden of the Beasts' by Erik Larsen) we both developed cramps in our legs, the kind you have to walk out. I guess we biked too much today. We'll cut back tomorrow.

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