Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saint Martin's Day

Today the town of Momjan celebrates Saint Martin's Day...a day to drink fresh wine! Momjan's patron Saint is St Martin, the Saint of wine. Many konobas in that town will be serving wine made from grapes harvested this past season, in September. It seems too early for grapes to ferment sufficiently to have much flavor or alcohol content, but then, what do I know about wine?

Duška is taking us to the town of Grožnjan, an artist's village, this afternoon. The weather is clear, a little chilly. The drive there covers 20km of winding and hilly roads. Autumn leaf colors are at the peak...some reds, yellows and browns; no golds.

Grožjnjan sits atop a hill (750' altitude) with a view of the Mirna valley and other hill towns in the distance. This town is picture perfect. Narrow streets, small stone buildings, interesting architecture, stunning views, and an artist's colony. After wandering the streets, we stopped for coffee and deserts at a very cleverly decorated shop.

Then, off to Momjan for late lunch-dinner. There is plenty of street activity there for St Martin's Day...pig roasting, food stands, beer and wine stalls, and lots of motorcycles. Duška has picked another great konoba serving homemade dishes typical of Istria. We are lucky to have her friendly company and her inside knowledge of where to eat.

A couple of other notes:
Before leaving for the day, we see preparations for a wedding in Novigrad this afternoon. The reception is around the corner at Mama Mia, a pizzeria. There is an umpah band, two accordions, a trumpet, and a tuba. And, singing! The place is decorated with balloons, some made to look like the bride and groom.

Last night the Croatian National Soccer team beat Hungary, 3-0, at a major international competition in Belgium. There was some cheering and honking afterward.

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