After about 10 hours on various buses we finally arrived in Stoja, a little residential peninsula about a mile from the centre of Pula. Stepping off that bus and feeling the sun on us again was certainly a good feeling, and almost made up for how weary we were feeling at this point! The apartment we were staying in was pretty tiny, but with huge gardens, a welcoming host (as seems to be the rule in Croatia!) and only a minute walk from the sea. Glad to be back in the sunshine, our first port of call was to go for a stroll along the beach, exploring the area a bit, before heading across the road to a lovely little restaurant called Gina, where we had some delicious Istrian food and once again too much Rakia.
The next day the weather was glorious, and we walked into the centre of Pula to visit the Amphitheatre and see a bit of the old town. The amphitheatre itself was really impressive and amazingly well preserved, but unfortunately the rest of Pula was a bit of a let down. The city has quite an industrial feel to it, and outside of the old town there didn’t seem to be much worth doing or seeing. We had a couple of pretty chilled out days, seeing the more notable stuff in Pula, being lazy on the beach, eating the endless supply of pomegranates we had been given along the way and drinking far too much kruskovac and cocktails.
We also discovered what was probably the best restaurant of the whole trip, a little pizzeria called Jupiter. The first time we went we had pizza, which honestly isn’t one of my favourite foods normally but this was damn good. The staff were really friendly, it was incredibly cheap and the food was so amazing that we went back again on our last night. We ordered from the main menu rather than having pizza again, but not expecting much because of the price and the fact that it was a pizza restaurant, but the food we had that night was easily the best meal we had the whole time we were in Croatia.
On our final day we hired some bikes and cycled down to Kamenjak National Park on the southern most peninsula of Istria. It was good to be back on a bike and to do some proper exercise, as well as being a great way to see some more of the country, although I would advice against cycling through the rocky park on a road bike with no suspension! By the time we got there it had unfortunately clouded over a bit, and with it now being October all the cafes, bars and activities were closed for the season. Overall this seemed to be the general feeling I got with Pula, that maybe we were just there too late in the year, but it just seemed to be missing something that we’d found in the other places we had visited.