Monday, September 17, 2018

Summer holiday - part 1

This year the summer started with very changing, rainy and windy weather. We went sailing already in June and for the first two weeks we stayed in Northern Adriatic. 

Regular bad weather fronts dictated our schedule - we were studying weather forecast every day, tried to find a well protected and hopefully pretty bay for the night and find some interesting stuff to do as well, since the conditions were not very suitable for swimming and snorkelling. First couple of days we spent around islands of Krk and Rab, visiting bays and places we already knew. One day I had to put on my mask to check the anchor and when I put my head, especially ears in the water, it almost hurt, so I quickly swam to the anchor and back and that was all the snorkelling for that week.
The second week we started from Punat on Krk, stayed in the Punat lagoon for the rest of the day and the night due to the strong NE wind and rain. Next day we sailed to Supetarska draga on Rab, or as we call it - Hawaii. Sun came out and some of us even went for a swim. In the evening there was a beautiful sunset.
This is the view towards East...

...and this to the West.

Next morning we sailed on towards town of Rab and we stopped in Uvala Planka on the way. It was a nice, warm and sunny day, so I decided to go snorkelling. Planka is one of my favourite snorkelling places in North Adria, so I didn't want to miss such a good opportunity. But the water was a bit chilly, so I didn't stay in the water as long as usual.
I forgot about the cold water as soon as I saw the first pretty sight - Pink tunicate or Rožnati plaščar (Sidnyum elegans).

This guy looked like a proper heavy weight champion - it is Warty crab or Kosmej (Eriphia verrucosa)

And this is his more elegant relative - a Marbled crab or Marogasta rakovica (Pachygrapsus marmoratus)

There were several Blue spiny starfish or Mnogokrake morske zvezde (Coscinasterias teniuspina) around

And another beauty - a Zvonimir's blenny or Jelenoroga babica (Parablennius zvonimiri)

This is also a blenny - a Combtooth blenny or Velikooka babica (Lipophrys trigloides)

These pretty flowers were hiding under overhangs - they are actually corals named Yellow cluster anemone or Rumeni zoantar (Parazoanthus axinellae)

This is my first photo of swimming Rockpool shrimp or Običajna kozica (Palaemon elegans), I wish it was a bit better, but with my poor ability for photographing moving targets I'm happy it turned out as it did

After a pleasant evening in town Rab and calm night in Uvala Sveti Eufemije we sailed on to Cres next day. The stronger NE wind started on afternoon so we had quite adrenalin sailing almost to town of Osor. We anchored couple of miles East from Osor in a small but well protected bay. In the evening we dinghied to the town and it was adrenalin ride as well, NE wind was getting even stronger and although the shore protected us from the waves, we were quite wet anyway. But it was well worth it, we had a great dinner in Osor.

We stayed in the same bay the whole next day and night, the weather was really windy and almost cold. We had a lot of sunshine, but it was even too cold to sun bathe.

Next day we only sailed to Puntakriža, the wind was still too strong to sail further North. Luckily the anchorage was well protected from the wind, so it was warmer and we could at least swim.

The next day it was a bit calmer and we sailed to Supetarska draga on Rab again, but weather was getting worse again in the night and we needed a good protection. And the day afterwards we just managed to get to Punat lagoon in time before rain started. After two weeks on Heron I returned home and captain sailed South to Dalmatia.

I joined him again a month later in Primošten. I couldn't believe my luck - the weather was forecast to be really bad for next two days - with strong winds from all directions and lots of rain. We studied the maps a bit and decided Rogoznica would be most protected bay for the weather. It was just a short sail away and first evening didn't look too bad.

But already in the night it started to rain, with rain came the wind and it went on like that for entire day as well. Afternoon was a bit less rainy but still very windy, so we decided to stay another night.

Next day we sailed further South and stopped in Uvala Parja on island Hvar for the night. Part of the bay is privat, but it is very pretty and luckily there was just one more boat anchored there, probably because of the windy wether. We had a very nice evening, calm and peaceful.

Next morning I went snorkellling. There was plenty of interesting things under the water. There were plenty of healthy algae - Rdeča viličasta alga (Scinaia furcellata) and Bledi grmiček (Amphiroa rigida)

I just have to take photos of these beauties - it is a Red tube worm or Pisani pokrovčkar (Serpula vermicularis)

This Mystery blenny or Jelenka (Parablennius incognitus) was darker and more colourful than the ones I've photographed before

This must be a tunicate, it could be Kepasti plaščar (Polycitor adriaticus), I couldn't find the English name

One of my favourites, the bright Red-black triplefin or Rdeči sprehajalček (Tripterygion tripteronotus) and his not so colourful misses on the right

This is all I managed to see from Mediterranean moray or  Lisasta murena (Muraena helena), maybe she didn't even know her pretty tail was out in the plain view.

And another Zvonimir's blenny or Jelenoroga babica (Parablennius zvonimiri), a bit darker and more red this time.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Italy - day 3

On Thursday, our last day, we woke to a cloudy morning, but the view of the lake was still beautiful. And we hoped that because of the clouds the day would be a bit less hot than the one before.

After a big breakfast we drove off, first towards the North and then East almost to the town of Rovereto and then along the river Adige towards South. We drove through many pretty villages and stunning scenery. I still regret we didn't stop a couple of times and take some photos.

We arrived to Verona at around noon. We drove through Porte Nuova, which is actually a very old town entrance, and found a parking space near the old centre of Verona. We walked through Porte Pentagona...

... and saw many palaces...

... and arrived to Arena di Verona. There were thousands of tourists everywhere and it was impossible  to make a photo without them.

In summer there are concerts and other events held in Arena. We didn't go inside, not just because of quite big entrance fee, but we also knew we didn't have time to see everything we would like to.

We walked through the narrow streets and there were so many beautiful old buildings. I have to admit that we didn't do much research about the architecture and history, so we don't know what the buildings are. Nonetheless, they were very worthy of photographing.

It was again a very hot day, so Captain used every opportunity to rest.

The river Adige.

This house is supposedly the house where Juliet lived...

... and this is the famous balcony. While the existence of both families - Capulet and Montague - is historic fact, there are no evidences that either Juliet or Romeo really existed.

After couple of hours we got tired of waking in scorching sun. On the way back to the car we passed more pretty buildings...

... and made a stop at a bistro. It was too hot for lunch, but just right for a big ice cream.

From Verona we took the highway and after three hours made a stop in Monfalcone. And from there it took us only another hour to get home.

Our Italy trip was short, but we saw and experienced so much in three days. We will definitely have to return to Lago di Garda, there is still so much to be seen. But maybe we'll try to pick less warm weather and will probably avoid the most crowded places.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Italy - day 2

Next day, after a big breakfast, we started our tour around the lake. We wanted to see the Strada della Forra first, the scenic road that is literally carved through the rocks. We drove through the hills on the West side of the lake, and everywhere were pretty views.

As we neared the gorge, along with several bikers, we saw the sign that said that the road is closed because of the roadworks for the whole week. What a luck! We still drove to the roadblock ...

... and then walked into the gorge to at least make some photos. What we saw was really wild and spectacular, so we will definitely have to come back.

This road is the only way to get back to the coastal road and since it was closed, we had to drive back all the way to Limone. We stopped a couple of times to enjoy the views.

Then we drove along the coastal road towards South, through many pretty small villages and towns. Our next stop was historic town of Sirmione. It must be the most touristy place at the lake, we couldn't believe the number of cars and buses parked outside of the old town. And it took us half of an hour to find a free parking space, even though it was 2 EUR per hour. We were a bit annoyed by it all, but I was determined to see the old town. It is built on a half-island, that is connected with mainland by a very narrow strip of land. On our walk to the old town we saw the remains of old wooden pier, that the nature started to claim back.

The entrance to the old town is well protected and very pretty.

It was getting really hot and the best way to fight the heat in Italy is a big ice cream. We ate it in a small park, sitting on a shady bench. Then we walked through the old town, and it was very beautiful.

We didn't walk to the remains of the fortress at the end of the peninsula, it was just too hot for it. We returned to our car and drove to the next place I wanted to see - Pesciera del Garda. We only walked around very little, it was still so hot. This is the view towards South, where the river Mincio is flowing out of the lake...

... also under this embankment ...

... with the town at the other side.

The town is built on the river and there is many canals and small islands and embankments. Here is the beginning of Muncio river once more with heron watching over it.

We drove on along the East bank of the lake towards North and our next stop was Torri del Benaco. It is again a small historic town with lots of pretty buildings. The green climbing plant with white blooms on the right in the photo is jasmine, it was smelling unbelievably sweet. We would even smell it from our car just driving by.

The town has a nice small harbour...

... and a castle, of course.

I'm not sure who these statues represent, looks like some older man reading to a young boy. And the captain.

This is how the castle looks like from the southern side...

... and there are many lemon trees there. I assume the construction above the trees can be used to protect the lemons from the frost.

We drove a bit further and made a stop at the lake for a small picnic. It was not easy to find a place where there was access to the water and where we could park without having to pay for it.

Before returning to Limone we made a detour to Lago di Ledro. It's much smaller lake, but it lays higher among the mountains. It is very pretty and up there it was much cooler than near lake Garda.

After all this driving and sightseeing we were starving. We managed to get to the restaurant nearest to our hotel and got some delicious pizza (again) and lasagna and couple of beers. A great ending to a great day.