Camping on historic ground: Camping Brioni, Istria
Valamar Riviera and others have considerable efforts, supported by the Croatian tourist agency, to build camping industry to an important industry in Croatia in general and on the Istrian peninsula in particular. The campgrounds emerges almost without exception as modern, clean and above all well-organized, and Brioni is no exception. Pine trees provide ample shade on the hottest summer days when even the water in the Adriatic incapable greater cooling.
The parking places are huge, from 80 120 to square meters. Water and electricity are standard. We also take that beaches stretching over a half kilometers, which gives elbow room for most.
As usual in the western Balkans is a series of bakeries that every morning will treat you with freshly baked bread in many variations. Designated supermarket is there too, and unlike land across the bay, the prices on the campsite shops roughly on par with what you find in the rest of the area. Diving Clubs offer everything from snorkeling to diving with full equipment, and children have a variety of the play area to unfold on.
Thirst and hunger can be set on a number of beach bars and smårestauranter. In short: It would be not to enjoy one vacation week or two in these surroundings. And Yet the prior exploration of the surrounding areas begins.
The campground is located on historic ground. Just outside the gate are a number of stately buildings in more or less ruinous state. In their time, these were part of a larger Italian military base area in the interwar period. Which included one of the largest flybåt- ports in Europe in 1920- and 1930-years. Huge Savoia-Marchetti flying boats, contemporary jumbo jets capable of carrying approximately 20 passengers, started from the sea outside Brioni and spread its wings over Europe and to America, before landing aircraft made its appearance just before the outbreak of war and took over hegemony. There are still pullertfundamenter along the seafront and within lies enormous surfaces with tiled concrete, intersected by railways for release carts that brought the planes from the sea up in huge hangars for maintenance and inspection.
Norway also had such a sea airport with runways in it Oslo harbor basin off Lindøya and Hovedøya, and on Gressholmen slips and hangars for seaplanes can be viewed to this day. Built about 90 years ago, they too.
Tito's country residence
From the old seaplane harbor, a gaze a long, low island just off the coast. There had Josip Broz Tito one of its many country houses, well guarded by Yugoslav navy from fleet port of Pula. Today the island is better known as one of 14 islands in Brijuni National Park, open to tourists offering safari park, walking tours, water sports, and of course tour of former Tito's luxurious chambers. But it is in the town of Pula we find the truly historic treats and sights.
Colosseum Pula is one of Croatia's medium-sized cities where time seems to go a little slower while peace returns. Here lived the way the later world famous author James Joyce in his early twenties as a private tutor for sustaining life. Before he later gained world fame with novels Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, both pillars of world literature. But there is another edifice that dominates the center of Pula that attracts the most attention. Built in the 1. century by the Roman emperor Vespasian appears Pula coliseum, or amphitheater, still as an imposing edifice. 130 m. Long and 100 m. Wide, it is slightly smaller than the Roman edition, but is currently the only colosseum with completely intact ring wall.
There could spectators watch gladiator fights to the death, or death condemned last match against wild predators. The underground passages are today museums that showcase cultural treasures and machinery for olive production.
Historically concert venue
Today Colosseum gained renaissance as a concert venue. With room for up to 25000 spectators on the remains of the ancient its galleries, the ring walls a timbre and acoustics that can hardly be described, it must be experienced through the many outdoor concerts held every summer. The concerts have had world renowned musicians like Pavarotti, Andre Bocelli, Elton John and Norah Jones. During the breaks, the viewers can listen to the Adriatic waves hitting the beaches just steps outside the ring walls.
The amphitheater in Pula is the only surviving Roman colosseum which has all four walls and towers intact, which is a certificate of Roman architecture and architecture. 72 perfectly crafted arches constitute the top of the walls and ties it all together over the centuries that have passed. Just outside the walls yesterday Via Flavia, the Roman road that linked Istria to Rome, and that is in use today.
Pula's many narrow streets with backgrounds from Roman times invites city walk between smårestauranter, småteatre and performance artists who shows up when dusk announce their arrival. Churches from several faiths hold open doors for peace and contemplation for those who want it. On Brioni Camping's message boards full of cultural activities and opportunities. But best of all is the quiet that descends on the campsite when the sun goes down and the lights come on. It's camping experience for the best.
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