We so much enjoyed our five days in Pula, all the more because of its amazing Roman artifacts. There are only a few complete Roman amphitheaters still in existence, the Coliseum in Rome being one, of course, and a magnificent one here in Pula that would hold 26,000 spectators.

The Pula Arena, built around 50 AD, almost exactly 2000 years ago. – Photo by Eva

We arrived by bus. Our apartment, Apartment na Forumu, was located right at the Roman Forum, somewhat distant from the Arena. We walked right past the Arena and got a good look as we entered the heart of the Old Town. To reach our hostess and get our key, we needed wifi connection. This we found at an agreeable nearby pizzeria where we had lunch while waiting for our hostess to arrive.

Pizza makes for a fine lunch.

Our hostess shows us around the apartment. This is where she lived as a child.

Just look at the many nice things that our hostess and her mom made for us. Even gave us a bottle of Croatian wine and fresh flowers.

Suzi explores the well-stocked kitchen.

We can look out the front window and see the Forum plaza, the center of activity and nightlife.

The Forum – center of town.

From the balcony facing the back, we can look down onto Roman foundations.

Our backyard is a tourist attraction. It’s said that this where Agrippa’s mother lived.

Description of the ruins at the base of our apartment.

We walk across the Forum to the Temple of Rome and Augustus. How magnificent.

Temple of Augustus, built starting about 2 BC.

Beside the temple is the Communal Palace, former temple in Roman times and presently city hall since about 900 AD. Over the years it has undergone numerous reconstructions.

Communal Palace – now City Hall

Our first evening we watch a theatrical group enacting some Roman skills and battle on the square.

Roman activities of sorts

Ready for battle.

Next morning we explore our tiny street and the fresh market.

Good music by these fellows wafts through our apartment windows.

Our street ends with a Roman gate. On steps to the side we are treated to lovely music for flute and cello.

Roman gate

Street vendor demonstrates his musical talents, too.

We enjoy the quite vast outdoor market.

Then we wander through the indoor market where we find meat, cheeses and the like, as well as places to eat and drink.

Of course, we are now ready for lunch and Suzi knows a cafeteria next to the market that will please our budget.

We find a good selection of well prepared foods at bargain prices.

After the market closes fresh meat makes its move.

Coming or going, I’m not sure, but this is where your chops come from.

Late one afternoon we explore streets off the plaza toward the Arena.

Ma’am, do you really want those cigarettes?

Letting life go by, cigarette and coffee in hand.

We come upon a power station, I suppose, maybe no longer in use.

A bit of rather stunning public art.

Creative design

H. D. Noordung, rocket scientist

Hermann D. Noordung (alias) was an unsung technical genius who in 1928 published a small book about the problems of space travel and the establishment of a space station. He was born in Pula to Slovenian parents, but Pula gets the credit.

A small nearby park gives recognition to some famous people. Tesla was a Croatian/Serbian scientist known for electrical work in the U.S.

Mark Twain – Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

Nikola Tesla – Peace in the world can only occur as a result of universal education (rough Google translation)

The obligatory manhole cover – for telephone cable access

Another one for sewer access

During the years that Pula was under the administration of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Pula was the Adriatic seaport for Austria. Rijeka, around the other side of the Istrian peninsula was the agreed upon Hungarian Adriatic seaport. Shipbuilding is still a large industry in Pula.

A container ship under construction, just down the street from the Forum.

Santiago being outfitted.

Oh yes, it’s dinnertime again. We find a friendly outdoor place that has a special on Wienerschnitzel. I must give it a try.

Suzi likes the guys.

Schnitzel fills the plate. I don’t leave a crumb.

Pula has seen many wars. To protect its citizens it has built a vast network of underground tunnels, enough to protect its entire population of 50,000 people. As we walk around the city we come upon a number of entrances, all sealed off. The network is known as Zerostrasse.

Tunnel entrance under the castle.

Entry by the Archaeological Museum, presently gutted and being restored.

One day we explore a small park near the marina named Tito Park. It’s in front of the huge Arena. Here in the States Tito has a bad and ruthless reputation as a dictator, but he held the wildly disparate Balkan states together as Yugoslavia until his death. He has a more likable memory by the local populace.

Tito Park sign

Tito Park

Tito bust

Roman Arena

Advertisement beside the Arena. Curious that Peanuts characters are featured.

Behind our apartment are stairs and paths leading up to the castle that overlooks the city. We think that would be a good place to watch a sunset. We take a pizza along with us for dinner.

View from our apartment is onto a former monastery. Just beyond it is the castle.

View from the castle onto the Arena.

We find a good spot along the ramparts.

Presently, we are joined by quite a few others.

View to the harbor.

Sunset will come.

Quite a glorious event.

Now we must make our way down as darkness surrounds us.

Down we go through ancient narrow lanes.

Now back near the Forum we must say good night.

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