A tale of two poles?

November 4, 2013
Blank poles outside village

In my hectic expat life in Istria a quiet, relatively uneventful week makes a nice change: I managed to spend quite a bit of it in bed. When I finally got moving, I pottered in the garden, clattered at the typeface and pondered ‘The Arrival of the Two Poles’.   Monday 14 November The...
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Is Istria for you? Let’s have a look at the Istrian property market

October 15, 2013
Beautiful Istria - Draguc in autumn

Looking for a property in Istria? Buying property abroad is far harder than buying at home. You don’t know the area, you don’t know the ‘rules’ and local customs, and you’re heavily dependent on, probably biased, outside advice. I can’t cover everything about the Istrian property market in one article, so here’s an overview, to...
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Buying a house in Istria – the paperwork

September 8, 2013
3 key property documents in Croatia

Thinking of buying a property in Istria – here’s some information about the key documentation needed here and throughout Croatia. When you buy a house in Croatia, the key documents you need fall broadly into the three categories listed below. Usually, they should all be provided by your estate agent as proof the property...
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Snapshots of history

August 30, 2013
Narrator at Mare the Witch, Svetvincenat, Istria

Far more than just an attractive seaside destination, Istria is full of gorgeous old towns and villages. These atmospheric places come with local tales and legends, brought to life each summer through a series of outdoor performances. Held in nine different locations across the whole of Istria, the stories are all different and specific...
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Fig scrumping

August 29, 2013
Marija picking figs

Istria’s dotted with fig trees and  all summer long they’ve been steadily growing, soaking up the Istrian sun. Come early September, they’re fat and juicy and ready for harvest.  With none yet of my own, I went fig scrumping with Marija and we picked loads! (OK, I admit that in fact we had permission to...
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What happened to my lazy week?

August 21, 2013
P&S in pool, Istria

Revisiting one from the archives, with a trip back two years which shows very little has changed! Tired after our UK trip and, with a few guest-free days, our plan was for a lazy week. As usual, played ‘catch-up’ instead. But did get time for dinner with friends, the Porec ‘end-of-season’ party and a...
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Dinopark – a fun-packed day out!

August 16, 2013
dinosaur at Dinopark, Istria

Here’s an idea for the ‘little ‘uns’: Dinopark, a theme park aimed squarely at the junior market, based around dinosaurs. While obviously not intended for me, I thought it sounded rather horrendous (plastic dinosaurs in what looks like a concrete jungle?). So I was stunned when mother-of-two, Petra, said it was the best day...
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Pljukanci in creamy mushroom sauce

August 14, 2013
Pljukanci in creamy mushroom sauce

I enjoyed this dish so much at Monte Carlo that when I went back, I talked the recipe out of chef, Adriano. Please note these are very rough quantities – just getting the ingedients list from Adriano was a challenge; quantities were even more problematic! Most often, the amount was ‘a little’ or ‘just...
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Holiday homes – Yugoslav style

August 12, 2013
building-house--sepia

Today Croatia is a popular destination for foreign, second-home buyers looking for a place in the sun. Holiday homes are a new relatively idea to many of us coming from northern Europe, but not to most Croatians. For many Yugoslavians, under a communist government, a second home by the sea or in the countryside...
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Monte Carlo – a dining gem in the making

August 7, 2013
Monte Carlo's lovely terrace, Vrsar, Istria

For our third night at the Montraker rock festival, Natalija suggested we visit Monte Carlo. There’s been a Monte Carlo restaurant, on and off, for a long time – often of dubious quality – and the restaurant had been closed for several years. It re-opened this spring with a new dynamic team and Natalija’s...
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Srdela – the place for a fish feast

August 6, 2013
lunch is ordered at Srdela, Vrsar, Istria

Vrsar is a seaside town with an active fishing port, so no visit would be complete without tasting the fruits of Istria’s sea – but where to go? “Srdela,” said local expert, Natalija. It was the second night of our visit to the Montraker rock festival (Director of Vrsar Tourism, Natalija, is one of...
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Fancita – Vrsar’s best kept culinary secret

August 5, 2013
Lunch at Fancita, Vrsar, Istria

“Where should I eat in Vrsar?” I’d asked local, Natalija. “Fancita,” was the prompt reply. “They have a dynamic young chef, Paolo, and produce some of the best food in town. I’ll arrange you a table.” We were in town for the Montraker rock festival (Director of Vrsar Tourism, Natalija, is one of the...
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Bring the kids to Istria!

July 26, 2013

Holidays: not many of us get to try before we buy. But that’s exactly what journalist, Marianne did. On a short press visit, she loved Istria so much that she brought her family back on holiday and chose to stay in our house in Brnobici!  Former deputy editor of  Marie-Claire and Telegraph regular, Marianne...
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My Istrian Recycling Saga

July 18, 2013
Box with a few of my bottles needing recycling in Istria

A simple trip to the bottle bank becomes an epic journey, but along the way I discover how rubbish recycling works in my small corner of Istria. “I’m going to the recycling bins on the way to the shops,” I said, eyeing up the overflowing box of bottles and cans threatening to take over...
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History brought to life – Istrian style

July 10, 2013
marksman in Iustitia, Porec, Istria

Istria has loads of history and folk tales, and each year Istra Inspirit brings these to life with a series of events. Running from pre-history to the 1920s, these interactive shows recreate key moments in Istria’s history and mythology. All are performed in the relevant locations and include a meal, tailored to the period....
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