Hi, I'm Andrew and I'm a photographer in Durban, South Africa. I work as a travel, commercial and event photographer, also offering portraiture, food, architectural and wedding photography. I also enjoy taking abstract, landscape and wildlife images. Please take a look at my portfolio, or contact me about doing a photo shoot.

Rovinj, Buzet and Truffles

Posted on: November 29th, 2012 by andrewrhb No Comments

Old and new from the Rovinj yacht club

I spent a brief (way too brief) four days in Istria, the northernmost province of Croatia, and fell in love with it…

A late evening arrival on the ferry from Venice, I arrived during a vintage car expo and rally, which held up my progress to my accommodation, a really nice holiday flat organised for me by Elena.

another early morning view of the old town of Rovinj

Rovinj has a long history and a lot of Venician influence in it’s design and buildings.. Italian is still widely spoken here and there is a largish Italian community here… it helped slightly with my bad Italian… that said, I found the inhabitants very friendly and most were prepared to speak English to me..

 

 

 

The harbour, the boats, the old town, the market and the people just combine wonderfully and make this a photographers dream. I was also fortunate enough to get an image of a tall ship coming through the sea mist as it approached Rovinj. I had seen this same ship in Venice the afternoon before as I left on the ferry. Luxury on the Adriatic

 

 

  

  

too soon I had to leave Rovinj and caught a relay of busses to get to Buzet in central Northern Istria, the capital of the truffle area of Istria… be warned, the busses (well the ones I caught) don’t seem to indicate their destination, rather where they came from… very confusing and I almost missed two busses because of this….

 Buzet is split into the new and old town, with, once again the old town, complete with cathedral, situated on top of a steep hill….My thanks here to Sanja from the Buzet tourism department who organised me cheap but clean accommodation, and more importantly my visit to the truffle hunters and exporters… she was wonderful…

 

Buzet is the local capital of the area and is surrounded by villages and towns, all of which are very involved in the truffle industry and all of which are striving to improve and market themselves for tourism. biking and walking trails are now readily available throughout the area, and given the extremely hilly, mountainous conditions in the area, the views and conditions are magnificent. Towns with the names of Motor Hum and Vrh must be visited…

North of Buzet are some extremely steep cliff and rock faces, extending a good few hundred meters up, and these are very popular with hang and paragliders. Enthusiasts from all over Europe come here to enjoy these wonderful conditions and experience the thrills…

part of the morning view from the old town of Buzet

  

The highlight was my trip to the Karlic truffle family. Sanja took me through some wonderful coutryside with amazing views, through a town called Vrh (in English it meand the Top, which it was, it is the highest point in the area) to a local family who specialise in truffles and truffle products. I joined an Australian couple and we were lead through some amazing tasting of truffles and truffle products, some brilliant locally produced apertifs (whew… strong but nice) and lastly a hunt for truffles with a top truffle hunting dog..

 

 

There are, effectively, two types of truffles, the more common black ones, found during the entire year, generally in forest and heavily treed areas. The white truffle is only found during a small window of three months from September to November and only under certain trees found alongside rivers, streams and water ways. Unfortunately this year had very poor rainfall and white truffles were pretty hard to come by.

 

 

truffle omelette

 

truffle infused cheese and ham products..

The Karlics also have a guest house with a brilliant view of the area, views of vineyards, olive tree plantations and surrounding villages and is close to nature. Comes with it’s own private swimming pool…

 

the guest house

The day was completed with a quick truffle hunt in the forest below the town, where the star of the show found a couple of truffles in quick succession… the handler has to be awake in order to stop the dog from eating the truffles though… the truffle must be carefully removed and the ground cover replaced, leaving enough behind so as to encourage the next truffle to start growing..

 

 

 

found one

  

Istrian Rose

To finish off, an amazing if not way too short a visit.. will be back… for recipes and more info, please contact me… oh, and yes, the old highly polished cobblestones found in the Istrian towns and villages are extremely slippery when wet… I dislocated a finger trying to stop[ myself falling during a rainstorm in Buzet, and ended up with grazed knees to add insult to injury….  

 

 

 

 

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