Tuesday, April 18, 2023

[RIJEKA] Croatia's Principal Port City

I know, I know. Why Rijeka instead of Pula for my last stop before returning to Spaghettilandia? I don’t know, ok. I don’t know what happened. I planned this itinerary in November last year. In any case, like I always say, this gives us a reason to come back to Croatia Truly Asia. What is Rijeka anyway? To answer your question, Rijeka is Croatia’s third largest city after Zagreb and Split. It is also considered as the country’s principal seaport thanks to its strategic location on Kvarmer Bay as well as its deep sea port.

What is there to see here? Well, they have a castle. But then again, which city along Croatia’s Adriatic coastline doesn’t? The castle is called Trsat and requires around half an hour hike from the old town. The good news is that the hills surrounding it are actually residential, which prompted the city government to construct a staircase from ground level all the way up to the castle grounds. That means no rough hiking for you, but wow, I lost count how many those steps were. It’s good exercise regardless!

The view gets better and better as you ascend higher and higher. There is a viewing deck 2/3 of the way where tourists and locals congregate to rest, drink from the fountain, or just take photos. There is a green park to your right, but it does not seem to be as popular as the castle itself. Once you reach the church with its obvious tower, all you have to do is turn left. There is a street there lined with some restaurants. The entrance to the castle is at the end of the road.

To my surprise, admission to the castle was free. You only have to pay if you decide to check out the museum in the castle grounds. It is believed that the castle was constructed where an Illyrian and Roman fortress once stood. Nowadays, the 13th century castle is a restaurant cum chill out spot for the locals. It used to be owned by the Nugent family by virtue of one of their ancestors who received the castle as some sort of prize from the Austro-Hungarian empire, until after the second world war.

As of present, four towers still stand, based on my visual perception. The first is rectangular and serves as the entrance. One stands parallel to it farther in which is rotunda in form. The other circular tower which I’ve read used to be a toilet is now still a toilet, of the restaurant next to it. The mini tower in front is one that you can climb and gives you good views of Rijeka and its port. On a good day without fog you will most likely be seeing ships roaming around the port.

And that was the highlight of my Rijeka trip. I made sure to treat the castle as the highlight because the city doesn’t seem to have accessible Roman ruins on offer like Split and Zadar had. As for the old town and the center, most of what you will see are buildings dating back to the Hapsburgs. Yes, that means yellow facades and jade roofing. You know, those elegant buildings that now serve as museums and national theaters. They are nice to look at alright, but the motif becomes repetitive after a while.

For reference, Rijeka is just a two-hour bus ride away from the Italian border. You will end up in Trieste, after which you just have to endure another two-hour bus ride to Venice, which is our final destination here in the Adriatic. The more ideal itinerary, though, is to head west to Pula on the Istrian peninsula, which also borders Trieste and is a more popular tourist destination than Rijeka. Again, we will do that next time since I still have some Croatian cities along the Adriatic coastline that I skipped anyway.

So far, I’d say that Rijeka was worth the stopover. It has a tranquil Riva and an abundance of benches along Korzo, its main shopping avenue. I was able to rest well and recuperate!

[RIJEKA] Croatia's Principal Port City

0 creature(s) gave a damn:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Protected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Detector

Theater Review

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review