Rovijn at night, with the church propped up in the historic city center
Just an hour and a half from Ljubliana, Rovijn sits on the Istrian peninsula and wears the marks of Italian, Balkan and even Spanish civilizations. Tour books promote it as a "town where people fall in love" and a "photographer's dream come true." All this romanticizing is largely warranted- the streets are small and narrow, the buildings are painted calming yellow and pink pastels, green shutters close off the windows of those lucky enough to take midday naps, a stoic church provides a peak from which you can watch the sunset over the sea. A small bay harbors ships and an odd forest/park provides overheated visitors shallow spots to wade into the sea. These characteristics prove a potent combination, and the easy to access/lovely town/beautiful sea/places to swim and sail factors lure in overwhelming numbers of vacationing families.
Houses fall into the sea and cafes double as swim spots
Nonetheless and for all its laid-back, easy summer vibes, Rovijn (and I imagine the whole Croatian coast) is plagued by tourists that just need an exorbitant amount of space. Think Jersey Shore attitude (and style)- pumped up lads wearing Marcellekes and looking like Oh Oh Cherzo extras- but in a more charming seaside town. Our objectives for the trip were relatively simple: find delicious food and a quite place for embarrassing jumps off the craggy rocks into the sea. In the end, the trip was rather ironic: that perfect place for swimming was in the most densely populated part of the town: right underneath the church at the heart of the historic city center and a true Mexican caballero (with the words "Libertad" and "Patria" embroidered down the legs of his vaqueros and on the brim of his sombrero) beaconed us into a restaurant serving some of the most delicious and authentic Yucutan cuisine.