Romance with Rovinj

Do you know this feeling of falling in love with a place? Yes, you do, I am sure. And do you know that the same feeling is still there in your heart and it is easy to get in touch with it? I’ve just discovered that going through my last year’s pictures made me nearly as happy as when I was there. I used to watch my old photos with a sigh “I wish I were there now”, and there would be a taste of sadness in this activity. But today, maybe, because it is a sunny day in Oslo, or because I know I will be there this summer – revisiting the photos of my beloved Croatian town made my heart beat with joy and love, no note of sadness in it.  And I just cannot keep this love to myself! So let’s share it!

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Rovinj and its most famous view of the old town

Making a post about Croatia has been my intention for a very long time. And it was rekindled by a recent discussion of a village life and yoga retreat. So here we go! Last year I had one of the happiest experiences in my life. I stayed in Croatia for three weeks, first for a salsa festival in Rovinj, then I had some alone time there, eating, relaxing and taking photos, before I traveled to Split and took a ferry to Hvar island where I joined a yoga retreat in the quiet village. I called this vacation my own “Eat.Pray.Love project”: where yoga retreat would be pray, a solo stay would be eat, and salsa would be definitely love (for my love of dancing, not for a romance, though there is a flirting included 🙂 )

I had come to Rovinj for the first time in 2015 for a week of salsa festival and fell forever in love with the place. Unfortunately, during that week of beach parties, workshops, dancing on the squares and in the old factory halls, sleep deprivation and total craziness, I had no time to soak in the atmosphere of the town. We were constantly on our way from the market, to the beach, to the restaurant, to the party – gasping for one second at the beauty around us and running off in the next one. So I decided that this time I would stay after the festival to see and feel the place. And it was a lovely stay. Though it felt weird to be in a town which I knew to be overtaken by 4.000 dancers from all over the world – and without them, without that spontaneous dancing on every corner, the place felt strange and way too peaceful 🙂

In my next post I will share my reasons to fall in love with Rovinj – even if you are not passionate for Afro-Latin dancing 😉

Do you have places that make you feel like you are having a romance with? Share your love!

 

23 thoughts on “Romance with Rovinj

  1. Gorgeous photos!!! I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like with 4000 dancers! How did you hear about the festival? I love salsa too, and I’ve been dancing all sorts of dances since I was a kid! We have so much in common! 😊 Nowadays it’s samba for me, that’s my latest craze! Do you have any great salsa music to recommend, new stuff? I’d love to find some new latin music to listen to. You know, Croatia has been on my list since I lived in France 10-15 years ago, since lots of French people were starting to get summer condos there. Then I worked as a flight attendant and we had direct flights there and I still wanted to go but never got the chance, time-wise! An airline colleague told me she was in love with Hvar (flowers, cute, small-townish, she said) and I decided that’s where I’d go! So funny that that’s where you went on your yoga retreat! (I was also looking at yoga retreats last summer with a friend, there was one in Portugal, but in the end I couldn’t make it…)

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    • Haha, you go girl! We look more and more like twins 🙂 I have danced since as a kid but never took course. Doing this latin thing for 4 years now and before that I did samba! Even took part in a carnival in Copenhagen. Are you still in salsa scene? I know a Ukrainian girl in Helsinki doing that 🙂
      I learnt about festival in Rovinj from my friend who has been there for many times. And got addicted to it myself, doing it for the 3d time this year. Do you want to join? 🙂
      Hvar is pretty, though a bit touristy in Hvar town. Still love it. And come to see Rovinj, it is so sweet. And if you still consider the retreat I would recommend Suncokret retreat on Hvar. I can tell more if you may wonder 😉

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      • Yay! We’ve found our doubles, hahah! 😁 I haven’t performed at the Helsinki samba festival, too scared of tripping over in my heels in front of the crowds and then the video becoming a viral hit on Youtube, hahah!!! 😲 But I’ve watched the parade every year for ages and the others from my dance class always perform there. The samba scene in Helsinki is quite small, I don’t know them that well yet since I’m quite new there. Must’ve been fun for you to perform in Copenhagen! Do you have photos? Maybe that could be a post topic???? (Look at me making requests, hahah!) And I’d love to join the salsa thing in Croatia! But this summer I can’t, next summer maybe? (While I’m making requests, I’d love to read a post about the yoga retreat too?!) 😋

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      • Haha, keep on going and one day you will stand there! You know, I would not do it in Oslo, but in a strange city – easy. It was so great! But I had not costume, not fantasia, we were in sparkling bras and hotpants. Dancing through the main street of some capital – what can I say? That was fun. Photos are jut so few and not great quality, it was 5 years ago 😉 I will think of a post :))
        And I thought of making a report on yoga retreat – and now you are such a good motivator! I will start working on it.
        and do join salsa thing – or just visit Rovinj in the end of June. You will love it! (but it is smart to book accomodation early, so many people, you know). Let me know if our paths will cross!

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    • And answering the music question. I don’t listen to much salsa but I love modern Latin music. The last hits I find on Spotify on top 50 Spain. My favorite samba is “Motumba” and soundtrack to “Rio” cartoon 🙂 my Latin favorites are on Spotify playlist latino-by-Marina 🙂

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      • I’ve never used Spotify, hahah, I’m not a big music listener, sometimes I buy songs from iTunes/whats-it-called-now. Mostly I just listen from Youtube randomly! So I’ll look up the ones you mentioned! I also love reggae btw! E.g. Stick Figure and The Expendables. Used to go to dance hall reggae classes for years and a class called latin groove which mixed salsa with street, so I haven’t really been on the salsa pair dancing scene in Helsinki. (But back in Paris my friends and I used to sometimes go to a salsa bar where they had dance lessons with switching partners.) I’m not a very good dancer, clumsy and insecure, but I’ve always enjoyed it soooo much!! Also danced different street dances, afro and classic jazz, etc.

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      • Then you would love visiting Rovinj during the festival. There is salsa on the main square, and spontaneous kizomba dancing on weird spots. And a concert of some salsa band on a main square on Friday. there is so much life and joy and music. Music is everywhere.
        I like reggaeton, which is a modern Latin kind of hip-hop (ok, everyone says it is bad but it depends on the song you listen to). This was my start to Latin music, when I got music from my ex who was adopted from Nicaragua. I always wanted to get into Latin music, and language and all – and it happened 🙂 My favorite is Daddy Yankee, maybe the most famous artist in that part of the world 🙂
        On youtube you can just search for “best salsa 2017”, and you will have a plenty of choice.

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  2. Croatia is one of the hidden jewels of Europe. While Switzerland, France, Italy are more popular, this works to the advantage of Croatia as it makes it less touristy. Great post and images.

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  3. The photos are beautiful! I was wondering, what setting do you use to post your photos into your blog? How do you get them to remain full resolution and good quality?

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    • Thank you! Oh, I wish I knew the answer. I use the simplest way of uploading them to the media library here on WordPress, and from there add them to the post. It is a by-default option, as I see it. And some pics turn out not to be that good quality, but this is very seldom.

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