After a leisurely lunch at the Orfej where the staff seemed genuinely pleased to see us again and where we would surely soon qualify for a discount loyalty card, we walked back through the quietly relaxing streets with their laid back atmosphere and we made our way to what was the only remaining site to visit, the Castle Museum which was inside the star shaped fourteenth century Venetian castle that had been upgraded by the Austro-Hungarians as a look out tower to watch over the port and the fleet in the bay below.
We had the place completely to ourselves and we wandered around the battlements and enjoyed the views of the old town and the port that sat below this elevated position. We recognised the stone of course because this had come directly from the amphitheatre that we had visited yesterday. The Museum was interesting but largely unremarkable but there were maritime displays that were close enough to touch and I enjoyed picking up the old ships tools that seemed far too heavy and crude to be of much use in the modern high-tech world.
There was one very interesting room full of exhibits from old ships that you were not allowed to touch and there was adequate signage to make this clear. True to form, Kim ignored these precise visitor instructions and just had to reach out and investigate a jar of ships surgeon’s dried semen! I kid you not but I suppose there can’t have been a lot to do on board ship so supplies were probably plentiful! Anyway, this set an alarm sounding and the immediate appearance of a member of the castle staff to investigate just what we had been up to.
I thought that this was very amusing and well worth a photographic memory so I arranged an appropriate pose and was ready to capture the moment when Kim decided to give the moment a touch of authenticity by breaking the alarm beam for a second time. What the…..? Out scuttled the attendant again and this time around I could sense that she didn’t find it nearly so amusing, she was clearly losing her patience and the only sensible thing to do was to leave before Kim broke any more ‘do not touch’ museum rules.
Outside there was a rusting look-out tower which you could get to the top of and enjoy the prominent views but it was in very poor condition and I am absolutely certain that you would not be allowed to do that in England.
After the Castle we had pretty much exhausted most of what there is to see in Pula so we walked back to the hotel through the Roman sites again and paid a visit to the ruins of the Roman theatre but it was a bit neglected and I didn’t care for the gangs of youths who were a bit threatening (even though I am sure they were harmless) and the vagrants and most of all the dogs which although accompanied by owners were roaming freely without leashes and this always throws me into a bit of a panic as I have explained before.
After a drink in a modern bar that seemed curiously out of place next to the old market building we returned to our hotel with some supermarket alcohol purchases to take a short sojourn.
We didn’t have much of a debate about evening meal and after showering and changing we went again to our favourite find, the Orfej. This was a nice place with good food and seemed typical of other bistros and restaurants in the city. Pula is not yet fully prepared for the tourist boom that Ryanair will unleash upon it, it is authentically Croatian and little effort has yet been made to cater for the visitors who will come. I like that, especially the fact that the bistro menu was exclusively Croatian which with a bit of effort and the application of logic I could half understand but which made ordering a dish of food a genuine leap of faith.