The big goal for the 2019 season was to spend the summer in Croatia, so after enjoying a bit more than a month in Greece we made our way there reasonably quickly, taking advantage of every opportunity we had to avoid beating upwind in the northerly predominant winds.
Arriving at our big destination for the season didn’t mean we could just enjoy and relax island hopping, we needed to get across to the north of the country and head to Trieste for a week to collect some very desired items for our boat projects and visit family.
Just like getting to Croatia the plan was still to push through every day at a rhythm of 5h every morning, unfortunately mostly motor-sailing but ensuring that we would still spend some time enjoying some of the outer islands.
From the moment we had entered the Adriatic Sea and during our sail from Sarande, Albania to Bar in Montenegro we were impressed with the beauty of the landscape in this region of the Mediterranean. So different and unexpected from the idea we had of what the Mediterranean is with its olive trees, and not so high mountains. In the Adriatic, we seemed to be surrounded by pine trees, oaks, big mountains and fjords giving us this strange feeling of being in Northern Europe and not in the South.
The fact that the area is very popular with Austrians and Germans seemed to help with the feeling.
With a glimpse of what Croatia had to offer us, we rushed up the coast, wiggling through the outer National Parks, confronted with such different types of landscape, and then sailing up the coast of Istria (a northern part of Croatia mainland) to reach Umag, our Port of Exit.
In less than two weeks we crossed the country from South to North, roughly 300 nautical miles and were arriving Trieste Italy, finding anchorage in the furthest possible bay in the Adriatic Sea.
This was it, we had sailed to the very end of the Adriatic Sea.
Such a strange concept, to reach the top of a sea. To be in the South of Europe (after all, Trieste is at a latitude not that much higher than the South of France) but with a vibe of the Northern Europe mountains and landscape.
Our anchorage, one of the very few places where it’s possible to anchor in Trieste wasn’t pretty, a very industrial place but it was convenient.
The arrival to Trieste by sea showed us a face of the town that we had not imagined, Trieste is a big commercial port where pleasure vessels live within close reach with the big cargo ships and tankers, the marinas are ridiculously expensive and the anchorages almost nonexistent. Not very yacht friendly, which is strange for a town with such close ties to the sea.
The city itself, just like most of the Italian cities is absolutely charming, the Italians do know how to enjoy life.
One week later and with all our new stuff on board we said goodbye to the family and returned to Croatia, to enjoy the exciting life of boat works while exploring and enjoying a new country sailing.
Behind our backs would stay the romantic idea of sailing to Venice, a dream we would have to give a miss.