Pag town was small and all white stones. There was a pretty harbour and a great gift shop where I bought a bracelet that goes with everything. My husband and I found St Mary’s church, Kralja Kresimiro square and the statue of Juraj Damatinac. We saw Ducal Palace, a ruined tower and the statue of Basic in the main square.
The main square was actually used by the locals who made Pag lace and Pag cheese, but we could never find the famous Pag lamb. Even though we were on the right island, there was sheep everywhere and every restaurant we went to had it on the menu; we were told it was out of season.
We headed to the summer beach resort town of Novalja the next day in the hopes of finally catching a boat. The town was mainly nightclubs and restaurants which were closed for the off season.
That night, bad weather threatened to cancel our boat trip. But the weather cleared and we finally caught a car ferry to Rijeka the next day.
We had to wait half a day for the bus in Rijeka with our bags, which meant that we couldn’t take off and explore the nearby castles. Instead we took turns sitting in a local bar and wandering down the main street past the Gradski Toranja city tower. I found a stone wheel fountain in Ivana Koblera square and a roman gate. I also saw the Jardrolinja office and thought about going in to complain about the lack of boats during the off season, but decided against it.
Our bus to Buzet left from the Florence-like Chuch of Our Lady of Lourdes. The bus was busy with school children and other locals, so we had to stand the whole way. I read in the guidebook that Istria is in the centre of the slow food movement region which means eating lots of tasty food over a long period of time. So after being denied the delicacies of Pag lamb, our interest in Buzet truffles, was peaked.
We stayed in Buzet new town where most of the locals live, that had one hotel, the Hotel Fontana, which was being renovated during the off-season. After an hour or so of walking down an empty road to a recommended restaurant, we gave up and headed back to the old town. The views from the top of the hill were beautiful. Being isolated, there were green hills, white cliffs, a few red roofed houses and not much else. The town was cute and it was nice to be the only tourists in a small place.
The old town itself was tiny, mostly deserted and it didn’t take us long to see the sights. We entered through the Mala Varta gate and headed for the bell tower in the main square of Titov Trg Zvonik, which is the landmark structure that gives the town it’s aesthetic appeal.
We walked around to the Mala Sterna baroque well, saw a baroque house, the Bembo Palace and the old bell tower of St George’s church which had one of its two bells missing. Heading for Vela Sterna well square, we finally found some people in a family of four playing near the fountain.