Photo Essay: Roses of Istria

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Here’s a brief confession: when Dave and I stepped off the plane in Pula, Croatia, I wondered briefly if I’d made a giant mistake.

It was an afternoon in late May, and it was cool.  Temperatures were in the low sixties (about 17 C).  Long-sleeved t-shirt weather.  I had planned on this trip being our summer getaway — our one and only summer getaway, as England has no real summer — and it seemed like we had

Had we planned our trip for too early?!

Later, we realized that our timing had been perfect.  Istria in late May had some cool days and some warmer days, ranging from typical spring warmth to robust summer heat.  Most days were at least t-shirt weather, and we had a lovely lie-out-in-the-sun day on the beach at Kamenjak.  (Plus, by the time we got to the Dalmatian Coast, we had extreme heat for the rest of the trip.)

But there was an added bonus of visiting Istria at this time of year: it’s rose season.  Istria is covered with roses — wild and dramatic and filled with color, and they are at their best in late spring.  People in Istria don’t carefully prune rose bushes like we do in the States — they let them grow wherever they’d like!

Here are some of my favorite photos of roses of Istria:

I loved this wild rose arch in Pula.  If I had a big home like this, I would love to have an entrance just like this.

Bale was the most rose-filled town in Istria.  About half the homes had roses sitting next to the door, growing up the wall.

I liked this lone rose bush in Bale, sitting across from an art gallery.

The biggest and most wild bush of all was in Hum — “the smallest town in the world.”  I have never seen a rose bush this big before!  I’m impressed at how well it’s maintained.

Once more, in Bale — an up close shot of one of the larger rose bushes.

This trellis in Bale seems to be in the making, but I look forward to seeing it when the roses have exploded.  I love the periwinkle blue and blood-red combination — one of my friends had a similar color scheme at her wedding.  You wouldn’t think it would work, but it looked GREAT together.

And finally, some lovely apricot roses in Bale.  I originally thought I took this in Groznjan (my photos were scrambled out of order), but you can actually see it from an angle in the third photo in this post!

Which rose photo is your favorite?