This is delayed but I will now tell you about our trip to Rovinj (pronounced row-veen)
So prior to leaving for this trip our coordinating doc emailed us to let us know he was going to be attending a conference in Rovinj, a seaside town about 3 hours from zagreb and invited us to go. He was a speaker and his boss who we will also be working with was a coordinator of this conference and they got us in for free and free hotel rooms! The conference was on Pharmacoeconomics, so while not the most exciting topic, there were a few interesting lectures and some were in english so we sat in on a few. But basically we got there on Wednesday, checked into our five star hotel and found we were each given our own room! Totally unnecessary but gratiously accepted! The conference didnt start until the following morning so we set off for the town (our hotel was actually on an island off the coast of rovinj and only accessible by ferry). We did a walking tour and went to the cathedral and climbed the bell tower. I will post pics either here or on a more user friendly website after catching up on the blog for your perusal.
On Thursday the conference began and we started our day with an amazing (and free!) breakfast, like the kind you would expect from a 5 star hotel :). We went to conferences in the morning and then in the afternoon we rented a car and drove to the hilltop towns in the interior of Istria. Istria is the peninsula on which Rovinj sits; you can think of it like a county I guess with lots of cities within it, or like Tuscany if you've been to Italy, same idea. Anyways, there are lots of seaside towns but also beautiful towns built at the top of the many hills within the interior of the peninsula. We went to motovun, one of the more famous towns, known for its truffles. And thats fungi truffles, not chocolates (much to my dismay...though truffle fungi are quite yummy though very expensive). The population of Motovun is 593 and their most famous former resident is Mario Andretti. And, after having to drive through the winding roads to get to all these towns (dad you will be proud--I did it all in a stick shift!), theres no wonder he was so comfortable racing those tight corners! We also visited the towns of Groznjan, Livade (world record holder of world's largest truffle at 2.9lb from 1999-2007 when it was beat out by a tuscan truffle of 3.3lb), and Brtonigla (no i did not forget a few vowels in that word...). All were very cute and required a steep and sometimes treacherous climb in our little ford fiesta!
The following day we spent on our island which we wandered to find some "lost" like areas that held 90% greater energy than the rest of the island, seriously, there were signs that said this! On the same sign they also said in addition to standing in the circle of energy 2x/day everyday you should also get a massage at their spa--they must be learning from their american tourists something about marketing...
Friday night the conference had what I can only describe as a "gala" They had a tent right off the water which was decorated like a wedding with a live band and a 3 course delicious meal typical of the area with some italian influences (Rovinj is a short ferry ride from Venice). It was amazing and pretty unbelievable (especially since this was all free!).
Saturday we went back into the town and relaxed along the water (it was about 70 degrees out!) until we left with one of the doctors back to Zagreb.
All in all, it was an AMAZING first week and despite little of it being at the hospital we sure did learn a lot!!