Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden
huskyteer

Slovenia-Croatia 07/07: Land of Cheese & Honey

We took a scenic, sweeping route to the Croatian border, past roadside signs warning of bears, and stopped for lunch at a restaurant with a view across miles of lake, forest and mountain. Here I talked to a Slovenian biker, taking care to compliment him on the beauty of his country and everyone's excellent English. He credited American films with the latter, "And Lady Di, of course."

Soon afterwards we reached the frontier and passed through. Nobody checked our passports, which meant we had now crossed five borders unchallenged. We found ourselves in a national park, the tarmac cracked and patchworked but the views spectacular. In a village we mislaid the main road and went round and round a mountain for a while before emerging at the bottom.

Stopping for petrol, it dawned on us that we had no money. Used to the Euro, we had both somehow missed the fact that Croatia has its own currency. Petrol could be paid for by card, but a coffee stop was out of the question. We remedied this as soon as we passed through a town sizeable enough to have a cashpoint.

Stalls at the side of the road offered cheese and honey for sale. The Croatian for cheese is 'sir', which meant that some of the signs were advertising 'Sir Cheese'. A black squirrel ran across the road in front of my bike, and we entered the Plitvice Lakes National Park, where we would be staying.

The Guest House Marija was small and clean. Marija, the owner, showed us to our room and brought glasses of homemade elderberry juice, most welcome after a long, hot ride. Later, she popped back to offer her garage for the bikes, since thunderstorms were on the way. We did as she suggested, thinking the offer kind but unnecessary. Twenty minutes later it started pouring with rain, the power went out, and the yard was covered by six inches of water.

When things eased off a bit we put on our biking waterproofs for the walk to nearby wigwam-themed restaurant the Wapitou, where we ate pancakes while watching other, less lucky bikers, who had yet to find their guest house or, even worse, campsite, plough through the rain.

204 miles

Roadside shrine
Tags: bikes, hols
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