Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Slovenia-Croatia 08/07: 100 Lindens to the Marten

We set off into a misty, dripping world, which cleared to sudden sunshine as we came out of the forest and alongside a vast lake. Wayside sights included unexpected tanks, guarding the entrance to a military establishment, and a very big dog followed faithfully by a very small puppy.

We had strong, cheap coffee at a truck stop, received our first Croatian coins in change and were delighted to discover that they had martens on. (Wikipedia: the currency is the kuna, taking its name from the marten pelts formerly used as money. Kune are divided into 100 lipa, which is a lime/linden leaf.)

Our destination was Split. Bikers and non-bikers alike rave about the Croatian coastline, and I was very much looking forward to being beside the seaside. We'd planned to take a minor road and peek at Bosnia, but when this yet again turned to gravel I rebelled and we turned back. The roads grew larger and busier as we travelled south, the air hotter. Eventually the dual carriageway disgorged us into Split in the company of all the traffic that had taken the motorway instead, and after some trial and error we found our hotel.

This was a bargain-bucket Best Western with a blissfully air-conditioned room and a shower you could adjust to squirt cold water at your bum, if that was what you wanted. Showered and changed, we sallied forth.

Split becomes more of a holiday town the closer you get to the sea. We walked through Diocletian's Palace, now perhaps the most historic and tasteful shopping mall ever, to the harbour, where gleaming boats bobbed among floating litter. Couples of all ages, families, dog-walkers and roller-bladers passed by as we sat at a waterfront bar eating sausage and chips.

Wandering afterwards, wanting to see stuff but at a slight loss, we happened upon a tourist road train about to make its last journey of the day up to Marjan hill and its park. We bumped over speed humps and got caught in traffic jams, then climbed slowly in the evening light to a beautiful forest before returning to a darker, cooler Split.

During our train ride the families had gone home and the nightclub and pub crawl crowd had appeared. We retired to our hotel and, aided by a friendly member of staff, continued our respective explorations of local beer and schnapps variants.

185 miles

Poster in Split
Tags: bikes, hols

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