Wednesday, 28 September 2016

AU REVOIR BALKANS-BONJOUR TRIESTE

28th September 2016

(I do like that heading)
Short run to Sistiana in Italy, just past Trieste. Leave Croatia, enter Slovenia and upset the border guards. Leaving Croatia,  nobody in the booth, they don't care who's going. 100 yds later hit the queue to enter Slovenia. ...watch the Croatian hire car in front get turned over for 15 minutes  then it's us and a languid wave through  from a disembodied arm. Now, there r 2 booths, 10ft apart. We've just shown our passports at the first ,been ignored and waved on. So I go. And all hell breaks loose with previously unseen armed heavies suddenly shouting Stop Stop and running around us as if we'd tried to crash the roadblock in Aleppo.  As I'm only doing 3 mph stopping is not a problem but we are subjected to a tirade about 2 stops and our passports are taken for an in depth investigation and only grudgingly returned when we don't appear on the terrorist database. Being a pragmatist I aplogise profusely  and fail to call them wankers and jobsworths or question why they require 2 booths and ask what the 2nd booth does that the first one didn't. We smile and are waved through.
Note. The motorway out of Croatia is listed as non toll. It now has a toll station at the border wanting 15 kuna in cash ......Luckily when I changed all our kuna into euros yesterday I was left with 100, which we used for a drink as we watched the sunset in town and I had 30 left. So 16 miles of Slovenia then we join the Italian motorway at Trieste (I do think that heading is funny) and leave it at Sistiana where there is a campsite we stopped at with P&M on our way to Croatia.  Nice site on the cliffs above the Adriatic with views down the Croatian coastline forever.  Nice walk along the cliffs and the GF rewards herself at the bar with a glass of Prosecco and then buys 3 bottles in the shop....but they are only 25cl each.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The GF enjoys a coffee in SELCE

AN UNEXPECTED CHARMER....

27th.September 2016

26th- 27th September

We leave ZADAR (regrettably ) and take the Adriatic Highway up the coast in glorious sunshine..the sea is a shimmering pale blue turning to emerald as the rocks of the islands offshore change colour. Every bend reveals a new vista and aspect and it is a seriously  good road to drive. The scenery is dramatic rather than picturesque and most of the time we are 2-300 ft above the sea level so you can see for miles . Fortunately the bikers have disappeared so we encounter no idiots with headcams filming their death in a head on collision as they take the racing line through a blind bend and meet a Motorhome on the apex. The only heartstopper is a white Mercedes queue jumping a line of traffic and which may have required him to seek a change of underpants. We head towards Rijeka and an ACSI site that the Caravan Club book is scathing of at the town of Selce. As we near, we check out possible sites in case we have to find something else. At first glance, Camping Selce is not doing itself any favours; a bit run down and  a lot of permanents dug in. But they talk nice and have a washing machine which Zadar didn't so we book in. Explorations reveal a hidden gem. The lower end of the site overlooks the sea with views across to the island of Krk where we went last time, and has access to a lovely promenade along to the town and beyond, lined with bars and restaurants. We have an excellent walk, so much so that we do it again the next day only further .
The washing machines are required as the GF has housekeeping duties (pink jobs) to perform which entail me getting up at 7.30 and lugging 2 large bags of laundry down the hill , returning 40 mins later to lug them back up the hill,erect 2 washing lines and the carousel and peg out the clothes, (avoiding blackbirds and protecting nose). These are blue jobs.We look like a gypsy camp with washing drying every where as it has been 2 weeks since the last attack but it's all dry by 2pm. So the town of Selce is an exceedingly nice resort although it is closing down for the winter everywhere you turn despite a good many holidaymakers still lounging about in the sunshine. I sometimes despair of Johnny Foreigner and his eagerness to shut up shop for the season....the campsite at Zadar closes on Friday, and this one 2 weeks later. Our route home depends on which sites are open despite the roads being full of motorhomes heading south......
So we shall leave Croatia tomorrow, and have ticked another box by doing the whole of the coast road. In fact, what with Bled,Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik,  we have ticked quite a lot of boxes in the last month and had an exceedingly good time , only disappointed that we didn't get to share it with Ken & Jackie....

Sunday, 25 September 2016

UNDER THE RADAR IN ZADAR....not technically but it scans nicely

2 5th.September 2016

23rd- 25th. September

We leave Dubrovnik and eschew the toll road in favour of the  Adriatic Highway up the coast back to Split and on up to ZADAR. This road is terrific, and with a clear blue sky the sea is a wonderful colour. Every turn in the road brings a new vista and wow factor. Obviously it takes longer than the motorway but the drive is well worth th extra time. Find campsite Borik which is nearer the town than the ACSI sites and which has a fairly poor write up in the Caravan Club book, altough the review is dated 2013. It hasn't improved. Ridiculously, the location is superb, running down to a beach with a great promenade and bars, but the facilities are crap and it's not cheap. We get pitch right by the shore at extra cost after we find that we can cycle into centre in 20 mins and that the wifi is good although at a price. Also nice grill restaurant nearby with open bbq.
24th
Cycle into town easily along the waterfront and have a cracking day just wandering around. We came here in 2012 by bus when staying at Starigrad with D&M and P&M and always wanted to return.  We are not disappointed and I want to come and live here. The old town waterfront is probably the nicest and most elegant promenade you'll ever find. ....and at one end is the Sea Organ where the sea water funnels into organ pipes to produce a most amazing effect. We spend a lot of time sitting and watching
25th
Have lunch at the local grill on a terrace. Excellent meal, lovely service and charming people. Cycle back into town again afterwards as it so nice and I pick up a couple of caches along the front. Weather is perfect,  sunsets are to die for.......Alfred Hitchcock said the sunsets were the best in the world and always came here if he needed to film one. We shall probably only have one more night in Croatia on Monday as we start to slowly move north.