Sunday, 18 September 2016

ZAGREB...NOT QUITE SO NICE

18th . September 2016

15th- 16th September

Down the motorway and through 2 toll stations without setting off any alarms or being chased.....whether or not something turns up in the post remains to be seen(just had a bill for £12.40 from the Norwegian motoways authority for tolls, but it was expected as we had had to pre register our number plate and details). It's only 120 kms to Zagreb so there in time for lunch. Pretty little campsite on Lake with excellent facilities. Had intended staying one night and doing Zagreb in the afternoon but getting into city a bit more complicated and involving 14km cycle ride in the heat or using the camp shuttle bus to rail station at 9am in the morning with return pickup at 4pm. The latter seemed far more sensible so hence we stayed 2 nights. Shuttle at 9am and shown where to buy tickets, where to return to and which train to catch to meet the shuttle bus. Very efficient as Serbo Croat is a difficult language and I haven't got past  pivo for beer yet. The 20 min ride to city centre was 23 kuna return (£3) each which seemed very reasonable.
First impressions not especially good. Horrendous graffiti everywhere and very shabby and run down buildings. There are some lovely buildings but they have been neglected. Nice looking tram system. Walk to centre where things improve somewhat but not as charming as Ljubljana. Find 4 geocaches  and a nice place for lunch.  The beer is good. Explore the markets and byways; very nice cathedral. Overall, not as grim as first impressions but I doubt we'll pass this way again. Negotiated the station and caught correct train back to where we started.
We appear to have had an invasion of mosquitos from the Ljubljana site and spent most of one night trying to fight them off....finally found a can of Raid in the local supermarket and sealed the van up after spraying half the contents around and leaving for an hour. It has seemed to do the trick but we are both suffering multiple very itchy bites and have started the second tube of bite cream..Thunderstorm overnight.

1 7th.September

Had intended stopping one night around Plitvice  using the mainly non toll roads to reach SPLIT, a drive of just over 400kms from Zagreb but having decided that we will go on to Dubrovnik it seemed sensible to get to Split, where we want to spend a few days, sooner rather than later. Consequently we took the motorway for the whole 400kms and had to pay a toll of 399 kuna,around £50. However, it saved an overnight camp and took 5hrs driving as opposed to probably 7+ so it's not so bad....and probably a better mpg on the motorway.  (Diesel is £1 a litre here).
So arrived Split 1pm, blazing hot, site at Stobrec,on the beach about 7km from centre. Very busy and vans queuing to check in. All the nice beach front pitches are filled by Germans of course, up to 3 rows back and the rest of us have to take what's left.....bit unfair as the pitches are large and back from the front are shaded by trees which is highly desirable.

Anyway, it seems OK and we can cycle to city....although it has now started raining and another thunderstorm.

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