10th to the 17th April
‘Hvala ti i Doviđenja’ to Croatia and an big ‘Zdravo’ to Slovenia. Today we finally left Croatia since we arrived we have been very lucky with the weather, and the sights have been truly amazing. Our last week started with us treating ourselves to a ‘Peka’ in a very traditional restaurant in Zagreb. A ‘peka’ is a veal and lamb stew cooked in a bell covered in hot coals very slowly. We ordered it the day before and it is huge, so big we had to ask for a doggy bag to take some of it home. When you visit Croatia it is one of the many tastes we would recommend you to try.
The next day it was off back to the coast and the city of Pula, it was not on our list but the great thing about motorhomers is they are helpful. We have to thank Andrew’s two daughters, who we met in Camp Zagreb for their kind advice. Pula was a must see and the amphitheatre there was awesome, they had seen Status Quo play there two years
earlier. Quo sadly will not be playing there again but the young ladies were spot on Pula was another must see. A compact town that oozes history, while being a real city with a working shipyard in the middle where at night they light up the cranes for extra tourist effect. If you visit the city make sure you go to the market, again as in Zagreb this is a real market with all local produce and used by the locals and us too buying some meat, fruit and veg.
Unlike the Dalmatian coast further south, Istria, has a real Italian feel and there are a lot more tourists here from the near north, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and of course Italy, so it is slightly more expensive.
Moving on up the coast a stop at Rovinj a picture postcard town again with a great buzz. We unfortunately did not like the campsite Kamp Porton Biondi and the best pitch we could find involved us having neighbours at touching distance and with us blocking any hope of a view for them. So much so that we advised them to do the proverbial German towel trick when we left the next day blocking the pitch (have a look here for our reviews of all the places we have stayed on the journey). The next day after a little more google investigation we moved north again to
Novigrad again picture postcard and an easy cycle to Porec, our 19th UNESCO world heritage site of the challenge Elddis set us for the Long Way Home. The strange thing is that though all of these places are tourist orientated, they all feel like ordinary lived in towns. The locals are friendly and fun, English is very commonly spoken, so give it a twirl, Croatia is not just Dubrovnik.
I love to get a tee shirt from every country I visit, and also collect ball markers from golf clubs. Alas, southern Italy and Croatia are golfing deserts, thus far no ball makers from either and last chance was just beside the border when we visited the last of the three courses in Croatia. No they did not do ball markers but they did have a lovely golf shirt with 50% discount and in my size. So with my half price shirt packed away, we set about spending our last 24 Kunas. The golf club wanted 34 Kunas for 2 coffee’s so we ended up driving over 10 kilometres back into Croatia to find a lovely coffee shop that only cost 20 for the two so with our caffeine fix and all our local currency gone, it was back to the land of the Euro, Slovenia.
NiKi is now parked on a marina overlooking the sea and as I write this the most lovely sunset is to be seen through the window, the joys of motorhome life. Slovinia does not have much coastline you can see Italy and Croatia from the town of Piran, and yes cute is still on the menu. With this picture postcard loveliness a short drive from Italy the prices here are a big lift compared to Croatia, but inland we are told these drop away. As it is Easter and we had been eating in a lot, we treated ourselves again to a bank holiday meal at a Lonely Planet recommendation. There was no menu so I asked for the meat dish and Karen the fish. This is what arrived I have two dinners on my plate.
Perfectly cooked but too big so I have half in foil for tomorrow!
We hope the weather will remain kind to us as we now have less than 7 weeks before we arrive back to the UK and lots more to see and do, before then. The route home is up through Slovenia, cut across Austria to Saltzburg, then drift across southern Germany north through the Black Forest into Luxembourg, through Belgium and home. So lots to do yet!
For those of you that are curious
‘Hvala ti i Doviđenja’ means ‘Thank you and Goodbye’ to Croatia and an big ‘Zdravo’ means ‘Hello’ to Slovenia.
Our Route This Week