Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
24Trip End Aug 15, 2010
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Where I stayed
Our first stop was a small town called Batina, in eastern Croatia, which (we later discovered) was the 'front line' during the above conflict. From there we moved on towards Osijek – an area that sustained heavy damage during the war. As we entered the city, there were signs posted in nearby fields – warning people to stay away, as there were still land mines in the area. Some buildings still wore visible scars from the war.
We stayed a night in Osijek, and then decided to take the train to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia
One of the guys Ed used to work with (in the early 80’s) has since moved to Croatia and is now living in Zagreb. We couldn’t be in Zagreb and not stop in and say hello to him. Initially, it was quite frustrating making contact with Nick, but once we were able to enter the correct number sequence into Skype, the problem was solved! Nick met us within the hour and became our host and tour guide for the next few days. It was great to see him again.
Once we left Zagreb, the area soon became hilly for awhile, then mountainous. Lots of climbing and the rain returned. After several days of the same, we opted for the train to Rijeka. From Rijeka, we cycled around the Istrian Peninsula – before entering Sovenia.
Istria is a beautiful part of Croatia and we both enjoyed the cycling here
One of our best finds of the trip thus far was the hotel we stayed at on the coast, in Lovran, south of Rijeka. The hotel overlooked the sea and the views from our balcony were fantastic. The price was also very reasonable (66 Euro = $90 Cdn.), especially since it included dinner and breakfast.
In Pula, situated on the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula, we enjoyed visiting the Roman ruins from the 1st century AD. Istria was important in Roman times because it had the perfect climate to grow olive trees; a man’s wealth could be measured by the amount of olive oil he owned.
The prettiest town on the Peninsula was Rovinj. It is a lovely medieval village built on a hilly island with the church on the highest point in the middle.
From Croatia, we make a quick tour through Slovenia and then into Italy.