Croatia - The Dalmatian Coast
A great days riding on the European motorcycle tour, Slovenia & Croatia has a special place in my heart. Breathtaking scenery, lovely people and the riding was amazing too. So much so, that this will not be the last time I ride here.
When you ride this route, you will understand!
Day 5 - Sežana to Starigrad (Slovenia to Croatia)
The Days Events
As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like a light. I had a bottle of water for during the night but hadn’t woken up at all, so it was still full and I was still in the same position as when I’d fallen asleep. A good night’s sleep, I was fully recharged and ready to go. I headed to breakfast and met up with the others at about 08:00 am, it was the usual continental style,
I must admit we were met with an unfriendly welcome at breakfast and had enjoyed the same frosty reception the previous evening too. The hotel was very good, it was clean and comfortable but the service was very poor. We didn’t mind as we were only using it as a quick stop over to sleep, recharge ourselves and our batteries for the electrical devices. We would only be there less than 12 hours, most of which would be in bed sleeping and we’d be off again as soon as we were ready, so didn’t give the place a second thought as we would never be returning anyway, ‘any port in a storm’ as they say.
A quick ride into Italy
After breakfast we loaded up and departed. As the Italian border was so close we decided to head over there for a happy snap and add another country to our tally. We didn’t really ride into any specific part of Italy, just through the border crossing to say we’d been there, and as it was an open border it was easy to go in and turn around (we took the necessary photos to prove it). After visiting Italy we headed straight on the toll road to get out of Sežana. It was a difficult place to navigate really, as the roads were pretty badly signposted and there were lots of little turnings, and we just wanted to get going and head to the Croatian border, as we didn’t want to keep having long days in the saddle.
We’d agreed the previous night that it was my turn to lead, so I obliged and planned the route on a route card. During the day I was going to half use the sat nav (I hate the things with a passion) but have succumbed to using one as an aid to the map. I had toll roads and motorways programmed into the sat nav, I wanted the quickest way to the road we needed. This was because of the detour last night as we were quite a way off track, according to our original plan.
Sat nav blunders
Enroute the typical thing happened on the sat nav, it said turn off at the next junction. As soon as we were off the road, it was telling me to go back on the main road – WTF! As we did, it told me to turn around when possible. I ignored it and carried on for it to recalculate, it did and brought us off at the next junction, as soon as we were off it froze – my language is not describable at this stage.
The Croatian border on a motorbike
It wasn’t too long before we reached the Croatian border. The guard took our passports and bike documents and we made friendly chit chat with him and before long our passports were returned. Next was to take a few happy snaps with Ginge and the Union Flag, he had already positioned himself with the Croatian flag and border guard in the background for the shot.
The weather was hotting up and so were the roads. The villages were virtually derelict and the roads were in some need of repair and lots of attention but we were in a new country and looking forward to seeing what Croatia had to offer.
Villages were run down and Mike reckoned it was from the ethnic cleansing back in the 1990’s. I was not well
read on this but I was based here as a soldier and didn’t really understand the full history and reasons behind the war.
I felt a bit embarrassed by not knowing but I intended to study about it. Especially because I was thinking of returning at a later date, when I bring an organised tour here. It was naive of me to have been here during that period and not to know what it was all about and any of its history. Maybe I had been told but had forgotten, it wasn’t really a good enough excuse for my ignorance though!
We’d done about 150 miles so we decided to fill up, have a coffee at the harbour and watch a yacht race start. We got talking to a guy from London, who was on business and he was gobsmacked by our story. We enjoyed half an hour or so with him as we chatted and passed a bit of time enjoying the view.