Roads near the border are always quiet and the crossing at Bano Polje is no exception. Dense woodland and more dense woodland affords few views of the countryside. There are some bullets holes on older buildings in the border town of Prezid, presumably they saw action in the 1990 here.
The drop down to the coast from 900 meters brings a noticeable change in climate, landscape and traffic. Cool green damp woods gives way to scorched scrub. Peeling off the layers I arrived at a convenient campsite near Rijeka, that was an astonishing 20 Euros a night. As per usual ear plugs are recommended if you wish to sleep outside the hours of 3am to 6am. Also this site in particular could be described more as a boulder field than a campsite, although it had all the mod cons and seemed well run.
Next day was a complete disaster. Set off for island of Krk, but after crossing the bridge and following the road for a few minutes its clearly unsafe due to the road width and speed / volume / type of traffic. I turned back and headed to the city of Rijeka following the old coast road to explore ferry options to different islands. Installed myself in a hostel for some planning.
The slow boat leaves at 7pm so a whole day to explore the city. This is when I discovered Burek. Its a half puff pastry / bread stuffed with cheese. Generous in size and calories!
The town is laid back with backstreet shops to explore a long pedestrianised strip and a small museum that had an exhibition of clocks, yawn.. but a bit in the foyer mentioned they used to manufacture torpedoes here and had a few remnants lying around.. yay!
Overnight boat to Split
Camped out on the deck for the night. Was a happy holiday atmosphere and soon I was slumbering in my sleeping bag.
Famous for Diocletian’s palace, a huge residence of the late Roman period and like the empire, it didn’t last for long. A funny quirk is that in the 7th Century his mausoleum was converted into a cathedral and contains the bones the very people he martyred (fed to lions etc). The pulpit incorporates stone from his actual tomb. The irony.
Clock tower or campanile is not to be missed, although you’ve got to have a head for heights. A few people froze on the steps leading up.. ‘its been standing for years, so its not going to fall down anytime soon’, I said encouragingly to a Japanese girl, which kind of covered the fact we are in an earthquake zone and the scaffolding holding the steps looks a bit rusty.
Are the Brits mad? Answer: not as mad as the Hungarians.
Gambling, drinking fighting, cavorting, dancing frogs. I’ve even seen a frog having his tooth extracted, the extractor clearly enjoying his/her task and the ‘extractee’ twisted and contorted in agony. There one question that plays on my mind, do frogs even have teeth?