Crossing the border to Croatia was easy-peasy - a short passport check and off we go. Unfortunately, we end up on a newly built stretch of highway and have to pay some toll. Toll! (german for great)
In Rijeka we get onto the coastal road. There is quite some traffic heading south, with many motorcycles from throughout Europe. We decide to grab something do eat when the clouds seen in the pic above form on the horizon.
We end up in a Pizzeria where I order a Pizza with anchovy. Now, living in a landlocked country I'm not to keen on fish - but anchovies are great. What I didn't expect was that they put almost a whole fish on my pizza. With eyes and some bones, too. Shudder. After a quarter of the pizza I'm done. Sorry.
The rain isn't going to stop so we just ride anyway. The coast road is beautiful and we have the road almost to ourselves. After about 150km in the rain, we stop at a roadside café to have a drink. There we meet three austrian guys enjoying their vacation in underwear, drinking and joking around with the waitress.
View from the camping place in Starigrad.
After a stormy night of little sleep I awake with eyes full of sand. Our dutch neighbours invite us for a coffee before we make our way to the back country.
After a while we take a small gravel road for a few minutes to have a break there.
Looks like a fun road! Would be great to ride a dual sport here.
A fun way to get your bread.
The road leads us through beautiful wide valleys, sometimes with lakes or rivers beneath. There is quite some lorry traffic and some of them honk and wave at us.
The contrast to the coastal regions is immense. Not a lot of tourist money ends up here. A common sight: half-finished building, sometimes abandoned, sometimes with people living in the finished parts.
It's time for us to head to the next country: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We definitely arrived in eastern Europe - many drivers are way too fast (so are we
) and motorcycle riders wear helmets only if they are safety fanatics.
Bosnia and Herzegovina mainly consists of two political entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
and the Republika Srpska
. While the former is mainly inhabitated by Bosniaks, the Republika Sprpska is dominated by bosnian Serbs. This led to ethnic tension and, among other reasons, to the Bosnian War after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. While the Serbs wanted to stay a part of Yugoslavia and be close to Serbia, the Bosniaks thrived for independency.
The Bosnian War may be over, but there are still many relicts of the war. Many bombed houses remind you of the war that has ended in 1995 - mere 17 years ago. The country still has a high density of land mines, so it's wise to stay on marked roads.
Land mine contamination in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Traces of the war are also still in the heads of some people. In the Bosnia and Herzegovina part, the city names in cyrillic is painted over, while some signs on the Serb side have the latin ones painted over.
The countryside is beautiful, with a lot of rocky hills.
I am only navigating with a big map of Southeastern Europe. So we take a wrong turn and end up on a gravel road. Although we know we might not be on the right road, we decide to follow it for a while.
After a few kilometers we decide to turn around and get back on the main road. A great fast gravel road it was.