We are now entering the fast forward section of our two week, ten country road trip (i.e. when we started to cram way too much into the last 5 days). It was Saturday afternoon and we sped to Croatia. Once we were out of Italy, we went old school. As in, we used fold out maps. Our GPS did not have information for the rest of the countries on our trip. And we weren’t about to rack up roaming fees on our iPhones and iPads. Let me tell you something, in an age of dependence on all kinds of electronic devices, it feels really good to manage without. So paper maps. Bring. It. On.
Didn’t get to Pula until nightfall, but again our campsite was gracious enough to let us crash and pay in the morning. (This was a theme throughout our trip.) Since it was dark when we arrived, we couldn’t see much, but camped right on the shore and fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves on the rocks below. Nice! The next day we wandered around Pt Kamenjak, which translates to rocky point and it’s application is quite literal. The area was a huge rocky beach with kayaking, windsurfing,
beer shacks outdoor bars and an overall bohemian/hipster vibe that we were really digging. Except that we were a month too late. Everything was closed up for the season. Still, it was a nice place to walk around, if not a little disappointing. We just missed the party.
That afternoon we drove around the (very scenic) coastline, through tiny, pretty villages, stopping in harborfront Crikvenica for a burek lunch, to a small coastal town called Senj. Quickly became obsessed with burek (Croatian pastries filled with cheese, spinach or meat). Camped just outside of town at a site that was right on the water and filled with VW van-driving
hippies families. Loved it. The town itself was really quaint, with a waterfront boardwalk and crooked streets. We ended up finding a random pub for dinner where we feasted on local dishes like Ćevapčići (spicy sausages, ražnjići (grilled pork skewers) and frothy Croatian beer. So, so good. Couldn’t even finish it; there was so much food. Don’t worry, a little feline friend (this is the theme of my life) came by and once I dropped a small piece of meat, she ran off, must have brought it to her family and came back for more. I She eventually cleared my plate and I was happy to not let that meat go to waste.
The next day, we headed to Plitvice National Park, a gorgeous area with ever-changing pools, waterfalls and the clearest lake water I have ever seen. So pretty. We spent most of the day there, riding the ferries to different areas and hiking around. Felt good to walk for most of the day after all the driving!
No time to head further south to the most popular destinations like Split or Dubrovnik. Couldn’t even get to the islands. Maybe next time. There will be a next time.
Ahead: Slovenia’s Lake Bled & a hot minute in Austria’s Salzburg…
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