Day 19 – 18th July 2020 – Karlovac, Croatia to Bad Gleichhenberg, Austria via Slovenia
Up with the lark this morning… actually I hardly slept, just couldn’t drop off, so am pretty tired. I am downstairs waiting when the apartment owner’s mate arrives with the key to the garage, he gestures at me to follow him. We manage to get the bike out together and then the owner arrives. He takes the keys and asks if all was ok, I reply yes great… he asks if I will leave a review.. yes of course. He then stands and watches me pack up the bike; this is a tad annoying, I wish he would just go away. Eventually he realises he is surplus to requirements, says his goodbyes and off he goes.
Back on the bike once more and heading for Slovenia. I’m not entirely sure where the border post is so I just put Ptuj in to the satnav and let it route me.
The road is the same as Robert and I took to bring Minnie to the RE dealer so I am going to pass by… I am momentarily tempted to drop in and tell him I fixed it, but I decide that would just be childish so don’t. Only a few miles further on I spot this and just have to turn around for a photo or two.
A real work of art… not sure what it’s about but very colourful and different from a statue of some bloke from the 1800’s.
Next stop is here…
Well it’s got to be done hasn’t it and anyway it’s well past time for coffee.
I bypass Zagreb and am enjoying the ride very much. The scenery is very green and there seem to be field after field of corn or maize. Some of them appear to be small holdings, next to peoples houses, so I assume this is a very popular crop in this region.
The other items I like to photograph, apart from water towers, are the churches, every town has at least one of course and some of the decoration is really fascinating.. It would seem to have a Russian influence and I don’t mean communist, I mean Russian churches are very similar.
I think Croatia is a very catholic country, well at least christian, and everywhere there is religious iconography.. like life size crucifix’s with Jesus nailed on and a much smaller Mary underneath in peoples’ gardens, at the roadside and randomly in the middle of the fields to very elaborate, what could be termed shrines, holding small altars with candles etc. inside.
There is one that I passed by and just had to turn back for a photo…
I have no idea what he is doing, but I could hazard a guess! Anyway, he’s not hanging around on a cross that’s for sure. By the look on his face he’s obviously heard Pontius the Pilate is on the prowl.
I also notice that a lot of the churches are up on a hill or indeed a mountain, maybe they want them as near to god as possible??
I think I am getting close to the border I carry on up the twisting road and the scenery is just stunning… so green and lush, when all of a sudden there are police officers up ahead..
As you can hear, I am already in Slovenia.. naughty grrrl… he was very pleasant, no drama, just turn around and go to a formal border crossing… simples, and a lot friendlier than my experiences with Croatian law enforcement… he didn’t even get annoyed that my music was playing while he was talking to me.
Back down the twisting road and then I take a right turn, I’m hoping the border point I have added to the satnav is a proper one. About 10 minutes later and I see the official sign for Slovenia and, curiously, a good km or 2 on is the actual passport control.
The first thing I notice… Slovenia is not only gorgeous, but soooo neat and tidy. It really is unbelievably clean, even the fields look manicured. The other striking point is the houses, they are almost all painted in pastel colours and as I go along I notice that neighbours have obviously made an effort not to have the same colours and in the villages there might be several shades of each colour… very lovely.
Also, some have motifs or patterns or specific designs on their walls… very creative I must say.
Not long after I enter Slovenia it starts to rain…. deep joy… out with the boil in the bag suit. So now I know everything leaks!!
I arrive at Ptuj, a very pretty town with some great architecture.
I see a burger bar so park up and go in….
The has to be the most enormous burger I have ever seen or indeed attempted to eat… I don’t manage it all of course… very good it was too.
Back on the bike heading to Austria… I have put Vienna into my satnav, but am not going to get there today.
It’s not long before I am at the Austrian border.. there are two border police sitting having a chat, they don’t even look up as I pass through… oh ok then.
I am starting to feel very drowsy now and indeed have had to catch myself to wake up so am stopping at the next town which is Bad Gleichhenberg.
I stop for petrol first and have two men staring at me the whole time I am filling up… yep remember now why I don’t like Austria!
I have booked a room via the usual and arrive to a great welcome from the owner. She tells me to park the bike under some shelter near the rear entrance to the hotel, which is very good of her. The room is a little dated, but huge so all good. I start to look at the blog and nod off, so I climb into bed… it’s 5.30pm. I wake up at 11.30pm and blog for a while before sleeping again… yawn!!