I rode from Makarska to Sibenik on the D8 again, retracing my route on the way down. Blue skies, blue seas and the road winding along the mountainside, a perfect day.
Sibenik – the main reason I stopped here was to visit the Krka National Park and its waterfalls. There is an old town and 3 forts above it, I climbed the stairs to the one in the centre of town. Rather than ride to the National Park I took an all boat day trip (400 Kuna including lunch and drinks) which takes you right into the park, you then get 3 hours to explore and back home again, very nice indeed.
Having reached the southern end of Croatia I am now heading back along the same coast road (D8) to the north with the same beautiful scenery. I took a small detour and stopped at the town of Ston to take some pictures of its famous wall. Once again I had to pass through Bosnia and back into Croatia. I actually got a stamp by Croatian immigration (the only one so far) when exiting Croatia into Bosnia got waved through the next 3 checkpoints without any stamps, so according to my passport I departed Croatia but never arrived anywhere else hahaha.
Makarska – a holiday town, very nice beach with many hotels, restaurants and cafe’s, it gets crowded on the weekend.
The ride from Split to Dubrovnik on the D8 was as good as ever but busier with many small towns all of which offer accommodation for tourists. I had to pass through a sliver of Bosnia to get to Dubrovnik, short queue of cars, I had my passport and bike insurance ready, took my helmet and glasses off and the guy did not even open my passport just gave it back to me and waved me on hahaha, same for the Bosnia guy. Then a short ride through Bosnia and the town of Neum and the next border crossing back into Croatia, this time I got waved through both sides. They were checking the documents of people in cars not sure what the criteria is, maybe Bike riders are considered harmless.
Dubrovnik, the most popular tourist destination in Croatia and a UNESCO heritage site, millions of tourists and its not even peak season as yet. Generally speaking Croatia is one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe but Dubrovnik is the exception with prices being 3 t0 4 times more expensive than other parts of the country.
I stayed at a guesthouse above the old town and it was on a street that turned out to be a flight of stairs hahaha. All the horizontal streets are actual roads but the vertical streets in this area are all stairs and each house has a street number. Building the houses must have meant they carried all the materials down or up the stairs. There is a very good bus network with modern busses, cost 15 kuna a ride if you buy your ticket on the bus or 12 kuna if you buy it in advance at any small shop/kiosk. The main bus station for the old town is called Pile (Peelay).
Day trip to Cavtat by boat, picturesque little seaside town between two peninsulas shaped like a claw. The boat leaves from the Dubrovnik old town Harbour, 80 kuna return and takes about an hour each way with a couple of stops on the way. There is a pathway that goes right around the bigger arm of the claw with small beaches and cafes.
I took the cable car to the top of the mountain where there is a fort and inside the fort is the war museum, cost 150 kuna for the ride and 30 kuna for the musuem. Good views of Dubrovnik from the top, the museum is about the 1991 war when Serbia and Montenegro tried to capture Dubrovnik and damaged the city with cannon fire and bombs.
And finally I walked around the town on top of the Wall that surrounds it which is an unbroken pathway. As the wall follows the contours it goes up and down with many steps, knee punishment and I paid 150 kuna for this torture, you have been warned hahaha.
Zadar to Split on the D8, many small village and towns along the coast, slow going with the occasional stretch of clear road, interesting ride with great views.
Day trip to Hvar town on Hvar Island from Split, this is a big island and a popular destination. The ferry ticket on Kapetan Luka is 90 Kuna each way and you buy it from a kiosk at the start of the pier. There are a number of departures every day and there is accommodation on the island.
Day trip to Trogir from Split by ferry, there are a number of departures everyday, cost 30 kuna one way, buy your ticket on the boat. This is also an island but only just, its connected to the mainland by a very short bridge. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Narrow streets packed with restaurants and tourists. If you want a meal and a drink at half price just cross the bridge to the mainland, there is a big market and many restaurants.
I followed the freeway from Zagreb to the coast and then turned off onto the D8 which has to be one of the great biking roads of the world. It follows the coast almost all the way with mountains on one side and the sea on the other, many small villages and hundreds of bikes on the road enjoying the ride and the sunshine.
Zadar, an ancient city, the oldest in Croatia, the old town has narrow winding streets and many tourists.
Trieste, Italy to Zagreb, Croatia through Slovenia via Rijeka. It is important to remember that Slovenia is part of the EU and the Schengen area but while Croatia is part of the EU it is not part of the Schengen area. Therefore you must get stamp showing you have exited Slovenia (Schengen area) and another stamp showing you have entered Croatia. By default the immigration officers at road border crossings leaving the Schengen area do not do this, they just wave you through and only the country your are entering stamps your passport. So you have to ask for both of the stamps. This is to avoid being held up at the airport by mentally deficient immigration officials when flying out of the Schengen area. They can not grasp the fact that if you have a stamp showing that you have entered one country, it means that you have left the other and its happened to me twice both times at Schiphol airport.
Fine and cloudy weather, cold through the mountains which rise to 800m on the road to Zagreb and the numerous roadworks holding everyone up. I travelled the back roads up to Rijeka and then onto the freeway to Zagreb, 6 euro in tolls for a motorcycle.