'Zbogom' to Croatia!November 27, 2016 in Austria
During our month in Croatia we were never far from the clear blue waters of the Adriatic. There was a lot more of the country to explore inland in the North East but as camping outside of designated sites isn't allowed and there weren't many sites listed in this area, we focussed on the tourist orientated coast.
Visiting outside the summer months meant we weren't able to swim in a warm sea or lakes, but it did give us space to explore a stunningly beautiful country. For us, it would have been too hot and crowded to be enjoyable in summer.
Things that will stand out in our memory include:
1. The amazing coast road that kept us so close to the sparkling clear blue sea and the sunsets over it for hundreds of kilometers.
2. The numerous islands, some of them like the mainland, others devoid of vegetation and others small, round pimples, with lush green trees growing right up to a thin strip of rocky shoreline.
3. The craggy mountains that rose up parallel to the coastline and contained the most amazing waterfalls in their valleys.
4. The olives, clementines, pomegranates and figs growing wild or being farmed and harvested. We foraged some and bought them at markets or roadside stalls. Dried figs were a particular favourite of Vicky's.
5. The markets that sold so much fresh local produce, including fish and seafood straight from the nearby harbour and homemade olive oil.
6. The number of people who spoke English, not everyone by far, but a huge percentage in the tourist areas.
7. The abandoned, bullet pocked houses; scars from the war 25 years ago when those Serbians that survived were expelled from the country. It is recent history in Croatia but it made us think of other countries where those that aren't seen as 'indigenous' are the subject of intimidation and violence.
8. New developments, signs of a tourist industry on its way up.
9. Stones, and lots of them! Rocky landsacapes supporting not much more than sage, endless dry stone walls, light stone buildings ranging from ancient structures such as Pula's Amphitheatre to tall terraced homes lining narrow stone streets in old town centres.
10. Our encounters with the numerous cats and dogs roaming free - we did well not to come back with some!Read more