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Croatia

Curious what backpackers do in Croatia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Eine wunderschöne Altstadt in Burgmauern. ❤
    Leider war es sehr dreckig überall war Kot von Hunden... Hier wurden Szenen zu game of Thrones gedreht und man konnte vieles wieder erkennen. Es ist sehr stilistisch und hat einen tollen eigenen Charakter.
    Auch gibt es eine Seilbahn mit der man einen tollen Ausblick auf die Stadt von oben genießen kann und bootstouren zu der Insel lokum wo auch viele Szenen von game of Thrones gedreht wurden. Leider waren wir im Winter dort und da gab es keine bootstouren. Oder andere touristische Angebote. Ich mag diese Stadt aber sehr. Es ist eine richtige Burg 😊
    💚💚💚
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  • In smo dočakali.Težko pričakovano potovanje v jugovzhodno Azijo, v Malezijo.Dolga pot je pred nami in na letališču v Zagrebu gre vse gladko. Vkrcamo se na letalo, pričakajo nas touch screen ekrani, slušalke, skratka, Qatar airways resnično štima. Cena karte je bila prav tako izjemno ugodna, dejstvo pa da letijo iz Zagreba pa jih uvrsti izjemno visoko za bodoče potovalne želje. Skoraj 6 urni let proti Dohi se je začel...danes gledamo filme na letalu....Read more

  • The rain and cloud had given way to a warm sun and bright blue sky. The clear water of Starigrad bay looked so inviting... until we stepped into it in our wetsuits and snorkeling gear! It was too cold even for Will and that is saying something! We stayed in for a freezing 5 minutes, seeing a few fish, some tall anemones and clam like creatures before hurrying out and into the van for a nice hot shower! Luckily the air was a lot warmer and we enjoyed lunch outside with Poppy.

    The next day the rain returned and we visited wind blown Pag island via the bridge. The terrain as we entered the island was startlingly barren. Loose rocks covered a surface devoid of any real topsoil and the only plants we could see were the occasional sprig of wild sage.

    As we progressed further onto Pag, vegetation in the form of tall reeds, scrubby bushes and trees had a foothold. We passed salt pans in the shallows and sheep huddled in dells. Arriving in Pag town, we found the majority of shops were shut, including the tourist information office, despite it being Saturday. It was similar to Zadar in that it had a harbour, narrow streets and a light stone church, only on a much smaller scale. We bought lunch at a bakery and ate it on the bracing seafront. Will particularly enjoyed the cottage cheese wrapped in filo pastry!

    Another shop that was thankfully open was the little cheese shop. Pag is famous for its Paški Sir (Pag Cheese), a strong hard ewes' milk cheese, a bit like a cross between Cheddar and Parmesan.

    On our way back to the van we were accosted by a stray tabby cat and her brood of kittens. They came running down the street towards us and the only suitable food we had for her was butter which she didn't seem too keen on. (Will wouldn't let Vicky feed her the Pag Cheese). Vicky found it difficult not to take the whole family back with her to the van!
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  • Plitvice Lakes had been recommended to us by several people. It is the largest National Park in Croatia and follows the course of a river valley over numerous waterfalls.

    The day was blanketed in a very thick fog, so some views weren't quite as spectacular as they may otherwise have been and others were non existent. Autumn entry prices were cheaper than summer but we were given no information about the land train and ferries that transported visitors within the park and we assumed that like so many things, they had stopped for winter.

    From the entrance high up on the valley side, we could hear the roar of water. As we decended the zig zag track, a view of a waterfall feeding into a small, clear green lake emerged. We were able to cross over the lake and waterfalls using a boardwalk that ran close to the water surface. Once we were within the valley, the fog gave the place a mystical atmosphere. The route taken by the downriver boardwalk was incredible. It led us along the side of a vertical cliff face and over the head of a high waterfall. We could almost reach out and touch the water as it bubbled and splashed up, before dropping tens of meters into the plunge pool created by it and several other waterfalls. Around the corner we found ourselves at the foot of three long thin falls, the white water the same colour as the fog obscuring the clifftop over which it spilled.

    Turning upstream we crossed a wide section of river, past a shallow cave and up steep stone steps cut into the rock. To our right we found the entrance to a far deeper cave. Luckily Will had a torch because otherwise it would have been pitch black. Inside, a narrow track led around large stalactites and stalagmites to a depth of about 25m. Shining the torch around, the surroundings seemed really quite alien, with the deposits left behind from water flowing down the walls, forming bulbous projections from every side, above and below.

    Back in the open air, we climbed up the cliff track and along the top of the valley which was covered in beautiful Beech forest. Either side of the path was thick with rich brown leaves and dead wood that supported small bracket fungi of a similar hue.
    Dropping down ready to return along a riverside track, we found our way barred without any explanation. There was no other direct route back so we retraced our steps, only to be overtaken by a shuttle bus. We caught up with it where it had stopped but there was no room and the driver was shut in a separate cab so it was difficult to ask when the next one would be along. As Will's plantar fasciitis was beginning to hurt his feet, we just walked back to the van instead of seeing any more.

    On reflection we were a little disappointed by the lack of information and closed path had restricted what we saw, but we certainly weren't disappointed with what we did see. The park is unique and magical; we'd definitely recommend a visit!

    As we left we kept our fingers crossed that tonight's stopover would be open and have the water we needed. Camp Korana was at the end of a 1km gravel track down the side of a valley. Our hopes rose as we saw there was a car with its lights on outside the log cabin. Our arrival was greeted by 5 cats who leaped from the cabin's 1st floor windows and trotted up to the van mewing. The owner said the stopover was closed but that we could stay for free and take the drinking water we needed from his log cabin. As Will was filling our water bag from the tap in his bathroom, he offered us schnapps so we joined him in his living room and were introduced to the 5 cats!

    When he left for the night, his cats came over to the van. They were very friendly and Vicky fussed 3 outside while a fourth sneekily evaded Poppy's detection on the van step. When Poppy went out later, the same cat snuck in and stealthily explored her bed! When they were shut out, one cat took up residence on the bonnet, staring in at us through the windscreen and another climbed on the roof, giving Vicky a real start when it mewed at her through the fly screen of the open roof vent in the toilet!

    Apart from the feline antics, our last night in Croatia was very quiet and still. The loudest sound was that of the river and its small waterfall a little way upstream. The sky was clear and the stars bright - lovely!
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  • Packed and headed off with my trusty GPS showing me the way to my next stop in Croatia.Stopped at a petrol station to fill up and have a hot chocolate. No hot chocolate!!!! I'm forced to drink a herbal tea - primrose or something, just horrible. That will teach you to go to Europe and not drink coffee or alcohol😢.

    A guy struck up a conversation....so where are you off to? Croatia I say, staying overnight at Slavonski Brod. Ohh, I'm a truck driver and know the roads well, you'll be crossing into Bosnia & Herzegovina the border comes up close to Slavonski Brod and the road goes through there. Are you sure? (Up very close to me, gets right face to face, but friendly) Yes, have driven many times before....2 border crossings for you my new Australian friend. Okay thanks, you don't happen to have any more garlic sandwiches by chance? Or have you just eaten them all? I have a look at the map and the border is pretty close, now I'm not really sure any more.

    Hope on bike and head-off. Get to a border crossing, leave Serbia and enter another country. The border crossing says welcome to "Republic of Hrvatska". Great now there's a 3rd country thrown into the mix. Where am I? Did I head in the wrong direction (pretty sure I never saw that on a map!!! Now I've been lost before, wrong house, wrong street, even wrong town, but have never been in the wrong country 😲. I look at my passport...yep the stamp says Hrvatska, is that how they say/spell Herzegovina? It doesn't look remotely like the word Croatia!!! I say to the crossing guard (pretty stern looking guy with tazer and gun) - this might sound funny, but what country am I in? He looks at me, then laughs and says "2nd Australia today making same joke - go people waiting behind you". Great, well at least there's another dumb Aussie wandering around whatever country this is, maybe we can meet up and be lost together. I head off and then stop out of the guard's sight and have a look at Google maps (am a bit worried now, if this is B & H my vodafone roaming won't cover me and this might cost a fortune!!!). Well it says I'm in Croatia...whew, Croatia is called Republica of Hrvatska. It's their country, guess they can call it what they want.

    Got to Slavonski Brod, found the hotel car park, and put the bike up on the side stand. Am still thinking, "the border was the first time language and really given me any issue". Spot the hotel and see three women come out of a hotel room door and walk up towards the reception area. Quick as a flash I'm across the road up the stairs and follow them in and close the door behind me. It didn't look like a normal reception, but it had a bar/counter and a lounge so after shutting the door I just sat and waited my turn. The women then realised I'd followed them in and shut the door behind me. First there were 3 blank stares with jaws sorta hanging loose, then a bit of talking between themselves rising in crescendo, a bit of backing away, then a bit of shouting. I offered to wait my turn to book in, then, hmm, took me a few long seconds to work out that this isn't a hotel. Actually, it's someone's house (that happens to be opposite the hotel car park) and these three women (I'd guess grandmother, mother and daughter) had a bearded bike sitting in the lounge room between them and a closed door leading to safety. Eventually we all managed to work out what had happened, we had a bit of a laugh, and I was on my way to the hotel about 40 or 60 metres up the road. True story - I took a pick of the house (first pic), it looks like a hotel doesn't it? Remember some of the hotels are converted houses - you could have easily you made the same mistake.

    The hotel (Garten) turned out to be a quirky little place with room extensions running off everywhere, a restaurant full of old "stuff" and an exceptionally nice owner who, despite my protestations, gave me a home collected jar of her own honey when I left. She even put up a shade umberella to park my bike under in case it rained. Even the three women waived me good bye in the morning 😆

    Okay..Zargreb next hopefully without any navigation problems.
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  • Deutsche Version auf www.cyclingfornepal.com

    Yesterday a month ago I started in Munich. It doesn't seem so long ago, because the days on the bike go around really fast. I was hoping the time is ticking more slowly during my trip, but in things that you do like, the pointer rotates faster.

    After a short break in Trieste / Italy, my route led through Slovenia for a day, then on the Croatian Coast to the border to Montenegro. The route along the coast had properly called grains. It went uphill every day at least for 1000 meters. Up - down, up - down. But at any time I had a wonderful sea view.

    After a two-day break in the Paklenica National Park, I drove a stage within the country. No Tourism at all which was an interesting change.

    Mostly at 5 p.m I kept an eye out for a suitable tent site. Previously, I always had the right nose and had sensational camp spots.

    Shortly before the border to Montenegro, I could set up my tent at Markos place. I contacted him over warmshowers.org, a platform for cyclist, who fellow travelers give a place to sleep - for free. He lives in the mountains with a idyllic sea view. Situated on a plateau I could put up my tent. A Swiss couple has lived there for two months and building a hut. So who wants to lead a dropout-life is that an interesting place. At the point I'm not there yet :).

    Still, I just enjoy the feeling of freedom: Not having much and to pitch up the tent at amazing places.

    Now I am heading towards Albania.

    Ride on.
    Janosch

    PS. Unfortunately, my laptop stopped working. Therefore first have to serve the cell phone photos. Hopefully I get it running again :(.
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  • We were astounding by the beauty of the Croatian coastline as we drove along it. The road ran in and out, following the cove pitted cliffsides, the hills ahead in shadow as the sun shone and sparkled on the sea, spreading out to the rocky grey islands. The water below us was intense blue and we could see whitecaps and squalls swirling on the surface - not a day for sailing!

    Seeing a sign for a dog beach, we pulled up, walked past some bee hives and took the stone steps under an arched tunnel to a small stony cove. Unfortunately Poppy had to stay in the van as she is too old to make it that far now. Vicky was quite happy to soak in the sunshine out of the wind but Will couldn't resist a swim. He didn't stay in for long but enjoyed the time he was in once he got over the initial shock of cold! On shore we picked some wild sage and bay leaves to flavour the evening's gravy before continuing on our journey.

    Turning off the coast road we climbed the hillside making our way towards Zavizan peak in Velebit National Park, from where there was supposed to be brilliant views of the Kvarner Gulf coastline. The sights as we climbed were pretty amazing and the hillside itself was covered in full blown autumnal trees whose growth had been stunted by wild winds and lack of nutrition on the steep rocky slopes. The ground between the trees was filled with grey green sage. Upon reaching the lee side of the hill, the tree cover phased into taller firs, then swathes of leafless beeches as we rose over 1000m.

    The road was challenging and when the sat nav tried to direct us down a single track road that hardly looked wide enough for a car never mind a 3.5 tonne 7 meter van we decided against it. We followed directions for an alternative road and the road got narrower and narrower until it reached the point where two cars couldn't pass, never mind the van and a car. The bank fell away steeply from the road and we lost count of the number of hair pin bends. Despite the difficulty with driving, the route was magical, like something out of a fairytale. Sunlight filtered through trees, reflected off limestone rocks and lit up a carpet of fallen leaves.

    Reaching the alternative turning to the peak we found it had a gate over it, but we weren't too disappointed because the drive to that point had been so incredible. We found a place to park and stayed up in the woods at 1185m above sea level. The temperature had sunk to 5°C so we wrapped up warm for a walk in the woods where the only sounds we heard were bird calls and the beating of ravens' wings as they flew overhead.
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  • Well, we thought we'd driven on narrow and winding roads to reach the overnight spot. It turned out Velebit National Park was to educate us as to the meaning of 'narrow winding road' on the journey down the mountain. We spent 90 minutes driving at 20mph or less on a road that was at times only about 30cm wider than the wheels of the van. This in itself was challenging. The fact that the road hairpinned countless times and over the edge was an extremely steep plunging mountainside made it rather scary on more than a few occasions! We only met one other driver who passed and gawped at us with his jaw literally hanging open. The sat nav twice tried to direct us along gravel tracks but we drew the line at these and took the long way round, only having to dodge random fallen rocks as opposed to driving on top of them.

    Despite the level of concentration required, the route was stunningly beautiful. At one point a deer jumped across the road just 10m ahead of us. A carpet of copper coloured beech leaves swallowed the sides of the road most of the time and there were glimpses of far off valleys filled with morning mist. Exposed rock added to the ruggedness of the scenery.

    We eventually reached a wide valley floor and the main road that caused us to breathe a sigh of relief when we saw it had a white line down the middle! Conical hills and craggy outcrops rose up at the edges of the valley and we passed small fields with a single cow or a flock of a dozen hardy looking sheep.

    There were a great number of abandoned houses along this stretch and stopping for lunch we were approached by what looked like an abandoned dog. Her long hair helped to mask how skinny she was and it was matted around burrs on her tail that she kept tucked tightly between her legs. She looked very flighty and far too nervous to handle us getting out of the van so Vicky threw a nugget of dog food out for her. She scurried away, thinking it was a stone but after a while she approached, sniffed and ate it. She had a small meal this way but was still far too wary to be approached and so we just had to move on.

    Camp 'Jaz' is a small campsite site by the sea, backed by rocky mountains and protected from the wind and waves by the island of Pag, running parallel with the shore and almost touching the mainland at one end. The sun was getting low in the sky as we arrived but it was still warm so we carried the canoe a few meters over the stony shore and launched out into the bay. The water surface was smooth and we never lost sight of the sea bed through the clear water, despite being more than 5m deep. As the big orange sun set over Pag island, it lit up the mountains behind us with a pretty pink hue. Darkness fell and we were treated to a clear sky and a great view of the stars.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Croatia, Kroatien, Croatia, Kroasië, Krowehyia, ክሮኤሽያ, Croacia, كرواتيا, ܩܪܘܐܛܝܐ, Xorvatiya, Харватыя, Хърватска, Kroasi, ক্রোয়েশিয়া, ཀུརོ་ཤི་ཡ།, Kroatia, Hrvatska, Croàcia, Chorvatsko, Kroatsia nutome, Κροατία, Kroatio, Horvaatia, Kroazia, کرواتیا, Korwasii, Croatie, Croacie, Cravuazie, Kroaasje, An Chróit, ક્રોએશિયા, Kurowaishiya, קרואטיה, क्रोएशिया, Chorwatska, Horvátország, Հորվաթիա, Kroasia, Croasia, Króatía, Croazia, クロアチア共和国, ჰორვატია, Korasia, ក្រូអាស៊ី, ಕ್ರೋಯೇಶಿಯಾ, 크로아티아, کرۆواتیا, Kroati, Хорватия, Kurowesya, Kroatië, Krowasi, ໂຄເອເຊຍ, Kroatija, Horvātija, Хрватска, ക്രൊയേഷ്യ, Kroazja, ခရိုအေးရှား, Kroaitsiya, କ୍ରୋଆଟିଆ, Croasya, Chorwacja, Croassia, کروواسيا, Croácia, Hurwatsuyu, Korowasiya, Croația, Croazzia, Kroasïi, Chorvátsko, Hrvaška, Korweeshiya, Kroacia, குரோசியா, క్రోయేషియా, ประเทศโครเอเชีย, Kroasya, Kuloisia, Hırvatistan, كرودىيە, Хорватія, کروشیا, Crô-a-ti-a (Croatia), Kroasän, Orílẹ́ède Kòróátíà, 克罗地亚, i-Croatia