A relaxed start in Croatia!
From Slovenia I cross the border to Croatia and also drive a bit into Hungary. Then I drive in the direction of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
In a remote area just before Zagreb we go camping. There is a fence around the small campsite and all the dogs run loose, including Leo.
While walking around the neighborhood I see many dilapidated buildings that are no longer used. And then nature takes its course, I like that.
Youth sentiment and Doggie Beach
I used to be on holiday in former Yugoslavia in Istria a number of times. I wanted to see what it’s like now!
It is still high season and it is very busy in the seaside resorts of Opatija and Porec where I have been in the past. It looks familiar to me but a lot has also changed!
Everywhere at the beach there are signs ‘No dogs allowed’ so we go to Doggie Beach. Leo doesn’t like swimming in the sea and when he is sunbathing, I swim with other dogs. This is a bit crazy so I decide to drive inland, away from the crowds and I like it!
From Opatija we drive a nice mountain road to the medieval town of Buzet. It is beautifully situated on top of a mountain and the last part to Old town we walk. It’s a truffle town and you can do a tour or a tasting if you want.
Via the old town of Motovun, where it is all about wine from Istria and truffles, we continue to Groznjan, a difficult road to get there, but we manage! I’ve decided to follow the signs for cars instead of tour bus or motorhome. That makes it exciting every time whether the road is wide enough for my car.
In Groznjan there are many artists and small galleries. In addition to local wine and truffles, olive oil is also for sale here, nice town! I am looking for a camper parking nearby and I camp in the vineyard and olive grove on a nature campsite. I feel super happy here and am surprised that I suddenly feel so carefree.
The road from Istria to the Plitvice waterfalls is fantastically beautiful! Beautiful bays with clear blue water and especially after Crikvenica it is much less crowded. I would like to film it but we are swinging along the coast so nicely that I keep both hands on the wheel, beautiful!
As soon as we go inland I am again surprised. We drive to an altitude of 694 m, meandering over the mountain. Just nature, this makes me happy! A remote area where few cars drive, great for touring.
About 50 km before Plitvice I go to a small campsite where the campsite owner offers a homemade plum snaps, my goodness that stuff is strong 😵💫
I’m going to drive early and the Plitvice park isn’t busy yet. After a cup of coffee I start with route K and that is about an 18 km walk. The water has a beautiful green-blue color and is super clear.
The falls have little water this time of year. I have seen the smallest waterfall in the world called ‘big waterfall’! The route is neatly laid out and nice for walking. At the very end I sail a bit over the lake with a boat, what a beautiful park!
Velebit National Park
I like the inland! I continue to Velebit National Park. Camping Velebit has a very relaxed atmosphere, just like in some hostels. Great, I feel at home here. From the campsite I walk to a beautiful church and that is where the route starts.
After about an hour of flat walking we go up the mountain, phew that is more difficult than expected. Fairly steep and lots of boulders. Would rather not go back on this same path. After half an hour of climbing with hands and feet I don’t dare to go back on this path, man it is difficult… via the app maps.me I see that we can walk around and I tell myself it’s great that I continue like this. On top of the mountain I am very proud and happy! I’m also tired, I notice, my hand is shaking while filming.
We walk down at a leisurely pace and that’s actually going well. At the campsite I meet a nice couple who go paragliding all over Europe cool! A little later I chat with a woman who is here with a group for mountain climbing. Hahah and I’m already sweating with my mountain walk! In the morning I eat apples from the apple tree next to the camper and then I leave this nice place.
I drive along the coast for a while and the kilometers before Sibenik there was a big fire in July, kilometers of plants and trees are completely burned or blackened. Impressive and scary at the same time to drive through.
In Imotski in the south of Croatia there are two lakes, Blue Lake and the deep Red Lake, let’s go there. A park has been laid out and it is much nicer than I expected. You can walk down to Blue Lake via a zigzag path. Beautiful when you are down and looking up. Would you like to see it? Take a look at this video!
There is an old fortress overlooking the village and then I look into the 220 meter deep Red Lake. The lake is surrounded by red rock.
In the evening I have a top spot between the fruit trees. The manager of the campsite is an old hippie and immediately brings a piece of melon and grapes as a welcome, nice! I buy a bottle of local olive oil from his fruit stall and once again enjoy a very relaxed campsite.
Via the island of Ston and the beautiful new Peljesac bridge I drive to the southernmost point of Croatia. But first I visit Dubrovnik.
Croatia is still very narrow here and so I see Dubrovnik as inland 🙂
In Mlini I make a last stop, from here I can take the boat to Dubrovnik. This city is known for its huge city wall and the old marble streets. Together with Leo I also enjoy all the small streets with lots of stairs. Dubrovnik is a beautiful and also very touristy city.
The boat trip along the coast with this wonderful weather is perhaps the most fantastic, what a great day!
Tomorrow I will cross the border to Montenegro, do you want to read the rest of my journey? Please click on this link! https://www.marianaroundtheworld.com/en/europe/the-pearl-montenegro/
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