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South Slovenia to Split, Croatia, via the Plitvicka lakes

It’s all about the water!

Monday 24th May

Woke up in our field and with the bikes, set off to find this hill of blooming flowers. She had given us directions and told us it was 6km down the road, but it felt like double that as we were constantly biking uphill. Still it meant it would be downhill all the way back! We eventually found the path and took a walk up onto the hillside in the sun, to see the flowers and the surrounding hills.




Back at the motorhome, we decided it was time to say goodbye to the small but beautiful country of Slovenia and head into Croatia. During the journey we had planned to post some postcards, but before we knew it we were at the Croatian border! We were leaving the EU for the first time since Morocco, so got our passports stamped again. Straight after the border we found a Croatian post office. Where I explained about our Slovenian postcards and stamps, to be told just to drop them in the post-box! So I hope the people we sent them to did get them?

Croatia at first was not too different from Slovenia apart from more houses and faster drivers. We came down to the coast and the large industrial city of Rijeka, so we headed quickly past and down onto the coastal road. The road was very narrow with houses either side and we wondered whether we had actually taken the right road, but before long it came out on the coast. Croatia seems very built up, not like Spain with many high-rise apartments etc, just lots and lots of houses.

Armed with a campsite map from a tourist office we passed, we headed off to find one to stay at. We stopped at a few along the way, that were actually open, till we found one we actually liked the look and the price of. I think it was called Ujca, just past the town of Senj. It was a lovely small site with it’s own private bay and pebble beach. The only problem was to get into it we needed to go through a tunnel, under the road. With the measurements of the tunnel, retrieved from the campsite owners, it would in theory be possible. So we began and just managed slowly to squeeze ourselves through, with the kayaks a couple of times scrapping the top! We then set about the task of deciding on a spot to park up in. This is always more difficult than it seems, especially at the end of a long day with people watching you! Still we finally decided on one and settled for the night.


Tuesday 25th May

Woke up overlooking a small bay and a very calm sea, on a gloriously sunny day. Life is so hard on the road! The sea was in fact so calm it looked like a lake, this is no doubt due to the surrounding islands though. As the sun was out and the campsite was relatively cheap, we decided on staying another night and enjoying the day. The campsite was basic but charming and seemed to have most of the family living there. They were still also doing some maintenance work before the season really kicked off, so a cement mixer was on the go for most of the day. I decided to head off on my bike to the nearest village to get some supplies, the ride was lovely along the cliffs overlooking the sea.


In the afternoon we got the kayaks out on the sea to investigate the coast, it was great. We also met Greta from Austria, who has travelled all around the world and visited many inspiring places. After a bbq that evening, we headed over to chat with Greta and Gunter. We had a great chat with them over a good few glasses of Austrian red wine. I think Greta’s solo travelling adventures really inspired Lorna.

Wednesday 26th May

Woke up with major hangovers! After exchanging contact details with Greta, we said our goodbyes. Hopefully if we visit Vienna we can meet back up with them both. Before attempting the tunnel again, we decided it would be better to go through with out the kayaks on the roof! So with the tunnel done and the kayaks back on the roof, we hit the road again.

Today we were heading inland towards the Bosnian border and the world heritage site of the Plitvicka lakes. At this point, TomTom decided to give up the ghost again and wouldn’t charge, so back too the maps. We continued on through the countryside and hills, occasionally passing some bullet ridden old homes. We were in an area that would of suffered during the war, in fact there were a lot of abandoned homes and a lot of very new ones.

We reached the lakes and then had the choice of three campsites in the area. After a look around them all, we opted for a fairly large one in the woods and then the problem came of finding a space! Most of the site was uneven and a lot of people were already staying, this made finding a suitable spot hard. Eventually we did though and settled down for what left of the day.

Thursday 27th May

Up early, to get off this expensive campsite and down to see the lakes. Now campers can sometimes be a strange breed! A lot of the time a majority don’t seem to have any patience or are suddenly overcome by the need to be the first one in, to find a spot or the first one out, no matter what cost! We experienced this today first hand. As we were leaving we needed to empty our toilet, so drove around to the designated area and joined a short queue. When we got there and I went to empty our toilet, the motorhome and caravan behind us decided they couldn’t wait and came to empty theirs, as I was doing mine. They didn’t seem to care! I on the other hand did and thought it was a bit rude. I don’t particularly want to be right next to others emptying their toilets, it just seems wrong. Anyway, while I’m moaning I also want to point out another thing that bugs us. People should really be more careful when they come to swill out their toilets. Hoses do not need to be stuck down into the toilet nozzle, you can pour water into it from above. It doesn’t seem very hygienic really and other people will use the same hose to put into their clean water tanks! I don’t know call me prudent, but people seem to have a blatant disregard for others.
Anyway after that, we had fun at the campground exit! As this seemed to be every camper for themselves, in a rush to leave. No one seemed to want to wait, people were driving around each other in a hurry to get out and almost running Lorna down in the process! There is no need for it, what is the obsession? Will waiting a couple of minutes really set your whole day askew? Patience seems a virtue held by few.

Still we got out unscathed and headed for the lakes. We had been told they were very special and we hoped they would be. As with the entrance fee and the ridicules parking prices, it would not be cheap. With the sun out though we were not in the slightest bit disappointed.


It was a huge park filled with turquoise blue lakes and pools, connected by many many waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, truly stunning. There was a lovely wooden footpath all the way round, in some places going right over the falls.



You could stand on the wooden platform and see the water gushing through the slats, to down below.


There were clear pools and waterfalls galore.







By the end though we were waterfall-ed out, but it was an amazing place to visit.

After we headed back to the coast, towards Zadar and ended up in a convoy of 3 other motorhomes. We were again driving through areas affected from the war, as there were ruined buildings and many roadside graves. We also passed by an area that still had land mine signs up, a stark reminder of the recent war and the scars it has left. Landmines are such a terrible weapon of war, they harm so many innocent victims and take years and years to clear areas. Also I believe these types of weapons are still being manufactured by arms companies, seems people will never learn.

Anyway at Zadar we rejoined the coastal road, heading south in search of a campsite for the night. There are many many options for camping along the coast in Croatia, with campgrounds and what are known as mini camps. Now the mini camps, or what they are often signed as auto camps, are small and are literally in someone’s back garden! They do range in size and price, from tiny areas crammed with caravans to slightly larger area’s crammed with caravans! Some though do have more room and we managed to find a nice relatively cheap one, with space right on the sea front. On another note, Croatia isn’t really what we were expecting it to be somehow. The coastal waters are lovely and clear, but so far it has reminded me of Spain.

Friday 28th May

Left the small mini camp and headed further south on the coastal road, stopping in Split for a look around. We found some parking by the football stadium and walked into the city centre, through some concrete block housing.


Down at the sea front we found the walled town and stepped in to take a look. This is the old city, when you walk in you are confronted by a mix of Roman ruins and old Croatian buildings living happily side-by-side. It is a lovely but strange mix, with Roman pillars next to churches and shops.


After a good wonder around we headed back to the motorhome and continued our drive south, in search of another campsite. This is our only problem in Croatia, as you can’t free camp we have the continual cost of campgrounds! We ended up finding a lovely terraced campsite overlooking the sea, called Camp Serena and parked up for the rest of the day and night.

Saturday 29th May


Spent the day at the campsite relaxing by the sea and taking the kayaks out around the coast.


Sunday 30th May

Carried on further down the coast, the more south we seem to get from Split the nicer the Croatian coast is becoming. We stopped near Gradac at a large but basic campsite, right on the coast and it was also a good price. After a chat about Spurs (football team!) with the owner, they love Spurs in Croatia as we have a lot of Croatian players, we settled ourselves away from the other campers and practically had a small pebble beach to ourselves.



Posted by marklorna 03:32 Archived in Croatia Tagged automotive

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