Bike Tour: Croatia and Slovenia

 

Who: Dave Kritzberg, Eva Paldi, and Miles Light
Where: Croatia and Slovenia
When: July 17th. -- August 1st. 
 

Description:
Tuesday morning, 7:00am. Eva, Dave and I ride down Boszormenyi Ut to catch the 7:45 train to Pecs. Of course, we aren't allowed to take our bikes on, so we opted for the next train -- Nagykanizsa, a small town on the Hungarian border, next to Croatia. Eva seems relieved, since we will miss Slavonia, an area still under contention and supposedly ridden with land-mines.

Day 1: Nagykanizsa to Koprovnica

An 80km ride through the plains of Hungary into Croatia. 
Train stop in Nagykanizsa, start of the tour. Koprovnice only has one hotel, a very expensive one for business travellers. Luckily, the receptionist turned us onto this crowd

We stayed overnight with Marietta, second from the right. Everyone spoke perfect english..

 Dave with the locals

 


Day 2/3: Koprivnica -> Zagreb  85km

The road to Zagreb was good, except for the last 20km, when we ended up on a busy inroad to Zagreb, a city of almost 2 million located in the 'center' of Croatia, and just 35 km. from Slovenia.

We stayed two nights in Zagreb, the first with Ana, who let us stay, even though she didn't know us. Janja, who we met in Koprovnice, hooked us up with the place. 

Zagreb was initially two separate cities, ( ... ) and ( ... ), located about a football field away from each other. They constanty fought, but were eventually forced together under the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 15th century. 
Here is the valley between the two hill-towns.

The second night was littered with these people:

  who are apparently the village sheep-hearders who were demanding better grazing rights. They were willing to kill whomever got in their way.

 

The second night we had to stay in the only 'youth-hostel' in the city, a dirty jail-cell. Eva in Zagreb

 



Day 4: Zagreb -> Dugo Resa  112km We rode through a wide valley to Dugo Resa, a village about 130 km from the Adriatic Sea. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel which was hosting a wedding. Hooray for laundry! Other pictures:
Road to Dugo Resa Lots'o'Food in Dugo Resa




Day 5: Dugo Resa -> Senj  165km 

A very hard day. Headwinds offered by the relentless Burre winds off the Adriatic coast and big hills just before the water made this a trying day for everyone. Eva begged to stop just before the coast, but we marched on to the sea. Luckily, the last 17km was a long, continuous downhill to the water -- very beautiful.

Dave climbingEva climbing (castle in the background) Eva on the 25KM climb before the descent to Senj.
Dave at some Roman ruins just before the desent to the sea. Finally in Senj!!

 


Day 6/7: Senj -> Rijeka  0 KM

We hung out in this small fishing town for a couple of days, enjoying the sun and the sea. After a couple of days, we took a bus up the busy coastal road to the shipping center known as Rijeka. Along the twisty turvey road Dave and Eva managed to get very sick, Dave was successful in holding the matter until the bus stopped.

Dave finds more good food (11pm in Senj). Apartment view in Senj



Day 8: Rijeka, Croatia -> Posjstana, Slovenia  125km

 A long, dirty climb out of Rijeka landed us upon the beautiful green countryside of Slovenia. The people, the roads and the food all changed considerably after just 25km.

Border between Croatia, Italy, Austria and Slovenia.

Slovenian hills.Most towns are about 5km (3 miles) from each other.



Day 9: Postojna -> Ljubljana  100km 

 Two very cool sights along the way. The karst region outside of Postojna and the Predjarma castle, built into the side of a cliff.

Miles at the Predjarma castle.

Erazmus, a 15th century 'Robin Hood' owned the castle for a while. He favoured King Mathias of Hungary over the Austrian Emperor and frustrated the latter with mischiefs from time to time. He fled to the castle, where the Austrians could not captured him. Not until a traitor slave of his marked the loo with a big red X for easy target.

Cannonballs which finally overtook the castle, aimed at the loo.

Dirt shortcut through the hills, along the old Roman postal routes.


Day 10: Ljubljana  0km A rest day in Ljubljana. 

This is one of my favorite cities in Europe now. It is small enough to manage (300,000 people), there are more bike paths than Amsterdam, and the architecture is largely preserved from the Successionist movement in the late 18th. century.

Ljubljubanica river thru town.

Big-screen internet, Ljubljana


Day 11: Ljubljana -> Bled  85km  

This was the most beautiful ride on the tour, and also the most strenuous. We met up with Zoltan, a Hungarian with a car. He was itching to get out of town. He offered to carry our luggage to Bled that day. The ride was great without heavy bags.

Castle on lake Bled. Lake Bled. Cow crossing. 


Day 12/13: Lake Bohinj  85km  
Typical crowd at the mountain diners. Savacina 'slap' (waterfall) at lake Bohinj
Typical field around the lake. Lake Bohinj.

  "Head on a Platter" Greusome frescoes at the Church of St. John the Babtist. This is a highly recommended church. (On lake Bohinj). 


Day 14/15
Back to Budapst  35km

 We took the train back to Budapest. There was some riding involved, between the border of Slovenia and Hungary since they don't take bikes across. We crossed at Lenti:

Lenti Border crossing.