Travel Through Croatia on a Harley-Davidson

By Peter & Kay Forwood

Croatia on a Harley (13/12/97 - 25/12/97)
Distance 1010 km (78760 km to 79770 km)

This is part of the third section of our around the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map

Coming from  Bosnia-Herzegovina

 13/12/97  We were out of Bosnia with no border checks and a cursory passport check into Croatia. Heading now down the coast and we cross Bosnia's only ocean frontage with no border guards in or out. Both the Yugoslav Serbs and the Croatians seem to have divided Bosnia, all who we talked to assume two sections, one attached to each country.

14/12/97 Dubrovnik is amazing (the walled city), like a setting in a movie, with Christmas decorations, to walk the cobbled limestone lanes amongst historic buildings, a fully functioning walled city, people still living in the houses above shops. A view from the ramparts and walls across the city or out to sea, a coffee in the sunny plaza, a stroll in the markets, a church service and a brass band all accompanied our visit.

15/12/97 Still here and will be for a few days. A bit of a rest after the cold and busy days of the past week. Our private room overlooks the old city and ocean and at $US 15.00 a night why would we move.

16-17/12/97 WanderingSunset from our apartment window in Dubrovnic around the old town for two days it's easy to see the casual North Queensland Australian way of dressing, combined with two persons six months worth of clothes crammed into one top box of the motorcycle, seem inadequate. With only five pairs of socks and undies, two jeans, three shirts and two T-shirts each, we fit in somewhere between the town drunks and lower middle class, and are seen and treated in that class. The average local is elegantly dressed. People assess others so much on first appearances that we miss an enormous section of the population, usually the more interesting ones and only see the more ambitious people.

  18/12/97 Four days is about as long as we like to stay anywhere and I have ceased to be fascinated how the sun rises and sets in the same ocean, it being almost winter solstice and a fair way north. So it's off up the coast, lovely coastal scenery with Mediterranean villages dotted along the winding road. A detour into the old section of Split before settling into a Zimmer, Sobe or Pensione for the night. All along the coast road are private houses with a few rooms to rent for tourists. With the war passed and still only a few tourists, also winter, they are great value, about $US 17.00 a double and a good way to meet the locals and if lucky arrange a home cooked meal.

19/12/97 North againWalking the streets of old Dubrovnik with sightseeing tours of the historic towns of Trogir and Zadar. Whilst each was beautiful with its own appeal, to me they were nothing compared to Dubrovnik's charm.

20/12/97 Curled up in a warm bed listening to the pouring rain, knowing that it is only 8 degrees outside and that you want to leave the warm coast and head into the mountains, it is hard to get inspired. Still there is no reason to keep us at this roadside Zimmer for the day. By 8 am we were on our way to Plitvice National Park, coming out of the foggy mountain onto a grassy plateau with clearing skies. Plitvice is where the civil war in ex-Yugoslavia started in 1991 when Serbs took the park headquarters and killed a police officer. It wasn't till 1995 before the Croatian forces retook the area. It is only now just recovering with many empty homes and rebuilding going on. The people here seem more reserved, cautious and suspicious than other places that we have visited.

21/12/97 Plitvice National Park consists of a river gorge that is gradually being filled with deposited limestone into a series of beautiful turquoise lakes connected by cascading waterfalls. We spent the day strollingPlitvice National Park with its limestone rich waters and formations the boardwalks over, around and through the tufa formations. The recent rains made the waterfalls more spectacular.

22/12/97 Into Zagreb and another new capital city re-established only recently with the break-up of old Yugoslavia. The centre is abuzz with Christmas shoppers, people selling handicraft ornaments across the city squares, decorations and street performers throughout the city streets. Beggars are out in numbers seeking Christmas good will to provide a better Christmas for themselves, park people with their worldly goods carried or trollied about, the old and frail and lonely. The city's extremes are shown at this time of year, from hope and well being to despair and loneliness. Two travellers wandered the city wondering what their family back home would be doing this Christmas.

23-24/12/97 I am writing this under the affluence of incohol (influence of alcohol) sitting in our hotel room on Christmas eve sipping a one litre bottle of wine (very refined having such a large bottle for wine). We spent the last two days wandering the city interspersed with visits to a cyber cafe to receive and send email and update this site. Leaving tomorrow (Christmas day) for Slovenia, so we decided to dine at home (as everything else is closed) spending our last Kuna on wine, pizza, donuts and chocolate bars. The Christmas merriment driving everyone home to friends and family.

25/12/97 Christmas day starts here at midnight with fireworks, mostly crackers i.e. mostly noisy ones. Children alike have been scaring the daylights out of people this last week around town letting off fireworks, so hopefully this will be the last of them.

Move with us to Slovenia or go to our next visit to Croatia




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