|Type||Name||Description||Service Provider||Cost||Kms||To Date||Total||Notes||Actions|
|Cycle||Krsan to Lovran||$0.00||0.00||0.00||Day 74: 33km: Total 3111km|
|Pension||Guesthouse Kuća na šterne||Booking.com||Lovran||$48.00|
|On approach into Lovran, of course we had to stop in and check on "our" kittens. There are people at the house, now, and cat dishes on the landing. Also, plump happy kittens! YAY! We're so glad the kittens are doing well and someone is taking care of them!|
|Oh, the wind! The wind! The forecast today said that there would be wind, and there was wind. We rode down from Krsan in the wind, which blew us around quite a bit. I was quite worried about riding around the point and being on the actual south coast of Istria. We climbed up to the point, and stopped for coffee at Plomin, which is a neat little town with amazing views. The climb up wasn't as evil of a hill as it could have been because, at that point, the wind was a tail wind (mostly). Rounding the point, we got some serious gusts, and as we rode, mostly downhill, all the way to Lovran, we had to fight the wind the whole way. On the downhill we had to pedal most of the time as we fought that headwind, and on some worrisome sections, we had little or no railing on the side with cliff right beside us. I was happy for light traffic because I rode a foot or two into the lane during some of those lest a gust blow me right off the unprotected side.|
After nearly 5 months of travel we can see the end of our trip in sight. Our plans have taken another turn and we will soon be leaving the bicycles behind, opting for more conventional tourist travel methods - trains, planes & busses.
The west coast of the Istrian Peninsula is very pretty but, unfortunately, not a pleasant place to cycle. The roads are few and narrow and, even in this, the shoulder season, traffic is heavy. If I were to try to cycle here again I would carry less gear, perhaps use a full-suspension mountain bike, use a GPS and ride some of the many pathways that are marked on our maps. And I would also stick to shoulder season.
In high season Istria must crawl like a disturbed ant hill. At this time of year many of the campgrounds are shut down completely or have closed off the majority of their sites. We camped a couple of nights on the Kamenjak Peninsula. There are 4 campgrounds within walking distance. Ours had a listed capacity of over 3000 people and it wasn't the biggest in the area. Add that to the hotels and "Apartman's" in the area and I wouldn't want to be around to see the crowds. Sure Istria is beautiful and everybody comes here for vacation but the problem is EVERYBODY COMES HERE FOR VACATION.
So we're editing about 5 days out of our stay in Croatia and taking a quick side trip to Turkey. Turkey had been on the original route 4 or 5 years ago when we started talking about this trip but had slowly been pushed out. Now Turkey is back on the table and, ironically, we'll be in Turkey for Thanksgiving. About all we will see of Istanbul is the airport as we are will be connecting through to Cappadocia.
But before Turkey we still have a couple of weeks to see some of the Dalmatian coast of Croatia plus Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzagovina.
On October 18th we can re-enter Schengen for 11 days so we've planned a if-this-is-Wednesday-this-must-be-Zurich type train trip from Venice, Italy to Bruges, Belgium. I think it will be pretty good. After that we have to do a quick out-&-in to renew our visas for the last 3 days in Europe.
Rhonda and I both spent time and sweat trying to figure how to get from Bruges to Dover to Paris quickly and cheaply. Seems there is no way to meet both the requirements. It's like no one else has ever had this visa problem before. Finally Rhonda says, "Why don't we just go to Dublin?"
Dublin?!...What do yuh know? It's perfect. An hour by train, Bruges to Brussels airport direct. About an hour flight to Dublin. Pension in Temple Bar for the night. About an hour flight to Paris. Cheaper and faster than taking the ferry to Dover. And a real Guiness at Temple Bar on the way. Who Knew?
So the adventure has been an adventure. Eight countries, five currencies and six languages so far (but I already knew English) and there should be 5 more countries, 3 more currencies and 4 more languages before the end of October. It's going to get interesting and stressful.
Bikes at Plomin
Pondering the topo map at Plomin.
Plomin Stari Grad