The Croats are a Slavic people who settled on today’s Croatian lands in the 7th century. After the Second World War, Croatia became part of the new, socialist Yugoslavia. In 1991, one year after the first democratic elections, Croatia declared its independence. In the same year, war began with the military units of the remainder of Yugoslavia, which ended in 1995.
Day 1 Plitvice lakes
With the arrival of the campsite we decide that we will be staying there for two nights. The idea is to take a look at the Plitvice Lakes the next day without having to carry a lot of luggage with us. At check-in, the receptionist explained to us that most lake tickets are pre-sold online (there are a certain number of visitors allowed in one day). Of course we did not buy in advance as we did not know when we would arrive. The receptionist also explained that it was best to go to “entrance 2” half an hour before the cashier opened so we could have a chance to buy tickets that day.
The next day we got up early and followed the instructions from the previous one. We are one of the first to get tickets for the day. As we hang around the bikes, we realize that tickets are already being sold early the next day. We are pleased that we followed the instructions and headed to the entrance of the national park.
It is possible to choose several routes for a tour of the lakes, depending on the time available. We choose the average length that includes a train (bus) to the highest lakes. From there, there is a footpath between the lakes. We reach a larger lake, which we crossed by boat and again followed a walking tour to Entrance 1. From there again, the train leads to the entrance to which we left the bikes.
The difference with the longer route is that we crossed the lake by boat instead of walking around.
In the afternoon we returned to the campsite, where we found that in the dark the night before we had settled in where are the most mosquitoes. We quickly move our tents and head to the beer shop.
Day 2 Plitvice lakes – Camp Sibuljina
The idea is to get from Plitvice lakes to the coastal road – the Jadranska Magistrala (Adriatic highway). Instead of taking the highway, we decide to take a side road. Mistake! Instead of getting to the coast in half an hour, we dazed for a few hours on the road with nothing to look at. However, around noon, we arrive in Rijeka. The search for the old town and the fortress followed. After sightseeing in the greatest heat, we head south.
The length of the Adriatic highway is about 600 kilometers. It starts from Rijeka and ends in Montenegro around the town of Bar. The best part is that it has nothing to do with the freeway! It received this name because of the importance that the road had in the past. The next three days are full of turns and beautiful views of the Croatian coast.
In the evening we check into campsite just before Zadar. After a long, hot day, our first job is to swim in the sea. However, we took the front line to the beach.
Day 3 Camp Sibuljina – Trogir
The first stop of the day is Zadar and its old town.
Zadar, a town on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, is famous for its Roman and Venetian ruins located on the peninsula – the Old Town. There are several Venetian gates in the city walls. Around the Roman Forum is the monastery of the St. Mary of the 11th Century, with religious art dating from the 8th century. There is also the grand cathedral of St. Anastasia from the 12th century and the round pre-Romanesque church of St. Donatus from the IX century.
Another attraction is the sea pipe organ. An architectural sound-art object located in Zadar, Croatia, and an experimental musical instrument that plays music through sea waves and pipes, located under numerous large marble steps.
The device was made by architect Nikola Bashic as part of a project to redesign the new city beach (Nova Riva) and the site was opened to visitors on April 15, 2005. The waves slamming into the shore compress the air in the organ pipes and create something random but harmonious sounds.
Next are the Krka waterfalls located in the park of the same name. The waterfalls are 2. Ryoshka Slap and Skradinski Buk. The first is very close to the road, but smaller. The second is rather majestic and even the river near it is used to cool down in the summer heat. They are about 25 kilometers away from each other and well worth a visit to both.
The Skradinski Buk is reached by boat in about half an hour, and at the port while waiting to sail we had the opportunity to watch many swans.
We continue to the town of Trogir, where we find a place to sleep again in the campsite.
Day 4 Trogir – Dubrovnik
Trogir is a city on the central Adriatic coast of Croatia. Its preserved old town, known for its mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque buildings, is located on the small island of Ciovo, connected to the mainland by bridges. Part of the sights are the Cathedral of St. Lawrence from 13th century and St. John’s chapel. The bell tower of the cathedral offers views of the entire city. Some parts of the medieval city walls remained undamaged.
After a walk through Trogir we head to Split.
Split is a city in Croatia, located on the Adriatic coast. The old town dates from Roman times, when Diocletian abdicated from the throne and decided to build a residence away from the Roman gossip and near his birthplace. Some of the landmarks are the palace of the Mestrovic family, today transformed into the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery Museum, named after the famous sculptor Ivan Mestrovic; Oceanographic Institute; The remains of the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian (3-4 c.), Located on an area of 18,000 square meters.
We are quickly crossing the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina and their only coastal town, Neum. (The entire coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina is only 15 kilometers). We find a place to sleep just before Dubrovnik in Zaton. The campsite is small and sluggish, but we are right on the beach and the only visitors.
Day 5 Dubrovnik – Budva
Early in the morning, we look at Dubrovnik, which is well known to most people, especially after the Game of Thrones series.
We continue to Budva. Almost immediately after entering Montenegro, police stopped me. Turns out I’m speeding a bit. With the limit of 50 I passed with just over 80… It turns out that they cannot take my driving licence because I am not a local. Then I get a pretty “salty” fine (800 euros!). My documents remain with the police officer on the road, and I have to go and pay a fine at a bank in the nearby town. Only then I can return and after showing the receipt for the fine I can take back my documents. The officer even invited me to the patrol car until he explained the procedure to me. Probably even then, after seeing my worn and torn motorcycle pants, combined with the 22-year-old motorcycle, he decided that I would not be able to pay the fine immediately and he would have to deal with my documents, so in a few minutes the conversation sent me to go again, with the promise that I would no longer do so.
Unfortunately for my travel mate, I kept my promise and the slowest miles of the whole journey followed. The country rarely sees a limit of over 80, and I firmly decided that I would drive with the restrictions so that I would not have to pay such fines. However, this is also the budget of the whole trip below.
We crossed the Bay of Kotor with ferry.
Kotor is a fortress town on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, in a bay near the limestone cliffs of the mountain. Characterized by winding streets and squares, its medieval old town has several Romanesque churches, including the cathedral in Kotor. It is also home to the Maritime Museum, which reveals the history of local navigation. St. George, one of the 2 tiny islands off the ancient city of Perast, has a century-old church.
In the evening we check into a hotel at the very beginning of Budva. After a short stroll through the old town and the seafront, we take a break.
Day 6 Budva – Sofia
Early in the morning, after eating local puddles, we leave, riding with all restrictions. It turns out that in many places they are speed radars and the police stops mostly foreigners.
Following are Podgorica, Novi Pazar, Nis and the highway to Bulgaria.
In a few places, the GPS took us through a different route than the original one, but on the other hand we went through interesting, slightly broken passes.
So after about 12 hours of driving, we were back in Sofia.