Natural beauty of Croatia
I’ve rewritten my Croatia blog four times now and really hope I’m happy with this
one 🙂 I really enjoyed Croatia and is such an interesting country with all the crazy
history of WWII, the Yugoslavian war and everything that happened after all of this
as they try to build a new and strong economical country. My cycle across and
through Croatia has been interesting with many things that happened, that also
adds to the difficulty of writing about what I experienced. I’ve learned so much
and had the chance to speak to many locals to learn more about their history.
I’m not gonna go into the to much history now, as I want to write a blog on
Yugoslavia when I’m done with all of these countries.
The local people in Croatia still feels the effects of all the huge wars that swept
through their country in the last 80 years. Wars really damages a country and take
ages to get back to where things was and build a country that people want to visit
in the future. The Croatians still suffer, with huge unemployment rates and lots of
Croatia main income comes from tourism, which is not always the best. The sad
thing that I noticed is that the tourism is VERY seasonal. Millions of people from all
over the world visit this beautiful country, and I will predict 90% is visiting during
the summer. The coastal road had little traffic, with the majority being construction
vehicles, as they build more hotels, resorts and public areas where tourists will
enjoy the summer months. The locals I spoke to said the seasonal tourism is a
huge problem as most people have a job for only six months of the year.
My journey in Croatia started when I cycled from Slovenia to Zagreb, then turned
west towards the coast to Rijeka and finally started my south cycle past Senj,
Sibenik, Zadar, Trogir, Split, through Bosnia and finally to Dubrovnik.
The mountains has finally started as I got into the first 150km of Croatia, but this
was expected as I entered the Balkans. The Balkans is known for their huge and
magnificent mountain ranges. I had some crazy climbs with the longest one being
35km and many 15km, 10km, 8km and 6km ones. It was something to get use to
after a very flat Europe but quickly adjusted and every climb became easier as the
kilometer went by.
Each of these climbs had beautiful views moving up and panoramic views from the
top of the mountain passes. The panoramic views of Croatia are something out of
this world and is definitely one of the reasons why people should consider to visit
Croatia. Croatia is a beautiful country with some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen.
Personally, I love the coast, sea, beaches, the smell and the sound of the ocean. It
does not matter where I go, I’ll always seek out a chance to go to the coast. The
ocean just have some kind of extremely relaxing effect on me.
The one thing we see when they advertise Croatia, is the ocean views, so I had
very high expectations. I have to be honest that it did not exceed any of my
expectations nor did it disappoint one second. The crystal clear blue water makes
every turn in the road something to look forward to. At some point you just need
to realize, you cant stop at all the viewpoints, otherwise it will takes ages to move
along this beautiful coastal road.
The one sad thing about Croatia is the rocky beaches. I love standing on soft,
white, sandy beaches as the water wash over my feet. Taking walks for hours on
the beach, barefoot, has always been one of my favorite things to do. The
beautiful white, sandy beaches is something that we are so blessed with back in
South Africa and take for granted. The rocky beaches in Croatia just don’t give me
the same feeling when I’m standing there or sit on the rocks at sunsets. Saying this,
it is still very very beautiful.
The beautiful views you see on the pictures and advertisement is exactly what you
get in Croatia, but there is more I look at when visiting a country. The people,
cities, towns, weather, food, drink, mountains, types of nature are things that is
very important in creating a total view of any country.
Croatia must probably have enough rocks to build enough castles in every city on
our beautiful blue planet. In the north its been much drier, but it becomes greener
as you start to travel South. The views also gets better and better as you start to
move South. The cities and little towns of this country is some of the best I’ve seen
in my life. When walking through the city walls into the old cities, you really feel
like being back in the 6th century. I wish I had more time to spend in some of
these magnificent and interesting cities.
I found the locals very friendly, always waving and smiling as I past them on my
bicycle. This makes the cycle even better and puts a smile on my face throughout
the day. The local people of any country in the world has a huge influence when
you form your perspective and experiences.
I had some of the best weather in Croatia on my adventure so far. Temperatures
between 15 and 28 degrees Celsius. I got my first sunburn since arriving in Europe!
I love the summer! Cycling in these temperatures is the best. Not to warm during
the day and not too cold at night. There was a few time I did not even think about pitching my tent. Just took out my sleeping bag and slept right next to my
If you ever plan to visit Croatia make sure you see the cities of Sibenik, Senj, Trogir,
Split and most importantly….. Dubrovnik!! You can spend at-least two days in each
of these cities with lots to see, do, eat and experience. These old cities is a heaven
for any photographer, so make sure you have plenty of spare memory cards.
Dubrovnik has easily moved into my top three cities I’ve been to in my life. This
might not be a city where I will settle down, but man, this is this one special city….
I will cover Dubrovnik in my next blog post 🙂
In my next blogs I will write about my great hosts and people I met in Croatia,
Food, local drinks and the city of Dubrovnik.
Cheers for now…