Today was the day we would finally get to Croatia!
On leaving Villach we retraced part of the same route we had ridden the day before during our ride through the Julian Alps and the Slovenian countryside. During our morning tea stop we discovered we should have a vignette for Slovenia to ride on the motorways. Considering the vignette was only 8 Euro and the fine for not having one was 200 Euro we quickly purchased one and attached it to the bike before riding on.
We crossed the border into Croatia after showing our passports and getting them stamped - no issues. Our destination for the night was Plitvice Lodge right inside Plitvice National Park famous for its spectacular waterfalls. Our rustic lodge was a short walk to the lower falls from which we could hear the rushing of the water as we approached. We walked 288 steps down to the falls and were sprayed by the water cascading over the cliffs above us - spectacular. The walk up was not quite so enjoyable! We returned to our lodge for dinner and spent the evening sitting by the open fire, sipping red wine and enjoying the company of couples from France, Sweden, England, Italy, Hungary and of cource our Croatian hosts, all conversing in perfect English.
As 100% rain was forecast for Mother's Day, our departure from the lodge was an early one so that we could ride the 170km to our apartment in Zadar and hopefully check in early. The road was very foggy until we got closer to the coast. On arrival in Zadar we called our host to see if we could check into our apartment 2 hours early. Answer was YES and was really appreciated as we were chilly but dry - new waterproof riding gear worked well! Our apartment was built in 1899 but is very modern inside and only a 10 minute walk to the Old Town of Zadar.
Our day in Zadar turned out to be a good one to be off the bike as it was drizzly rain for most of the time. The weather did not stop us from exploring the Old City which has many examples of Roman ruins dating from the 3rd Century. There was even a Pillar of Shame where naughty people were chained and pilloried. You can climb all over the ruins if you want to - no signs telling you to keep off. There were many churches to visit, the most spectacular were St Anastasia's Cathedral and St Donatus Church. Remnants of the city wall surround the narrow alleys and numerous eateries. Kerrie had a much needed haircut which cost her the huge sum of 45 Kuna or $9.80 in real money - this included a shampoo and condition as well. By mid afternoon we were ready to return to the warmth of our apartment for a relaxing afternoon. Heading further south tomorrow.
You may be curious about the title of this blog?????? While in Vallach, Kerrie's boots started to give her pain - so much so that she could barely walk in them. So, it was off to find some new boots for her before leaving town. Luckily we found one of the best stocked motorcycle accessory shops we have ever seen - Louies. New Vanucci Boots for Kerrie and we finally hit the road about 10:30am.