DAY 9 – THE GREAT ESCAPE

Fed up of being ripped off in Croatia we planned our escape back to the safety of Italy, we rode inland through Croatia to Zagreb to pick up the European highway E70. The E70 runs from Turkey through the Balkan countries and in to Italy.

On the map it looks faster to just turn back along the coast to Porec and back through Slovenia and in to Italy, but the coast road has so many twists, bends, and curves that the road miles are almost double the map miles. We took the A1/E65  highway up towards  Zadar then B roads to Karlovac, to pick up highways once again, the roads in Croatia are very well sign posted and travelling along B roads is no problem.

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This was the mausoleum of a Cesar.

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The Croatian hinterland was a lushes landscape of green hills and woodland, very pleasant to the eye, as we neared Zagreb we had to stop for fuel…….Joy!!  We were not ripped off at the motorway petrol station, we sat down for a coffee and this biker came up to us and asked if we were on our way to the Croatian bike festival, we laughed and explained what had been our experience of Croatia, he laughed back and said,

“Welcome to the Balkans.”

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He spoke perfect English, Micheal was his name, he was a nurse and we chatted for a while about bikes and life in Croatia, he tried to persuade us to come with him to the bike festival, but it was several hours in the wrong direction for us…..and would we be ripped off  yet again? Anyway it was great to chat with him and he was a breath of fresh air, a great guy, he was riding a Yamaha 535 Virago.

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We reached Zagreb, picked up the E70 eventually and proceeded at Mach 1 towards Slovenia, this is the part of the post where you, Dear Reader have to hum the theme tune in your head from the Steve McQueen film “The Great Escape,” that’s kinda how we felt !!

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The Croatia/Slovenia border was just a flash your passports formality and we were back in the warm embrace of  Europe.

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During a Slovenia ciggie break we decided to ride through the night again, my preferred option in Italy, until we reached Verona. Because we terminated our trip in Croatia early, this gave us more time in France, we both love France and Italy, we are spending a week in Italy on our return leg, therefore we were just blasting through Northern Italy on this occasion so we could bum around France.

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Oh, Joy of  joys!!………Linda found a “Real” road map of  Europe at a Slovenia petrol station, this will improve our navigation and aid the LPS system, we carried on into the night and had another free stealth camp at a petrol station near Verona, it was good to be back in Italy, we rode almost a 1000Km today.

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~ by travelswithmymotorbike on May 15, 2009.

6 Responses to “DAY 9 – THE GREAT ESCAPE”

  1. Hum the tune from THE GREAT ESCAPE…LOL….

    James

  2. With a real map theres no stopping you now lol…

    J

  3. At least you met one decent fellow whilst in Croatia !

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