Actually, our vehicle was supposed to be on its way to South Africa by freighter at that time. Unfortunately, we had to postpone this plan a few months. We could have managed the Corona issue, but not the unrest and looting, which reminds us more of a country in anarchy and not of a relaxed travel destination. So we wait for the further development and make us first on the way in the direction of Greece.
On Monday, August 2, MOMO and we are ready to go and we quickly drive through the Tauern tunnel with a first stop at the Faaker See in Carinthia. In Bled, Slovenia, we take a break for a few days at a nice campsite on the river and pass the time with hiking and biking at temperatures around 20 degrees and rain, rain, rain.
So we continue to Croatia to the island of Krk. Here we find in the small town of Silo a nice campsite with premier location by the sea. Here we also meet Martina and Hans-Peter who have a similar route with their Iveco as we do. We spend a nice evening together and will surely cross each other's paths a few more times in the future. We take long walks on the beach and celebrate Manfred's birthday in a nice restaurant in town.
To escape the extreme heat, we drive after a week of beach vacation in the mountains to the Plitvice Lakes. The oldest national park in southeastern Europe is known for its cascading lakes and those who grew up in the 60s with Winnetou and Old Shatterhand surely know that some scenes of the films were shot here. In the morning at eight we stand at the entrance and can enjoy the park for a few hours without crowds before the big coaches arrive. After a good 18km walk around the many lakes we are back at the campground in the afternoon and cool our feet.
Extreme heat is forecast for the Adriatic region in the next few days. Therefore, we stay a few days in the mountains and find a nice campsite on a river. At night it cools down to a very pleasant 14 degrees and during the day we swing in the hammock under trees only interrupted by a few swims in the river. At 35 degrees we can't do much more.
Our next stop is the Krka waterfalls where we set up camp in the afternoon on a campground near the entrance. The river has, besides many small, eight large waterfalls and we want to look at them of course. In the morning at 8 we are almost the first in the queue and make ourselves on the 2.5km round trip which is very nicely laid out with footbridges. After just 1.5td we are back at the car. Meanwhile, the parking lot is well filled with coaches and we are glad that we were so early.
Now we go back down to the sea to Trogir. Not far from the city is a nice campsite and a water cab brings us comfortably into the town. The entire old town has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1997 and can be easily explored in a few hours.
Since Split is only about 20km away, we take a water cab the next morning and look at the city for a few hours. The old town of Split is also a Unesco World Heritage Site and is dominated by the Diocletian's Palace, built around 300, from which the city has developed.
On the beautiful coastal road it goes further and further south, very often at walking speed. At the Bacina Lakes, somewhere between Makarska and Dubrovnik, we stay two days at a campsite because we like it there so much. There are no crowds and crowded beaches here. Loud bars and restaurants are not to be found here. The only visitors are six rabbits that eat the grass around our camper. If you are looking for peace and quiet after the hustle and bustle of the coast, this is the place for you. This location can be confidently classified under the category "dreamlike Croatia".
We use the short drive through Bosnia, which must have secured a piece of sea access here during the division of old Yugoslavia, to fill up the diesel tank, with 1.10 euros the cheapest price on the route south.
The last stop in Croatia is Dubrovnik. Here, too, we camp a little outside and take the water cab into town. Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean. The city walls are 1940 meters long, as well as between three and six meters wide and completely walkable. They are the best preserved fortification system in Europe and include a perfectly preserved complex of public and private, sacral and secular buildings from all periods of the city's history, beginning with its foundation in the 7th century. Walking along the boulevard and the narrow streets branching off from it, one feels transported back to the Middle Ages. Various scenes from the fantasy series Game of Thrones were filmed here, which has led to a significant increase in tourism in recent years. Fortunately, however, cruise tourism after Covid has not yet picked up steam and there is relatively little going on.
We leave Croatia and drive into the mountains to Montenegro. In the distance we see some big forest fires and the air is often not clear and partly smoke-filled. Every now and then the wind even brings ash flakes. Montenegro is with just under 14,000 square kilometers one of the smaller states in Europe, thus somewhat smaller than Schleswig-Holstein and since June 2006 independent. Near Niksic there is a nice restaurant at the river with the possibility to camp on the meadow. In Montenegro you pay in Euros and all food and drinks are in the low single digits. After the high season price gouging in Croatia, this is a nice change.
From there it continues up to 1400m in the Durmitor NP. Over 50 elevations exceed here the 2000m mark and in winter is busy skiing. There is then the day ticket still for 10 euros and the week ticket for 45 euros. We make a nice hike around the Crno Jezero lake, the largest glacial lake in the park. In the afternoon we go to another small lake nearby and treat ourselves to a refreshing bath after the sweaty hike. Unfortunately, there is no room for the hammock due to the lack of trees, but even without it, you can relax here quite well.
Another attraction of Durmitor National Park is Tara Gorge, one of the longest and deepest canyons in Europe. It has a length of 78 kilometers and a depth of over 1300 meters in places, making it one of the largest in the world. We follow the road that runs along the gorge and make some photo stops. The main attraction is rafting tours and in high season the inflatable boats crowd the river. The cracks go in April/May when the water level is high and the trip, which normally takes 2.5hrs, is over in 30min.
Montenegro is a country where you can stay longer. So much untouched and almost deserted nature in a similar environment as the Alps, you can not easily find in Europe. In addition, there is an unbeatable price-performance ratio and the individual camper can find picturesque places to stay everywhere, far away from civilization. Since our real destination is Greece and we have to get to it somehow, our stay in Montenegro is unfortunately short and we leave the country in the direction of Albania. What we experience there you will learn as always in the next blog. Until then, enjoy reading and looking at pictures.