After a long morning cycling it is about time for a short break. Today I try to cycle as many kilometers and the sweat pours down my forehead. I already cycled for some time along the Croatian coast up and down through high hills. There is a strong wind from the interior which sometimes scares the crap out of me. This is due to the deep ravines on my right. That makes it no less beautiful, on the left mountains, on the right rocks with the sea and an inviting sun in front of me. The ideal ingredients for any cyclist, the Croatian coast is so far the best thing that happened to me!
After the break I pinch my toes to the pedals again. I am now 15 kilometers from Zadar, a city on the coast of Croatia. Suddenly I am overtaken by a mountainbiker which is like me going somewhere very fast. On that point I start to be disappointed in myself, that guy has ticker tires I am more designed to go faster on normal roads. I should be able to get back at him!
And yes! Tearing of a hill I get back at him and take a stable speed before him. Ha! My thighs has grown even wider in circumference than my waist, that is no thing to mess with! Just before I ride into Zadar, strange enough the cycler get back at me! Can you believe it? How was he able to keep up with me on a mountainbike? I act out of respect for a chat with him, he probably also know where I can find some free WiFi. What happens next I’ll never forget in my entire life.
From Italy, I cycled directly through Slovenia to Croatia. The country with sea, sun and favorable prices.
In the morning before I cycled into the coastal city Reijka, I had sent a few requests via CouchSurfing. I was expecting not much, but when I arrived in Rijeka, I saw to my surprise that all the request had been received positively. Can you imagine, to have choice between different company and a place to sleep? Siniša and Ivana responded first, a guy and lady of my age who live in the center of Rijeka. Siniša picked me directly up from the center and sent me to the apartment of Ivana. “Keys are located under the carpet,” Siniša told me. Uuh, okay, so I have to just go in and.. Yep, that seemed all to be ok, he trusted me though.
Then a scheduled day of rest turned to be a long city discovery. And I do not mean visiting churches or other popular tourist spots. No, I mean hours of talking about differences in cultures and sharing funny journey experiences. Ivana happened to be interviewed by the daily news in Rijeka (Novi List) during my stay about her journey in Asia.
You’ll probably think, but what happened in Zadar? Well, I’ll tell.
The fast cyclist name was Vice pronounced Vietsjè. He just invited me to have dinner at his house! “You want WiFi? Well, I can offer you anything at my home. WiFi, food, drinks, is that ok?” So I replied, “No sorry, I can’t because you know I have to put up my tent before dark and..” Of course I joined him to his house, what an invitation! Less than half an hour later I was enjoying delicious chicken and beef with his parents from a stone shape in a cozy barn in their backyard.
Moments later I was offered also a place to sleep. How easy it is for most Dutch people to go and live on their own or together with someone, it is more difficult in Croatia. If parents can afford it they care for an apartment at their home. The apartment where I could sleep was rebuilt but not yet inhabited. I was really happy but each thank you was replied with a “no, it’s ok, we are happy to help you”. That is just amazing.
I am now in Bosnia and Herzegovnia and just get a pizza unsolicited shoved under my nose. I was on the street yelled by an old lady who had a prepared room for me for just 12 euros. That I can pay! In the restaurant downstairs, you do not order, everything comes uninvited. Also the bill, I’m afraid.
That’s it for this week. Tomorrow I continue my journey through Montenegro to Kosovo. Who knows, I may be able to tell why thousands of people from Kosovo leave their country for a better life somewhere else.
If you have any questions about my journey so far or just want to say hello, just write a comment below!