Zagreb calling

After Ljubljana we head North West to Bled, Slovenias number one tourist location. We stay there 2 days and do a days ride without luggage which is a pleasant rest. We climb the foothills of the Julian Alps and do our steepest climb yet of 18%. The scenery is lovely but the road surface degrades to gravel and potholes at the top, which makes it harder work for Ian steering. At Bled Ian rows me across the lake in a tiny boat to see the church on the island.

Next we start zig zagging South East across Slovenia to get to Zagreb. We stop at Radovljica to visit the Museum of Apiculture (beekeeping). Ian needs to get some tips before he takes them on from Dad ! The most direct route is back through Ljubljana but we now know it has cycle routes. We stop at Ig for a picnic lunch in a bus stop and get mobbed by curious school children waiting to get home. Even 10 years olds can say ‘nice bike’ in English.

The perk of our 2 most expensive campsites yet is that we can spend upto 3 hours in thier pools – bliss. We come out wrinkly clean. We also get soaked one day and find that the campsite has a washroom with lights, seats and heaters. We commandeer the room for the evening to dry out and complete bike maintenance. After approx 2500 miles we have now replaced both tyres.

At the border of Slovenia and Croatia the guards ask where we are heading, ‘Croatia’ I reply – Duhhh. Ian answers more helpfully with ‘Zagreb & then Budapest’. Our lunch stop in Samobar in the town square provokes some interest. A young reporter takes our pictures and asks some questions so we can be in the local paper – tourists come to Samobar !. Obviously there is not much news happening in this town but its nice enough. Our first impressions of Croatia is that it is more built up with more traffic and worse roads than Slovenia, but as all of our cycling so far has been within 25km of Zagreb perhaps it is a bit unfair to judge. We spent some time trying to find the only city campsite which turns out to be attached to a motorway motel. We approach the back way down a track over some fields – not down the hard shoulder.

We have just had a rest day in Zagreb. Its not as pictureque as some cities we have seen but there is a pleasant old town with a lookout tower with views around. Tomorrow we head North East (ish) towards Hungary, unless the traffic is stil bad then its back to Slovenia. We are still camping but the evenings are getting colder and campsites are starting to close so we will see how it goes.