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Part 2: Southeastern Europe!

The nasty thing with the mosquito-net is: You wake up the SECOND the sun rises. And in late June, the sun rises soon. In terms of biorhythm, B.Rang is more of the owl-type and I work best in the morning. But this is too soon. I´ll have to work something out the next days.

 

 

The campsite turned out to be a nice place. It was the only one we could find in the area yesterday. There was some kind of party this night on the other bank of the lake. But unlike the sunrise-issue I had something to cover, or rather plug, my ears.

 


Even this time of the year, the lake is still way too cold to enjoy it. So after a 10-second dive we pack the bikes and have a coffee in the bar that belongs to the place. Again it shows that even the smallest, dirtiest (it wasn’t), darkest gin place has better coffee than any German cafe. No matter which direction you leave Germany – the coffee-condition improves. Except for Poland maybe (no offense, guys).
Stupidly the beer-condition decreases exponentially. Interesting thought: Good beer and good coffee cannot go together. Any counterexample?

 


On our way to Slovenia we cross some smaller creeks and a giant dry river bed. We decide to take the Uccea-Pass across the border, a tiny road of fresh tarmac right on a ridge, obviously improved with EU-money lately. No other cars, no bikes or whatever. We enjoy riding it a lot, we wedel from side to side, the small curves just feel like driving kart. Only the border control stopped the trance.

 


Thanks to the schengen agreement this was our first border with an actual control. The Italian-Slovenian border was the one especially B.Rang was afraid of (maybe the words of his father resonated in his mind). Being somewhat different-looking than the average European, even home in cologne he was always the one getting fished right out the middle of a crowd in a club, the one being stopped by the police on the autobahn, the one asked for papers right out of nowhere in the street.

 


Happily, B.Rang didn’t have to go into some dark Slovenian prison. The customs officer just took a quick look at our passports an waved us through. We didn’t even have to take our helmets of. Funny. We could have been anyone.

 


The first thing I notice in Slovenia: It looks just like Austria. What a pity it doesn’t WRITE like Austria. We understand nothing.

 


I tend to approach foreign cultures especially on the base of their food. In restaurants I always go for the things I don’t know. Which is a bit of a problem in our first Slovenian restaurant since they only serve Italian food. Maybe its just like that coffee thing in Germany? Maybe their food is so bad, they rather don’t even mention it on the menu? In the end we have pizza. And B.Rangs unusual haircut frightens some Kid next to us.

When we left the place our bikes still weren’t stolen. Good sign! We still have some ours before it gets dark so we decide to hit the road right for Croatia. While we follow the Soca river down south, it gets warmer and warmer every kilometer. We reach the Mediterranean Sea at Rijeka after 4 hours.

 


I love this. Its always an indescribable feeling when you reach the sea. But you all know it.

 


We settle south of Rijeka, in a rather cheap place right next to the Adriatic Highway, which luckily isn’t a real highway but the “Jadranska magistrala”, a road that stretches along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. The road passes principally through Croatia, with smaller stretches through Bosnia and Herzegovina right down till Montenegro. This would be our road the next few days.

 


After we setup our tent/net we head for a small marina we saw before for a quick beer (me) and a coke (B.Rang). My neighbor is a fully-grown coca-cola addict as I see it, and needs about 1-2 liters a day as personal fuel. Bad thing: Even if coffee and beverages (including beer) are incredibly cheap over here, his beloved coke is not. So he hops off after one glass and calls his girlfriend from the pier, with the sound of the waves in the background.

 


I watch the sun settle over Istria and get another beer. Yesterday we had multi-layer clothing and snowy mountains, now shorts and a mild breeze. What will tomorrow bring? One thing for sure: Number 3 will join our gang. I hope Akim can make it in one day from Bamberg to Rijeka. Its an 8 hour ride. And the forecast is pretty bad.

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