Thursday, 25 April 2013

Croatia - A Snowy Start

It was an early flight on a cold morning, full of not so pretty air hostesses. The wifu decided to have a quick nap, and though I'm not the person who usually chats to strangers, I gave it a shot. I'm not sure whether that person sitting next to me was constipated or hungover or had a colonoscopy done recently or all three. I thought I was the socially awkward penguin but this guy made me feel like unsalted butter.

Landed in Zagreb a bit late and picked up some new words looking at the signs. It was time to rent a car and I've seen even samosa sellers more passionate about their products than this rental guy. I enquired about some taxes on the bills and his reply was *with a smile* "Please sign here, I dunno anything" . I ask him about the speed limits and he says *with a smile* "Boards everywhere, don't worry" which later turned out to be not true. I think he was the company's only employee. He went to wash the car and get it from the parking lot and left the counter unattended. It was then I realized that he hadn't even turned the lights on inside his booth.

Finally got the car, a decent Aveo. But the problem started as soon as we sat in the car. The left hand steering, driving on the right side of the road in an unknown country and testing a new GPS for the first time. Luckily we both had that teenager kinda josh to just get going and take things as they came along. There were numerous times when I tried to change the gear with my left hand and kept banging my hand against the door. But guess what, the experience of invariably overtaking from left on Bangalore-Mysore highway finally got me into my comfort zone and made me feel at home.

The speed limits were clearly marked on the freeways (autocesta) and was in most places 130. But the problem was that our car was probably having her time of the month. At times it would be above par to the speed limit but in most cases would struggle to keep up to it. I even tried standing on the accelerator and it would still be a bit stubborn. 



We kept passing through numerous towns and the houses resembled Indian rural houses. Amidst heavy snow, most of the restaurants were either shut, or had their access blocked by snow or looked terrible. It was only after a couple of hours that we found a decent place to eat. By this time, we had got off the freeway and the speed limits ranged from 40 to 90 within half a km. In spite of maintaining the limit, I got numerous stares from overtaking vehicles (another incident that reminded of India).

We planned to visit Barac caves which were famous for its stalacities and stalagmites but unfortunately the caves were shut due to snow. We drove along from here and the road started to get a rough with a bit of potholes, then full of gravel, then just slush and finally we reached a point where no vehicle had gone past it. There was around 2 feet of snow everywhere and was no way one could differentiate a road from a deep pit. What made it worse was there were hardly any houses around and the only soul apart from us was a dog.

It was so quiet there that one could probably hear the sound of even a snow flake hitting the ground. After admiring our interesting situation, we decided to turn around and trace our road back to the highway.  



It had started to get dark and we finally checked into the house and our host Osana was very friendly and warm. She even got us some home made sweet pastry which was a local delicacy. It was tasty but I just couldn't get her to tell me its name. After all, she only spoke a few English words. 

This was just day 1. One of the best days was day 2. Lots more to follow ....


1 comment:

  1. looking forward to the next installment.

    ReplyDelete