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With Joshko and his mother to the island Pag

Home -> Europe -> Croatia -> Travelogue Croatia -> 10 to 12 June 2004

Thursday 10 June, with Joshko and his mother to the island Pag

Breakfast at the campsiteIt is not only hot but also very humid when we get up, so we feel sweaty without doing anything. Time to spend our last free hours on the beach. It is so quiet that we have the sea almost for ourselves. In the afternoon we pick up Joshko to take him with us on our last day here. First we drive to the island Pag and the little town with the same name. His mother Marija lives here.
Pag is a elongated island, more than 50 km. long and never broader than 10 km. A bridge connects the island nowadays with the mainland and as sopon as we cross it we get the impression of a real desert, so barren and desolate looks the landscape. From this island come the famous Croatian cheeses and there is a large salt extraction industry, which already was here in Roman times.
Of course the first thing we get at Marija's home is food. After that she takes us on a tour through the town of Pag.
Dancing at Pag Paving stonesWe don't remember exactly what Elisabeth is doing here, some sort of dance, we think. To the right a tiler who covers all boulders with some cement but that will make the pattern invisible. When we ask he tells us that they scour away the top level of cement so the boulders become visible but the ground stays even.
The harbour of Pag View at PagPag is a small town with not much tourism, yet. But it is really beautifully situated. We are glad there is a soft, cooling breeze, because it is getting hotter and hotter.
In the middle of the island is a lake where archeologist have found an undersea Roman town. We drive to that place but since it lies too deep we don't see anything of it.
Joshko and his mother Marija Joshko’s mother and usMarija is very sweet but she only speaks Croatian and Italian. But through sign language we understand quite a lot of what she is saying since Joshko is getting tired of his interpreting job now and then. She is very well informed about the history and local customs so she has a lot to tell. In the car she gives directions while Elisabeth and Joshko have a hard time in the back with temperatures rising well above 30 degrees centigrade.
Then we go looking for a mysterious triangle which should be situated a bit more to the north of the island, somewhere in this moonlike rocky landscape. In this area of the island a lot of UFO sightings have been reported as well as many other mysterious things. The landscape is really something special with rocks sliced into sharp blades so it is hard to walk over them, especially with our sandals. It turns out that we have to make a long walk on rocks like this to reach this triangle (whatever it is), so we hear from a few people who just return from the hills. Since we are not equiped for such a walk, this is another place where we have to come back to another time with better shoes and when it is less hot.
Joshko and his mother MarijaIn Novalja we take a break for a real cold refreshment and we needed it. In this fishing town we see a whole lot more tourists than in the other villages. From here they can rent a boat and visit the islands before the coast.
After we drop Marija at her home and say goodbye to her, we drive back to Zadar where the father of Joshko is preparing a barbecue for us. He calls us and tells that he only has to get the meat. But after having waited for an hour we drive away to a restaurant since he isn't at home and doesn't answer his phone. Just when we have ordered he pops up at the restaurant and tries to take us away from there. But his barbecue will have to wait for our next visit, since our meals are coming already. Everybody who knows us from Joshko's stories wants to meet us and prepare lunch or dinner so we won't get starved; but we are befriended to Joshko, not necessarily to all his friends and family.
Again it is late when we bring Joshko to his home and drive back to the campsite. But we are glad we have had some time this week to spend with our new friend whom we met last year for the first time by chance. At midnight we still sit outside, in a t-shirt, which reminds us of last year when it was hot every day. But alas, tomorrow we have to leave again, this holiday is almost over. But our friendship here will surely bring us back and we have to, since there are still a lot of things in the neighbourhood for us to see and do.

Friday and Saturday 11 and 12 June, we drive back home

At Joshko’s placeAfter having packed all our things into the car we first drive to Zadar to have a coffee at Joshko's place and say him goodbye. Last year we met him for the first time and since then we have seen each other already three times. We also have plans for next year but we will wait and see how that plan is going to develop.
After 7 long hours (making not more than 350 kilometers) we finally arrive at the Slovenian-Austrian border. The temperature inside the car is almost unbearable and signs along the road show that is 33 degrees Centigrade, but it is also very humid and very muggy.
Bad weather in Austria Castle in AustriaBut when we come out of the first long tunnel and find ourselves between the Alps the temperature has fallen with at least 15 degrees and the sun is gone. The refreshing showers that we have longed for all morning are now not so refreshing but more chilling. It feels almost like winter!
In Germany it doesn't get any better and we feel we have caught a cold on the way, coughing and sneezing as we are. It is a strange experience, this sudden change from hot to cold. Last year we had the same, coming from Croatia into Austria.
Almost homeOn saturday we started around 9 and today we have mainly highways to drive on, except for some 40 kilometers, so we make much more progress than yesterday. The only thing which slows us down now and then are the heavy rainshowers that fall down regularly from the dark clouds and take away every view on the road.
Within 7 uur we have covered the last 800 kilometers of our journey, and almost 1700 since we left Zadar friday morning. We feel cold and have a cold when we get home, what a difference with a few days ago. But, again we have had a wonderful holiday; more rain than we are used to, although the last week the wetaher has been great and we could have some rest, hanging around at Zadar and on the beach. And the first few weeks we have enjoyed visiting Italy and it's gorgeous nature, the impressive cities and imposing cultural treasures which have been preserved from different periods in time, Pompei being the best. We just got a taste of the country and we regret that we had so little time... we had wanted to show everyone so much more of the country!
We wish everyone who still has plans to go somewhere this summer a nice and safe trip and enjoy it, anywhere you go.


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