a windy journey across the mountains

Slunj Travel Blog

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clouds over the mountains

We had lunch in Zadar and then boarded our bus for the trip to Opatija which was supposed to be merely a few hours travel through the mountains on the new limited-access highway.A1.  However the strong winds we’d noticed in the morning were now a real problem for the bus and we couldn’t risk the mountain bridges on the A1.  We had to take an old road through the mountains that was much less direct and went through small villages scattered through these mountains.  The wind and ominous clouds were threatening.

 

First the bus climbed through deserted towns that had been home to Serbians living in Croatia before the recent war.  After the war was over, the Serbs abandoned these towns to move to Serbia but they still owned the land.  That meant nobody had clear title to the properties so the towns sit empty and deteriorating. 

 

We continued up through the mountains, around hair-pin turns, with the wind occasionally making the bus sway as we rounded a corner.  There were no guard railings between the edge of the road and the sheer drop below.  Looking down over the edge we could see the burned hulk of cars that had gone off the cliffs and never been retrieved.  It was scary but luckily we had a good driver and finally made it up to the little alpine towns clustered along the road at the other side of the mountains.  The houses had snow-load roofs without the red clay tiles we’d seen everywhere else.  It looked Alpine.  It was 40 degrees up there when it had been in the 80s by the coast in Zadar.

 

Finally at 7 p.m. we made it to Opatija – at least four hours later than expected.   We were all exhausted but we had dinner in the hotel before turning in for the night.  It was really good to be back at sea level along the coast again.

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clouds over the mountains
clouds over the mountains
mountain town
mountain town
Sveti Rock
Sveti Rock
Slunj
photo by: nonna