Eurovelo 6 in Croatia
My first impression of Croatia was ‘wow, that’s a lot of bullet holes’. The Croatian war of independence was fought from 1990 – 1995 and the Croatian/Serbian border was a massive war zone. The scars from the war are still plainly visible in most Croatian border towns, we noticed it especially in Vukovar where there was heavy fighting and a large massacre.
There are also miles of old mine fields along the border but the Eurovelo 6 route is completely clear. One of my minor concerns when planning the route was that we would accidentally stumble upon one when looking for somewhere to wild camp. After Vukovar we cycled into the small town of Dalj and decided to camp on the banks of the Danube on a stretch of public grass. We pitched late and tried to hide the tent amongst a small clump of trees. Fortunately nobody seemed to mind.
The sunrise started with a glorious glow and then a barge came plodding down the river as mist started to rise from the water.
After the sunrise I explored further along the riverbank and found where the local fishermen moored their small rowing boats. I passed a couple fishermen making their way to the boats.
The best part of the cycle through Croatia was the town of Osijek. I was amazed by how nice the town centre was and then we cycled on and discovered that it also had an old town surrounded by a star fort!
This statue was pointing at me, so I pointed straight back at it.
Tvrda Fort in Osijek overlooks the Drava River and has the best preserved Baroque buildings in Croatia. Construction started in 1687 when it was of strategic importance on the border of the Ottoman Empire. I didn’t know the fort was on the route so was overjoyed when we wandered from the modern town center onto the old cobbled streets.
The interior of the fort was completed roughly 20 years later in the same Baroque style as the fort. It is an amazing juxtaposition cycling from the modern centre with trams and huge fountains to the quiet, cobbled old town.
One of the buildings was decorated with statues and carved faces, covered in ivy. It was near here that we met Len Collingwood, a Scottish man cycling from Edinburgh to Instanbul on a rickshaw!
After a day in Croatia we cycled into Hungary on the 19th August, a coincidence of festival dates left us rather hungry in Hungary!
The cycle tour so far:
Romania – Departure and the Danube Delta
Romania – Cycling through Transylvania
Romania – Up and over the Transalpina in Romania
Serbia – Through the Iron Gates
Croatia – Eurovelo 6 in Croatia