25 May 2011

Travel Blog - Part 8


Since leaving Croatia we have seen many changes of scenery from the grey rugged mountains in the south to the meadows and arable land as we traveled further north.  In some of the places inland we saw quite a lot of derelict and broken-down houses which we think may have been abandoned in the war a few years ago.  There is, however, a lot of building work going on and the country is progressing in leaps and bounds and a new motorway is still being built which will eventually connect Split and Dubrovnik. This will speed the journey but it won’t be as attractive as going along the coast road or through some of the little villages, even though the road is narrow in places with a drop into the ditch if you are not careful!  


We made an overnight stop just north of the Plitvicka Lakes which are a UNESCO site and definitely worth visiting.  We spent a day there 3 years ago and thought it was lovely – many waterfalls and lakes with the path in places being slatted wood with the water bubbling up though the slats.  
We made our way around Zagreb and to the Hungarian border where we had our passports checked at 2 kiosks and the customs asked to come into the van.  The customs-man didn’t really look around very much and seemed to be checking on cigarettes and alcohol being taken into the country.  We had to declare our 17 litres of Croatian wine bought in bulk to be taken back to England – don’t know if that was over the limit, but he let us go anyway, and smiled approvingly when we said we didn’t smoke so had no cigarettes.  

A little way passed the border we came to a market area with stalls selling clothes, shoes, table-cloths and anything else tourists or locals might like to buy.  All at very good prices and priced in Kunas (Croatia), Forints (Hungary) and Euros.  Trying to work out whether items are cheap or expensive takes a bit of thinking about as 1 Kuna is around 13 pence, and there are approximately 280 Forints to £1.  At least the euro is used in most countries and you don’t have to try to use up odd bits of currency before leaving the country.  

We are now at a campsite about 5kms from Siofok on the shores of the Balaton Lake and have seen the water change through so many different colours – green in the sun, grey some of the time and nearly black in a thunder storm!  

The cycles are in use again as the area is flat and going into the town is an easy ride.  Siofok is definitely a tourist place with dozens hotels, children’s amusement places, restaurants and souvenir stalls – more exploring to be done yet!



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