We had a late start…waking up around 9.00am but thankfully it didn’t take us long to pack the bike which was parked right outside the front door of our ground floor apartment ( the first we had had ….usually we have many flights of stairs to deal with…so this was blissful). We headed into the “Old Town” and had a coffee and panini (8.40 Euros for the both of us!) overlooking the church of St Nicholas.

It was interesting “people watching” as many varied tour groups and school groups came to admire the unique brass door. It was a work of art in itself, depicting 6 Bishops lowering the body of Christ on ropes. Above them was what appears to be a mummified alien….very confusing….but as the narrators all delivered their information in languages other than English, I was left to decifer the door’s meaning as best I could! Will have to Google it when I get time!

We took a walk into the town and came across a Pandora shop ….so we popped in and young Anna assisted us in finding a turquoise Murano bead for my braclet to represent Slovinia. As we walked back along the river and through the Marketplace it started to pour down. We took shelter under a market umbrella where Vince had an apple and I had some cherries. It wasn’t letting up so we toughed it out and mounted the bike to be on our way.

It was around 11.00am when we left to reach the Plitvice National Park in neighbouring Croatia. We took the scenic 106 and followed that all the way to the boarder where we had to hand over our passports for inspection. The policeman went to speak to another policeman who was busy playing chess on his computer….but eventually came out of his office to question us as to why there was no entry stamp in our Australian Passport. Rather than explain the com plexities of our dual citizenship Vince chose a different tact claiming they were scanned electronically without a stamp. I confirmed this …. our passports on entry to London (Gatwick) were scanned with no stamp….all true …I justleft out the fact they were British! In any case the policemen continued flicking through our passports and mine was empty ( apart from my Pakistan Visa)…. I explained this was because I had just got married and my name was changed so it was a new passport. Our stories must have been accepted as they stamped us out of Slovinia and into Croatia!

We went South to Delnice where we refuled and discovered that half a tank cost 183 kuna ($45) …ouch! The rain did not let up the whole time ….it just varied in intensity…we were both soaked through so Vince offered for us to just get a hotel in Delnice…..Adventure Girl said “No….we’re already wet, let’s just push on”. After getting a little lost, Vince finally found route 3 and we followed that until picking up the D42 that would lead us down to the lakes ….still about another 112km away.

We had a bit of a scary moment on a quiet section of road just North of   Ogulim…….A camper van was blocking the road and people were also on the road …so Vince stopped, I heard the skidding and screaching of brakes….which I knew were not ours…..behind me…..I waited for the impending crash…..luckily it didn’t come….the “little Shit Box” (Vinces terminology) managed to stop just inches from the ANIMALS rear. Vince told me afterwards that he should also get credit as when he heard the skid he released the brake so we could roll forwards a bit. Vince was furious and displayed his displeasure to the driver behind with a wave of his fist…he was not happy! The driver got out and I nervously wondered what would happen next! Vince voiced his verbal displeasure in no uncertain terms and even if the car driver could not understand English he certainly didn’t miss the point. No apology was given but he sheepishly returned to his vehicle. (Vince would like to note that he always pulls over and waves through cars coming up to us from behind but this guy came from nowhere travelling at speed). The last we saw of him he was speeding off into the distance with his wife and kid in the car…….not very responsible!

We stopped in Ogulin at the Lidel and got some food supplies to cook as we still hoped to camp out even though the rain was still falling. We carried on towards the lakes but half an hour later it was too dark for Vince to see the road safely so we pulled off when we saw a sign to an appartment…Maria told us she had one for 4 people available but could give us a reduced rate of 55 euro instead of 65 euro….we had a look and I nearly died……OMG we have gone to heaven….it’s huge….with a private sauna and a space age shower…Vince thinks is from 50 shades of Grey….as well as a separate toilet and bathroom, a split level with two double beds and a whole kitchen, lounge and dining area….we may never leave!!!!

After our daily continental breakfast (included free in our 75 Euro per night room) at Gasthof Zum Schupfen, we said goodbye to our host, Evelyn, and set off on a long day of riding to get from Austria to Slovenia ( around 423km and 8 hours on the bike).

We had uneventful border crossings from Austria into Italy, Italy back into Austria, Austria into Italy again and finally Italy into Slovenia. Borders were either unmanned or we were simply waved through.

We took the A13 South from Innsbruck to Bressanone in Italy, then left the motorway to pick up the E66 heading East. We stopped at Sillian back in Austria for lunch and shortly afterwards headed South East picking up the beautiful B111 – a magical road in Austria. We passed so many SPARS (supermarket)  we’ve seen more in this little corner of Austria than anywhere else. We stopped again in Arnoldstein, refused and then headed South to briefly reenter Italy before crossing over into Slovenia. The road we followed passed through Triglavski Narodni Park, we followed the D206 North through the Park with the road weaving alongside the Soca River……its magnificent turquoise coloured water was so inviting….we had never seen water so translucent and clean….amazing. It even rivalled the glacial lakes we have seen in other parts of the world.

A wonderful and unexpected surprise was the climb to Kranjska Gora taking in 24 hairpins up and 24 back down, with a nay twist and turns in between…..truly spectacular! After dropping down on the Northern side of the pass we made our way out to the E61 motorway and blasted down to Ljubljana.

We had a short wait at the studio appartment we had booked online for 40 Euro. Nina was most helpful in showing us the features including how to lock the front door which required a violent shove to close…..Vince had to do this! We had picked up some provisions in one of the early SPARS and Vince made his Thai Green Chicken Curry….but this time we had the luxury of a stovetop and sink! It was around 7.00pm when we arrived and by the time we had freshened up and cooked dinner it was past 9.00pm …so our hopes of visiting the old town had to wait until tomorrow…..we are both exhausted!