The first smell of fish in the nose, a light wind, increased Mediterranean vegetation. We are approaching the sea which after leaving Austria was our next big destination.
This section was characterised by roads and border crossings with few cars. We crossed the Italian and Slovenian borders several times, mostly via some small border post, sometimes only a sign indicated that we had reached a new country. We rode a lot, the weather was slowly getting warmer, but the rain still didn't leave us in peace completely. Kilometre after kilometre we pedalled towards the sea and motivated ourselves by this goal to new peak performances. The joy was great when the sea came into view. But because we were dog-tired from the long stage, we didn't even manage the walk from the campsite down to the sea in the evening.
After a dry night at the sea, one could think that our personal rainy season was over. But no, just that morning shortly after our start towards the centre of Trieste, a heavy and watery thunderstorm pours down on us. Well, with the sea breeze and warm temperatures, everything dries quickly. We dash into the centre of Trieste along the sea and enjoy lunch in the middle of the hustle and bustle. What follows is already described in the blog "An ode to Italian cycle paths". We leave Italy via this route to cycle through Slovenia again and then reach a new country, Croatia. This is also the first border where our passports and Covid certificate are checked. Croatia is the last country for the moment that still belongs to the EU, so the borders are checked more strictly here.
So now we cycle from the Croatian inland to the coast again. And something changes in our emotional state. Suddenly it feels much more like "travelling". There are new things to discover, the language is foreign, the sea in its most beautiful colours lies before us. Our spirit of discovery is now definitely awakened and we are really looking forward to what lies ahead. We reach Rijeka and are happy to look out over the sea and enjoy the view. The thought of having cycled from our front door to the sea in Croatia also makes us a little proud.
In Rijeka, however, the reality of summer on the Croatian coast catches up with us. Lots of tourists and sold-out accommodations are our new companions for the next few weeks. Fortunately, we find a very cheap accommodation shortly after Rijeka. The room is very simple, doesn't quite live up to what is promised on the internet and the mosquitoes feel right at home here. But the breakfast and the access to the sea make up for everything, so that even Sara is reconciled.
This is the start of our Croatia adventure. More to follow. Small spoiler. Rain is now definitely a thing of the past - at least for the moment.