Croatia- land of rocks and rotisseries

I've spent three weeks riding around the northern part of Croatia and could easily spend another three weeks, and then another three, and another three. It's a beautiful country. It has so many stand out features. The friendliness and helpfulness of the locals is humbling. Each of my guesthouse hosts and the people I speak to in service stations and cafes are all happy and friendly. Without exception they have all wished me safe travels and are very eager to know that I would like to return.

Ive visited two national parks and passed through several more. I've learned all about travertine barriers and followed some of the Roman Biult in the fourteenth Century. 

 Roman stecci or tombstones  

Roman stecci or tombstones  

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 submerged travertine barriers, often used as building material

submerged travertine barriers, often used as building material

 St Nicholas Church in Krka NP made of travertine blocks  

St Nicholas Church in Krka NP made of travertine blocks  

Almost every home has a big wood fired rotisserie. They can spend an afternoon cooking a lamb or pig on a spit or their traditional 'under the bell' dishes of fist sized pieces of meat being cooked with piles of vegetables in something that looks like a Bedourie Oven. Grilled summer veggies are a favourite with me, -zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, mushrooms all char grilled together with a little salt and a few herbs. The flavour of the veggies, especially tomatoes is so much more flavoursome than even in France. 

 Father and son team in their restaurant kitchen. Meat and veg casserole ready to serve 

Father and son team in their restaurant kitchen. Meat and veg casserole ready to serve 

 The bell or dome lid to casserole dish, lid is covered with hot coals during the cooking process  

The bell or dome lid to casserole dish, lid is covered with hot coals during the cooking process  

 Anyone for lamb?  the carcass is filled with salt before it is stitched up, cleverly using the hooves! 

Anyone for lamb?  the carcass is filled with salt before it is stitched up, cleverly using the hooves! 

In the more touristy areas many hotels advertise set menus, generally three of four courses served in the middle of the day.  

 Frogs are on the menu catering to the masses of French and Italian visitors  

Frogs are on the menu catering to the masses of French and Italian visitors  

The only down side for me is that everyone smokes, everywhere!!  

Yes, and rocks. My goodness some of the islands are so windswept that nothing grows and the soil is blown away to expose the rocks, many are limestone based. The whole northern end of PAG Island is barren, they have made a feature out of their white dry stone rock walls. Some of them are a tall as a person can reach. 

there are sections of 14thC Roman road still visible as well as Roman tombstones that have been preserved and make interesting road side stops.  

 

Homes, Monasteries, roads, fences across Croatia are often made of stone,  dolomite, limestone and in some cases travertine rock.

 Some moderately high dry stone walling.  

Some moderately high dry stone walling.  

 Oh, yes I travelled about 20km on this unsealed road

Oh, yes I travelled about 20km on this unsealed road

 Oops. Caution!! It got a little rougher around the bend.  

Oops. Caution!! It got a little rougher around the bend.  

 Castles and Monasteries were made from stone. 

Castles and Monasteries were made from stone. 

 And many tools too. This would have been used horizontally to grind olives for oil, or corn and other grains for flour.  

And many tools too. This would have been used horizontally to grind olives for oil, or corn and other grains for flour.  

 Impressive stone steps in Krka NP  

Impressive stone steps in Krka NP  

 Even the contour lines are stone. This reminded me of Morocco where there was a geology lesson around every corner.  

Even the contour lines are stone. This reminded me of Morocco where there was a geology lesson around every corner.  

 

The beaches of course are rocky, I haven't seen a sandy beach yet. If they are not rocky they are made of concrete.  

 Pebbly beach  

Pebbly beach  

 Typical Croatian mainland beach  

Typical Croatian mainland beach  

 And another one.  

And another one.