Leaving Croatia and making my way to Italy

Venice Gondolas

Following Luke and Elaine’s departure back to the UK I spent another 6 nights at Autocamp Adria. In that time I got chatting to the owner who spoke good English. As well as the campsite he also owned the hostel in Trogir. A keen football fan, we chatted about the English premiership, his team Hajduk Split and about some of the famous people who visited Trogir in their expensive boats. He was also able to give me advice on where I could get the sunroof repaired which was my main priority. The good weather held for a number of days, long enough for the repair to be carried out.

My touring partner Joy arrived at the end of August, tired after 3 flights to get from Florida to Croatia. We visited Split and Trogir together and generally chatted to get to know one another better which was important since we would be spending so much time together over the coming months.

Trogir

After two nights together my friend Martina made a last minute decision to fly out for some sunshine and the three of us spent a further few days in Croatia visiting Krka National Park, Senj, Pula and Rovinj before crossing the border into Slovenia. The weather took a turn for the worse as we crossed the border on what was Martina’s birthday. We decided to spend only one night at Camping Bled and left to head for Italy where we hoped for better weather.

Martina swimming in Krka National Park
Krka National Park
Sunset at Camping Vestar near Rovinj

Initially it looked like the weather was improving as we spent the first of 2 nights at a free sosta in Treviso. Martina commented on how stylish everyone was in Treviso and after walking around the city I had to agree with her. The rain returned that second day as we caught a train to Venice. On our arrival we were greeted by horns and trumpets which as it turned out were not a late birthday greeting for Martina but an indication that the Orient Express was parked at the next platform. The water levels in the canals looked high as we exited the train station and by the time we had reached some of the lower lying areas we saw people wading through ankle deep water either in wellington boots or barefoot.

Gondolas

The following day the weather typically improved and Martina took the opportunity to soak up the sun on what was her final day with us. In the afternoon we took her to Marco Polo airport for her return home. Joy and I then headed for Verona where we struggled to find any of the free sostas listed. One of the sostas turned out to be a car park for customers of the motorhome shop opposite and we decided to stop there for the night.

On Friday morning I bought a folding step from the motorhome shop and then we continued on to our next destination, Florence. On the motorway the handling of the motorhome did not feel right and we pulled into a service area. Locals advised us of where we could find a Fiat garage and after a short time they were able to diagnose a problem with a wheel bearing on the rear left hand side of the vehicle. I was somewhat depressed about another repair bill but Joy seemed to be able to see the positive side which helped. The repair took longer than I expected which meant we arrived in Florence as it was getting dark. We again had problems finding any of the sostas listed but finally found one which charged €12.00 per night.

On Saturday we saw the sights of Florence. Most of the museums and galleries charged high entry fees which we were not prepared to pay. Whilst Florence had some amazing sights we both agreed that it had that big city feeling that we could only cope with for so long and so we left that evening headed for our next destination Pisa.

Il Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Santa Croce

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