Saturday, 14 August 2010
11.08.2010 Laudamus te, Croatia! (Mohacs, Hungary – Vukova, Croatia, 120 km)
38 degrees baby. We crossed the Danube and subsequently the Hungarian, Croatian border. Everything went smooth; we got through the Hungarian part of the border without any problems.
“What do you think will happen, if we just sneak through the border?” Manuel asks Andreas. We cycled past a gate and an empty hut, no Croatian border police anywhere to be seen. Superhappy to have reached Croatia, we started taking pictures with smiling poses and slowly started to roll again. All the sudden, there was a whistle. We looked back, but there was noone to be seen.
We continued cycling just to hear another whistle, followed by loud Croatian swearing. OH, right, there was somebody at the main gate. Hm.
“You illegally entered Croatia! 100 Euros and one year no Croatia!”. The policeman was not amused. Cool. Fortunately he spoke German. And he had family in Germany. We got into a conversation, and happily escaped afterwards without having to pay the fee. High five!
Croatia is amazing. Anywhere we stopped, people asked us whether they could help and people kept cheering at us anywhere we went. We were even offered free, chilled Water Melon by some old woman on the street. Amazing and unbelievable how this area was having a terrible civil war not even 20 years ago.
Because of the many landmines that are still lying around in the area, we considered it wise not to do wild camping that night. Instead we looked for a hostel in a town called Vukovar, a weird touristy town on the border of the Danube, heavily marked by the civil war. However, there were no hostels to be found and the hotels there were either too price or wouldn t want to have us (“No, you can not have a single bed room for two people. You are strange!”). The result was two smelly German cyclists standing in the middle of Vukova asking random people for help.
Finally, as we had almost given up and were ready to pay 62 Euros for a crappy hotel, a group of students stopped and saved us. In the most exceptional way. It turned out that they are siblings and that their dad is a greek-catholic priest. To cut the story short, we ended up sleeping in the cellar of the church. Without words. More about that upon our return.