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In which the whole family finally hits the wall in this marathon travel experience.  A short post from SWMBO about reaching a point about 15 kilometres from Zagreb.

Definitely in the running for cutest church in the world (Slovenia)

Definitely in the running for cutest church in the world (Slovenia)

Gets even cuter as you get closer...

Gets even cuter as you get closer…

Doesn't get more perfect than that!

Doesn’t get more perfect than that!

We left Slovenia and drove about an hour and a half and entered Croatia – our first non-Schengen country in the Balkans.  Woo hoo – we’re out!  You can read what I wrote earlier about the Schengen here: https://travellarge.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/amsterdam-to-zagreb.

In Slovenia we had a view of the Croatian hills.  Now, in Croatia, we were just about 5 kilometres from Slovenia.  We spent the weekend at a great CS.  I love the instructions I received to get there:

Turn left at the second traffic lights.  Drive through the block of newer houses, past the former military barracks, now in ruins… Turn right, then left up a steep hill.  We are the only inhabited house on the right.  No doorbell, only barking dog (friendly).

The family was lovely with a twelve year old girl and a fourteen year old boy.  We found we had a lot in common especially with regards to alternative forms of education and life philosophy.  They were looking forward to showing us around the Samobor area.  We had just spent almost a week relaxing in Slovenia so we had no reason to be so tired.  But we were.  Every single one of us.  We gave it our best shot but spent most of the weekend sleeping in late and playing ping pong and monopoly.  Maybe we really were becoming zombies?

Zombie family arrives in Wales

Zombie family arrives in Wales

We still somehow managed to visit the Neanderthal Museum in Krapina where we learned that science doesn’t know what to make of ancient history.

Ski fence, Samobor (Croatia).  The fence goes on and on and on.  In fact, it surrounds a small vineyard!

Ski fence, Samobor (Croatia). The fence goes on and on and on. In fact, it surrounds a small vineyard!

Ski fence, detail

Ski fence, detail

We also toured the outdoor village museum of Kumrovec, the birthplace of Tito where we ate the famous strukli.  We were told it was a cake but in fact it is more of a savoury cheese and pastry soufflé.  It was served with a jar of white sugar on the side so you could either eat it as is or make it into a sweet cheesecake.  You order it and then spend a half hour visiting the ethno-village while it bakes.  You can choose to have the cakes individually baked or to have two portions baked in one casserole.  We were eating ours at dinnertime and I found it made a nice, satisfying snack.  Croatian nachos if you will.  My kids all added sugar, of course!  The next day we spent a nice afternoon at a lakeside beach and some of us had energy leftover to walk around Samobor and eat custard cream cakes until 10 pm.  Oh ya, and the evening we arrived, we hiked up to the top of the hill we were living on and enjoyed the view of Zagreb city at night.

Strukli (photo from oblezeki.com)

Strukli (photo from oblezeki.com)

We were sorry to leave on Monday morning.  We set off early with the intention of visiting a Peugeot dealer to see about fixing the hatchback on our van, visiting Zagreb and then heading to a campsite outside town recommended to us by our friends.  After a bit of a wild goose chase to find the dealer we spent a glorious day in Zagreb and decided to stay a while.  Yet another fail at camping.