Arrival in Europe and road trip to Croatia

I had been planning my Euro trip for almost 6 months, the trip seemed for ages like it would never arrive. Time stands still for nobody and before I knew it I was boarding a plane to start my euro trip.

I flew on Emirates from Cape Town to Dubai. As I left the plane I met a South African, both of us had to wait about 8 hours until our next flight, so we thought it would be a good idea not to sleep and rather drink through the night. Was pretty cool hanging out, but admittedly not one of my brightest ideas, it was both tiring and expensive!

My next flight took me to Zurich, Switzerland. On arrival I used my British passport, it was so disappointing as they didn’t stamp my passport.  My SA passport has loads of stamps from all over, thats part of the travel experience…

My long time buddy Stephan fetched me from the airport and we headed back to his flat. He has been living in Zurich for the past year while working at an marketing agency, so after a brief visit to his Zurich flat we headed to his flat in Munich, which was our destination for the evening.

As we drove from Switzerland I was able to get a glimpse of the Swiss lifestyle, architecture, agriculture and more. Next we drove through Austria briefly and into Germany. What a whirlwind experience in my first few hours in Europe!

Before arriving at Stephan’s flat we stopped off to stock up on supplies for Croatia at his local supermarket. It was interesting walking through a foreign supermarket looking at brands of different products. The beer section was most interesting. We stocked up on various types of Munich beer, Stephan assured me that this was the best beer I would ever drink 😉

In the evening we grabbed some take away pizza, drank a few too many Munich beers and hit the hay early. Before we knew it we had to wake up again at 4:30am to start the long drive to Croatia. The road trip would take us from Germany into Austria, then through Slovenia and into Croatia.

I was blown away by Austria’s beautiful mountains, as well as their impressive roads and tunnels, it was like nothing I have ever seen. The architecture of the houses was interesting to see, I always love to absorb other cultures.

Slovenia went by quite quickly, i did however get to observe lots of farming and country side. I took over driving from Stephan at this point, which was a scary concept seeing I had to drive on the right side of the road, but I adapted fairly well 😉

As we entered into Croatia we were stopped for the first time at a boarder post and asked to produce our passports. After crossing the boarder the Garmin GPS decided to direct us off onto smaller roads towards the Momento Demento festival, we skipped the highways and tolls, which was a bonus.

The GPS directed us along a funny route, we kept getting taken onto smaller and smaller roads until the point where we were on a single lane for both directions of traffic.  I think we were driving on tarred farm roads or something. We suddenly found ourselves at the festival, the GPS had taken us via a back route and we ended at the end of the bottom of the festival.

We had to find our way to the gate so that we could get our tickets, but this is where we had a pretty serious fuck up occur. A scooter driver was flying down one of the narrow roads right near the festival entrance. There were loads of cards parked on the right hand side of the road, which forced me to drive in the middle of the already narrow road. The scooter hit the side of the car and crashed!

Personally I feel the scooter was riding too fast, but I admit that I was in the middle of the road, which meant neither of us were in the right. Problem was the scooter guy’s brother was a Croatian policeman from the local town called Slunj. He called his brother, two policeman and his brother rocked up. They blamed us and fined us 1443 Kuna or 2790 Rand. They held us for for quite some time while they wrote their police report.

Stephan and I remained calm, we knew if we argued these guys would make things really bad. I did a alcohol test and pass with 0.0 level. Croatia has a zero tolerance for alcohol, so if I had failed the test I would have been thoroughly screwed.

We then had to follow these dick coppers to the local town 20km away and wait for them to finish the report, after which we paid the fine. The whole process took almost 4 hours.  What a way to arrive at a party!

Fuck those coppers! Waste of our time and money!