Leaving: Zagreb to the hills - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

December 3, 2013

Leaving: Zagreb to the hills

As forecasted it was a bright sunny morning and Is anxious, well to be honest, I could stay here in Chillout hostel Zagreb a few weeks longer. But there's more of Croatia to see. Then Bosnia and Serbia. So, I've mixed feeling leaving. Though later when I'd made my way out of the city, Is glad to be back on the road.

There is a shared use cycle-path much of the way from the centre, until I reach a bridge. There I've to carry the bike up steps to ride across and ease the bike slowly down steps the other side. Then Is thinking there'll be no more cycle-path. But once over an intersection, I'm on a street upon which there's a cycle-path marked off with a yellow line.

Looking back across the bridge at high-rise blocks.
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The view further along the river.
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The street passes Zagreb concert Arena, tenement blocks, a Lidl supermarket and gradually out through a string of suburban villages to a secondary road with little to no traffic in open countryside. By now a veil of greyish dark blue cloud has darkened the sky and it grows cold, so I stop to put on my rain-jacket hoping for the best. The countryside is flat, looking like Hungary and I really don't have a clue where I am while passing through a number of small places too small to appear on the map. Further on there's rusty leaved woodland either side and I leave Hungary behind as the way climbs into the hills and the sun breaks through as the cloud clears.

It has been a long time since I've been on road like this that could be called scenic. Although wooded either side, before long I've climbed high enough to see out on the left side, down across valleys with village church spires peeking up; off to brown wooded hills in the distance. I didn't much care where I was as it is such a nice road and only an occasional car. I knew eventually I'll come to a place that will be on the map.

I come to this sign, on which I find all the places are on my map.
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I come to a sign with an arrow at a turnoff, upon which are four places that I find on the map. And the road I'm on, I discover, is exactly in the right direction for the way I wish to go.

Well the white road on the map is a little confusing, more so as it is where the map folds. It splits in two and then looks to come together again. I am heading to Pisarovina when I come to the split in the road. Pisarovina is down the hill on the left. I decide to continue straight on as it means remaining up on the height with the view on the left. Though not for long does it remain high up, as two kilometres on, the road swings right and descends steeply into a wide agricultural valley and into the scattered village of Bukovcak. The road narrows as it turn this way and that way passing detache farmhouses with dogs barking at me, but with few people about. Reaching the other side of the village, the road come to a sudden dead end. There is no other way but back up the hill to the turn off for Pisarovina.

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Bukovcak straight on. Pisarovina down the hill on the left.
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I was regretting having past Lidl on the way out of Zagreb, until I reach Pisarovina around one, where there's a small Konzum grocery shop; in which, I buy bread, ham, bananas and a big bottle of coke. I had a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, so just make a single sandwich for lunch in a park across the street, saving the rest for later; not long later as I'll have to have camped at four or thereabouts, when I'll eat for the last time today.

Onwards I come to a factory on the left; row upon row of modern white metal buildings. Out by the road there's an older two story building partly in ruins. The walls look to have been strafed with gunfire, especially round the windows, and on one side, the outside wall has collapsed revealing internal rooms. Then a bit further there's a memorial with glass enclosed candles round the base.

For the rest of the day I pass lots of empty houses. They look at first glance to have been at the building stage nearing completion, when the money ran out; with missing windows and doors and part of the roof gone. But surely, it cannot have been the case for so many houses, as on some stretches, almost every second house is looking this way. Then I pass another memorial upon which is a snapshot of a young man and underneath is inscripted his name and 1975 -1993.

Today's ride: 72 km (45 miles)
Total: 8,049 km (4,998 miles)

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