In Zagreb: the Oborovo Ferry - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

August 23, 2020

In Zagreb: the Oborovo Ferry

It’s a much milder day today - overcast, twenty degrees cooler, less humid.  Perfect cycling conditions.  Even though it’s cooler, we still decide to get down to breakfast first thing and get an early start - a bit painful for me, because I slept so poorly last night: wake up at midnight, fall asleep again; wake up at three and stay awake for about two fitful hours,  finally get back to sleep just in time to wake up for breakfast.

We’re on the road by about 8:30, heading southeast on a 45 mile loop along the Sava River.  The plan is to follow it East on its north bank for about twenty miles; cross it on a small ferry, if it’s open and running - I can see it on the map but can’t find any information about it; and then return to Zagreb on the south bank.

The first five miles are like the start of yesterday’s ride - riding mostly on bike paths that double as sidewalks, slowing down frequently for poor curb cuts, and stopping occasionally for an interminable traffic light to finally turn green.  It’s OK, but getting old fast.  Rachael has decided she doesn’t want to live in Zagreb after all.

After that though, the riding gets better with every mile, just as it did yesterday.  Ten miles out of town we’re once more weaving our way through a string of tiny villages on lightly trafficked roads.  It’s a very flat ride today, with almost no contour to the land.  A very relaxing ride, and much more pleasant than laboring under yesterday’s heat.

When we get there, we find that the ferry does exist, and seemingly does still operate, but never on Sundays.  Fine - we’ll try again later in the fall when we’re back in the city.  For today, we’re happy to just retrace our route.  Good both ways, until we come to the outskirts of Zagreb and slow down to about 6 mph for the remaining miles.  Like I said, this part is getting old fast.  Some types of slow traveling are fantastic, but this is just slow.

We get back about one, pick up sandwiches at a shop near our hotel, and after lunch take turns napping for the rest of the afternoon until time for dinner. And how was dinner, and the rest of the afternoon?  Oh, fine; but we think we’ll close out this post here and save the evening for a new page.

In front of our hotel, Rachael adjusts her GoPro. Once she gets it adjusted correctly, we’ll have video. Not today though - something is off, and the GPS device intruded into the frame. We’ll try again tomorrow.
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Biking east of town we pass this surprising row of trees. Surprising because they’re hazelnuts, but look nothing like the ones we grow in Oregon. These have erect, post-like trunks and a much spikier husk.
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Looks like a hazelnut alright, but quite different than we see back home.
Heart 2 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltYou are correct!

https://www.arborday.org/programs/hazelnuts/consortium/types.cfm
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4 weeks ago
There’s so much to like about Croatia, but Rachael really appreciates finding one of these snazzy Garceaus by the roadside from time to time.
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Once we’re out of town we find an occasional handcrafted wooden home. Most small villages seem to have one or two mixed in with more modern construction.
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1989! I’m surprised to see how new this one apparently is.
Heart 3 Comment 5
Bruce LellmanI'm never sure when you are joking.
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4 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanIt takes years. After ten years of marriage Rachael still wasn’t always sure. In this case though, I was serious. Other than that it’s in such good repair, it seems much older to me.
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4 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanWell, to my eye this says 1932 and I'll bet a cup of coffee on it.
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanOh! I think you’re right. Makes much more sense.
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3 weeks ago
Fence sitter.
Heart 4 Comment 0
I was excited to see this slatted corn crib, something I remember seeing frequently when we biked through Slovenia in 1998.
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Another view of that corn crib. Looks like it may not be standing much longer.
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It’s such a pleasant day to be cycling today. It must be twenty degrees cooler than it has been.
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The Eurasian kestrel is a somewhat larger, browner cousin to our American kestrel. Other than that, their behavior seems almost identical: perch beside the road on a utility wire, tempting passing cyclists to stop and pull out the camera. Stay in place until they’re almost close enough to get a good shot, and then fly fifty yards down the wire and alight again. Repeat until the cyclist gives up in frustration and bikes off.
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Wild turkeys! Or at least it’s the same as the American wild turkey. The species was introduced to Europe centuries ago, and perhaps these are domesticated.
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Another corn crib! Actually, they’re pretty common here.
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Another attractive cluster.
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This short lane was the highlight of the ride. We’re right next to the Sava, which flows just on the other side of the berm.
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The ride ends here, at the Oborovo ferry across the Sava. We’d been hoping to cross the river and bike back on the south bank, but that’s not an option today apparently.
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The schedule. Runs Monday thru Friday, has a different schedule on Saturday, and appears to be idle on Sundays.
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Downriver on the Sava, from the Oborovo ferry.
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I forget where this attractive church lies, but it looks pretty with Medvedskaya in its background.
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Sunday service, pandemic style.
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In other news

Let’s vote!

There’s an election coming up later this fall, don’t you know.  We’re not proud to admit it, but we’ve missed voting in several elections over the years because we’ve been overseas.  We’ve excused ourselves for this because we live in deep blue downtown Portland, where our votes are of little practical consequence.  Every candidate we’ve favored for the last twenty years has won by a landslide except for the presidency, where the best we can do is to help assure Oregon’s vote.

Somehow this year feels different though.  Even if our vote has no chance of effecting the outcome, how can we not express our opinions?  So, for the first time we looked into the process for voting absentee.  In Oregon, it’s surprisingly simple.  It’s a two step process.  First, you have to update your voter registration to indicate your intent to vote overseas and declare a temporary address so that your ballot can be mailed to you instead of to your home address.  You can do this through the Secretary of State’s website.  For ourselves, we used our hotel here in Zagreb as our temporary address for the next two months, and notified the hotel that we will be receiving mail.  All you need to do this is to have an Oregon Drivers License available as identifying information when you sign in.

Then, once ballots are availabre you vote.  You can wait until your ballot arrives in the mail, or you can vote directly through the Secretary of State’s website, using the My Vote application.   our ballots won’t be available for a couple of weeks, but it looks like it should be pretty straight forward.  You fill out the ballot online, and then send it and the signature envelope in - either by printing them off and mailing them, or submitting them through the website.

Just so you know, if you didn’t already.  No excuses.

The pandemic is over!

You’d think so at least, if you’ve been looking at photos of all these Croatians milling around unmasked, spreading their precious bodily fluids around for all to share.  So why is Team Anderson still masking itself?

Because Team Anderson keeps up on the news and believes in science, that’s why.  Actually, we’re disappointed to look around here and see that  people aren’t taking better care of themselves and others.  They’ve been getting by on luck so far apparently, and their Covid numbers have remained very low - until just the last week or so anyway, when they’ve predictably been climbing after they started letting tourists in in large numbers, free to hang out in bars and at crowded beach resorts.  

The situation is changing rapidly, and Europeans are taking notice.  Just a few days ago Britain redlined Croatia, meaning that returning British citizens now face a mandatory, strict 14 day quarantine when they return home from Croatia.  The change went into effect at 4 AM yesterday morning, and Brits were fleeing Croatia in a panic over the last few days, trying to get home under the wire.

So what does this mean for us?  Hopefully, not much.  We knew about the pandemic and how this virus works when we decided to come: “He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere, so beware!”, to borrow a phrase from a Hanna Barbara cartoon from my childhood.  We wish the Croatians were more careful, but it doesn’t change our first and second lines of defense: first, keep your distance - easy to do if you’re a bit introverted or antisocial, don’t care for crowds, and are mostly out in the country on your bike anyway; and second, mask up when you can’t keep your distance.  

And actually, it’s not as bad as it looks.  Masks are required in indoor settings like hotels and shops, and mostly the requirement is observed.  We’re getting better at scoping places out before deciding to give them our business.  And outdoors, there really aren’t that many people out and about anyway, and enough of them are masking themselves so that we don’t feel at all uncomfortable masking ourselves.

And, of course, there’s our third line of defense: keep fit, exercise regularly, keep our resistance up, and be unreasonably lucky.

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Ride stats today: 44 miles, 300’; for the tour: 77 miles, 1,600’

Today's ride: 44 miles (71 km)
Total: 79 miles (127 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 6
Susan CarpenterDelighted to hear that you're voting this year - and have figured out the steps to vote from Croatia!! I fear we'll need a landslide victory from both deep blue and swing states to get him to leave the WH and flip the Senate.
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4 weeks ago
Jen GrumbyHere's to the Team Anderson votes!

Cool that you can vote through the website/email! I wonder how many states offer that option?
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4 weeks ago
Bob DistelbergGreat that you're going to be able to vote! We're fortunate here in our state that voting by mail, and voting early, is being strongly encouraged.

And happy to see that you're doing well in Croatia. It looks like a beautiful place.
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4 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI wonder how widespread this is too. Oregon is such a great state! Now, I’ll have to start listening to convention speeches and checking the stock market so we can figure out how to vote.
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4 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob DistelbergIt is beautiful! And this isn’t even regarded as the scenic part of the country.
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4 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Susan CarpenterThat, or a block and tackle. Whatever works.
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4 weeks ago