Croatian Hospitality

Church of St. Lucy, the  Baska tablet is on the left

Church of St. Lucy, the famous Baska tablet, written in the oldest known alphabet of Slavic is on the left

A 4 day storm raged the beach city of Baska, and finding a camping spot proved a bit difficult. The high tide made beach camping impossible and in the open land large puddles soaked my shoes. I cycled around the small city for close to an hour searching for either a guest house or some hidden shelter to pitch my tent. With the tourist season over most guest houses were closed and my only  option was a ritzy 4 star hotel. Ready to fork out the 30 euros for a room I stumbled across an abandoned campground with an unlocked restroom. The men’s room was trashed and stunk like urine, but the woman’s side was clean and had a working hand dryer. I set up camp on a bench that was propped up in the corner, and found that the campground had free internet. I cooked a hot dinner of oatmeal, apples and banana and watched a BBC documentary on the author(s) of the Old Testament.

A comfortable campsite in a women's restroom. The hand dry was a great way dry my clothes

A comfortable campsite in a women’s restroom. The hand dry was a great way dry my clothes!

Cooking and washing with rainwater.

With no running water in the restroom I cooked and cleaned with rainwater.

The next day, while searching for petrol (the nearest gas station is over 20 km away) I met the owner of a local trailer park. He was working with a construction crew demolishing an old building, and offered to fill my fuel bottle. We talked for a little bit and he asked me where I was staying. After I told him about the cozy restroom and functional hand dryer he offered me a trailer to sleep in. I accepted and between rain spells moved into a tiny trailer.

Just like old times at the UCSC trailer park

Just like old times at the UCSC trailer park, a new friend lets me stay in one of his trailers

Baska has one of the most beautiful beaches!  A large cove protects the beach from rough waters, and the pebbles in beach reflect a beautiful turquoise blue color. Once again I found the city almost completely deserted, and roamed around during the a sunny afternoon.

A few hours of respite from the rain, cycle path in Baska

A few hours of respite from the rain, a beautiful cycle path in Baska

View from the rocky cemetery

View from the rocky cemetery above the city. The retreat was held in the mountains hidden by the clouds.

The city cemetery is located on the hills above, and offers a beautiful panorama of the area. After climbing a long 18% grade hill I came upon ancient graves marked by stacks of rocks. A beautiful view but an otherwise creepy place I enjoyed the view while listening to the call of crows.

Once again a completely deserted beach

Once again a completely deserted beach

This the color of the Adriatic sea

The color of the Adriatic sea

The island is extremely hilly, this was one of my steepest climbs since the Rallarvegen in Norway

The island is extremely hilly, this was one of my steepest climbs since the Rallarvegen in Norway

Close up of the Baska tablet. It is written in Glagolitic ( one of the old forms of Slavic language) And was used to introduce Christianity to the Balkans in the 9th century.

Close up of the Baska tablet. It is written in Glagolitic ( one of the old forms of Slavic language) And was used to facilitate the introduction of Christianity to the Balkans in the 9th century.

Yesterday I departed my trailer and cycled to the northern part of the island. Upon leaving Baska, I past the city of Jurandvor, and viewed the famous “Baska Tablet” in the Church of St. Lucy. From Jurandvor I cycled west through the cities of Vrbnik and Soline, climbing hills covered with vineyards. I arrived in Omisalj, the northern most city on the island before dark and I met up with an acquaintance from the retreat named Ljubinka. She invited me to stay in the basement of her house (which is carved out of rock) and let me join her Zen Yoga class at the community center. This morning she baked me Croatian biscuits and I met her partner Noma a local archeologist.

Swamps on the western coast

Swamps on the western coast of Krk

Entrance to Ljubinka's cave house

Entrance to Ljubinka’s cave house, where I am currently staying

Tomorrow I will join them in exploring their parcel of land on the western part of the island, and learn more about the local history. I celebrated Thanksgiving a week early by eating some cold kielbasas, I will have to think of something better this week!

Small, narrow streets of Omisalj

Small, narrow streets of Omisalj, Krk.

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