It wasn’t until I crossed from Slovania into Croatia that I started to go through actual border crossings, up until that point I was still within the confines of the EU territory where crossing into a country is like crossing into a different US state. No gates, no guards, just a welcome sign. I enjoy the act of handing my passport to a border guard and watching it get the literal stamp of approval to enter, the sense of entering into a new territory becomes more visceral. After receiving my EU exit stamp, and then 100 meters later my entry to Croatia stamp, I decided my first stop would be the Croatian coast. For many years I’ve heard that the coast of Croatia, along the Adriatic Sea, is some of the best riding in the world, and for the most part, I now tend to agree. At times, and I kind of hate making this comparison for some reason, it felt much like riding the California coast along Hwy 1. The sea on one side and steep mountains to the other make for a dramatic landscape and you can’t help but to find some similarities. Countless small islands near the shore line, viewed from the edges of steep and craggy cliffs, adds a prehistoric flare to the experience. I kept expecting to see a Tyranosaurus Rex sauntering along the edge of one of these islands, unfortunately I did not. I followed this majestic coast, along the sandy beaches and turquoise blue water from Rijeka to Zadar before opting to turn inland and cross the Dinaric Alps and begin my way to Bosnia and Herzegovina. These mountains felt like something I did not want to miss.
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