Impressions of the Balkans

Impressions of the Balkans

We have now truly exited the Balkans. We said goodbye to this wonderful part of the world, but not for forever cause im sure we will be back.

Not only did the many many beehives show me there is a lot to learn here, but also did the very very expensive cars in rural and poorer areas trigger my interest to dive into life in the Balkans a bit deeper. We met the kindest of people here, ate various types of börek and were offered and drank way to many types of raki.

The Balkans are usually characterized as comprising Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia—with all or part of each of those countries located within the peninsula. The word Balkan is Turkish and means “mountain,” and the peninsula is certainly dominated by this type of landform, especially in the west. The Balkan Mountains lie east-west across Bulgaria, the Rhodope Mountains extend along the Greek-Bulgarian border, and the Dinaric range extends down the Adriatic coast to Albania.

While driving around we saw not only many little shrines but also lots of memorial stones of people who passed. However, if we would place a memorial stone of every roadkill, especially hedgehogs and snakes, it would be a memorial guardrail. Luckily we also saw a lot of turtles on the road, alive still. Made us think of the impact we make with our roads and other manmade structures. Even in the Balkans where there is still more nature than tarmac luckily.

Another thing that didn’t escape our eyes were the many police checkpoints. We were only stopped two times, probably because we are foreigners and we cant drive that fast. Many police checkpoints and many different gasoline stations. Lots of different brands, even in tiny towns. Especially in Bayran Curri – North Albania one could choose from the many many gasoline stations.

Ethnic diversity is one of the Balkan region’s most characteristic social and political features. The most numerous of the groups is the South Slavs, who form the majority of the population in Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. The Bulgarians, North Macedonians, and Slovenes speak their own Slavic languages, while the Slavs of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro all speak dialects of Serbo-Croatian.

As we are on the road to China, about 10.000kms further, we couldn’t stay for too long in every place. If we had the time we would and I’m sure we would taste every type of wine there is, cause there are many. We would explore more of the incredible mountains and tropical beaches, taste even more types of raki and submerge ourselves into the culture by visiting the smallest villages.

Of course we’ve also seen so much rubbish one can barely see the beauty of the place through it. It transforms nature into a huge ass bin and instead of protecting the last pieces of nature and cleaning it people add their rubbish to it as if it doesnt matter. “Its part of our culture, when we bbq we do not take our rubbish with us, it’s what we do” a girl from Serbia told is giggling. I didn’t find it laughable but that’s me, a privileged woman from Holland who’s parents taught her to pick up her rubbish and dispose of it in the appropriate waste bins.

After a one and a half month in the Balkans one doesn’t understand the Balkans, one hasn’t seen all of the Balkans but one gets an idea. The idea of certainly going back and exploring more of this gem.

We now travel to our last European country on this journey: Greece. A country with an inspired history. From the Gods of old mythology to legends like Alexander the Great (alright he’s Macedonian) and Leonidas. Oh and lets not forget the explorers like Homer (also famous poet) and Herodotos or the philosophers Socrates, Aristotles and Plato.

Lets dive into yet another interesting and beautiful part of the world. For a short while though because Turkey is giving us the (non sexual) glad eye 😉

Love, Milene & Yuri

On top of Dubrovnik

On top of Dubrovnik

Here we are, sitting at the wall of Dubrovnik. We are in awe, words don’t come easily to me but now I really do not have the right English vocabulary to describe what we see. But I will try. We are at the highest point of the wall surrounding Grad Dubrovnik. Grad means old, it’s the old town that is surrounded by a wall. The city is built by refugees, their homes – 15 km away – was destroyed and they sought refuge here. Then just a small town, but refugees learn. Thus they built a wall, a wall to protect the city and now to host hundreds, thousands of tourists. After Game of Thrones, a wave of tourism arrived and in 2016 it was the first time that Dubrovnik counted 1 million visitors a year.

But, not now. Covid-19 has locked the world, freedom has a different meaning now and travelling isn’t advertised.  

Anyway, I was going to describe what we see. Well, terracotta rooftops that’s for sure. High roofs, low roofs but they are all in this beautiful terracotta colour. The church bells tower over the roofs and a few trees give some ambiance to the scenery. It breaths old, everywhere you look it feels like you are looking right into history. From the highest tower we can see two small islands and the castle on the rock. No wonder this place is a well known spot to film a movie. It’s incredible, marvellous and so so picturesque. We are lucky as we do not have to fight our way over the wall for a nice view point. 

Far away in the water I see a fishing boat. The city must look marvellous and maybe a bit frightening from the sea. I imagine merchants arriving here ready to roam the Dubrovnik streets and sell their goods. And sailors coming here in awe of the majestic wall. But also intruders not sure how on earth they would get through these thick walls. 

The cities streets are now relatively quiet except for cats and pigeons. But it must have been so busy hundred years back. Merchants everywhere, people selling their goods, walking the streets. It was probably dirty as well, smelly as there is almost no green where animals can do their business. It has a sewage system though, a pretty good one as well. They say the sewage system back then is still in use today. 

I now sit at the wall and hear some people, builders and traffic far away. There must’ve been so much more noise back then. And have the people of Dubrovnik been on this wall to see their own city? Probably the guards of the city walls didn’t let them. It must have been a dream for many to once stand upon this wall and look at their own city from above. Breath the fresh air, hear the bustling noise and the bells of the church ringing. Watching the sea and the island from so high. They never got to see it like we can today, so we take another breath, another photo and have another good look at this marvellous city.

I wish for everyone, locals and tourists alike, to see the city like we do. Rather quiet but still alive ♥️

I’m sure my words don’t do the city justice, I’m not a writer, not a poet nor a good blogger. But where words fail, photos take over and I’m alright at taking photos so let us just look and imagine the sound 😘

Love Milene & Yuri

From the border to the wall

From the border to the wall

After three days on the island of Korcula it is time to explore new parts of the world. This part being Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not really new but the city of Mostar is new for us both. That also means another border crossing and Bosnia and Herzegovina not being part of the European Union this might be a tricky crossing. 

Don’t stop me now

After two ferries, three cups of coffee and finally time to read a book we arrive on the mainland of Croatia only 40 km’s away from our destination. We often skip the toll roads and chose the more scenic roads. It’s not only more beautiful but it’s also a lot more fun to drive these roads. We chose a town not far from Mostar to cross the border. 

At the Croatian side the douane took his job way too serious. First he asked for our driver license and passport, secondly we had to drive to the side because he wanted to check the van. He did smile when we said we were going to China and told his colleague our crazy idea. But then he checked almost everything. Our dirty laundry he skipped, and he didn’t get to see our save. I’m sure if he did he wanted to know what is inside. 

He wished us luck as we didn’t have a PCR test for Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

PCR tests

For most countries you don’t need a PCR test when you are just transiting the country. That’s how we crossed borders without any problems. Besides that we can easily be in quarantine in our van and do not have any corona virus symptoms. Thus, they never ask us for a test. They only ask where we are from and where we are going.

But, there are borders with a lot of tension. The Croatian – Bosnian border is one of those. Not only due to refugees crossing the borders regularly, but also because of the past. It’s been only 25 years since the war ended. While the people won’t show you easily, the buildings do reveal the past with bullet holes uncovered. 


Before I get into the border crossing let me explain to you a little bit about Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was a country in Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The Kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris and on 3rd of October 1929 the state was officially named ‘Kingdom of Yugoslavia’.

The countries Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Mongenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia were part of Yugoslavia. In 1946 a communist government was established. After an economic and political crisis in the 1980s and the rise of nationalism, Yugoslavia broke up along it’s republic borders into five countries leading to the Yugoslav Wars. 

The Yugoslav Wars were a series of separate but related ethnic conflicts, wars of independence and insurgencies. The war ended through peace accords, involving full international recognition of new states, but with a massive human cost and economic damage to the region. 140.000 deaths and 4 million people displaced.

It might have been Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War II and the wars were marked by many war crimes, including genocide, ethnic cleansing and rape. The Bosnian genocide was the first European crime to be formally classified as genocidal in character since World War II and many key individual participants in it were subsequently charged with war crimes. 

A reason that Croatians sniff when they hear we are from The Hague. 

Back to our border crossing

After a thorough search by Croatian police we left for the Bosnian border. An older man and very serious looking took our passports and asks where we are heading. “To China” Yuri replied. And then .. he asked for our PCR tests. “We have none because we are only on transit and want to check out Mostar”. “Cross at Dubrovnik” was his only reply. No discussion possible. 

So, we turned the car around, drove from Bosnia and Herzegovina into no-ones land and into Croatia again. We tried at three more borders nearby but they were tiny borders only for local people. One of them was actually just a barrier for which one needed a code so it opened. 

We decided you can’t have it all so drove towards the border on the way to Dubrovnik. Without question we entered Bosnia and Herzegovina. We were now about 50km’s away from Mostar but it felt like we’ve spend way too much time trying to get there and we have a lot of km’s ahead. So, in the end we skipped Mostar and went to Naum instead. Naum is a Bosnian city just because it’s located at the sea and the Bosnians wanted one location at the sea. There is nothing here and when you look across the water from Naum you see the Croatian peninsula with a huge Croatian flag. Buildings in Naum need maintenance and bullet holes are visible. It has a strange vibe and not one that is strange but beautiful but one that is just strange.. 

The stone wall of Ston

A little defeated we drive towards Dubrovnik but not before heading towards the stone wall of Ston. Apparently the longest stone wall of Europe. It’s original length is about 7km’s, now it’s 5km’s. We walk from Mali Ston to Ston over the wall, a hike of about 45 minutes with stunning views over both cities.

Ston is a medieval little town and the history dates back as far as the 14th century. It was a major fort of the Ragusan Republic whose defensive walls were regarded as a notable feat of medieval architecture. 

The town is not only known for the Great Wall but also for it’s salt pans. It’s actually called ‘salt city’ by the locals. Even today the plants of the oldes active salt-works in the world are in operation (read at local info board). We didn’t have time to check the salt pans but we did see the wall, the castle and had a beer in the tiny cute town. 

A well alternative for not reaching Mostar. 

We drove to a place nearby, very remote but lovely, right next to some wine fields. Cooked ourselves some lovely diner and had a good night sleep.

Love Milene & Yuri

The island of Korcula

The island of Korcula

Did you hear the story about the origin of the colour of carrots? They weren’t always orange 😉 I’m not going to write the whole story cause I will destroy Yuri’s punchline 🤣 Whomever we meet will hear the story of the orange carrot, a story we distribute along the Silk Road.

Another thing distributed along the Silk Road is olive oil and wine. Two things that are in abundance on the island of Korcula. So, naturally the first thing we do is buy a bottle of local wine. “This is the best” the man behind the counter tells me. I did not ask for his taste, I didn’t even ask which was the best wine, I simple asked: which ones are red. So now I have the best red wine of the island, according to this fellow. He knows better than the both of us so we buy the bottle of wine and head over to our little apartment.

Yeah, we are cheating on Alexine… But the campsites are closed on the island, as is almost everything else and we didn’t feel like sleeping at the parking lot of the old town so booked an apartment for two nights. It comes with beds, a bathroom and 5G internet. Something also very welcome. I wonder if I could ever live without internet again. I want to, sometimes so badly that I actually delete all the apps on my phone. But I never hold on for too long and before anyone notices that I was gone, I’m back again 😉

Wine and olive oil

Ok, back to the wine and the olive oil. The island of Korcula is covered with vineyards and olive groves.

The island is covered in vineyards and is the homeland to Grk and Pošip varieties. Dry white grk is made from a grape grown nowhere else in the world. To add to its oddity, it’s female only, so it needs another grape to pollinate it. Lumbarda is one of Korcula’s main wine villages and they’ve been making wine here for 2,000 years!

Pošip is also white and is often considered an old-school white wine; intense in flavor and aroma with high alcohol. Smokvica and Čara are the two villages considered to be the cradle of Pošip grape, and also a place where this grape gives the best results.

But we prefer red wine, even on an island known for it’s white wine. So, we got ourselves some pretty expensive wine and whether it is worth it we do not know, yet. The first moment we tried we weren’t in awe. But after giving it some fresh air it actually got a lot better. Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say it was worth it!

During history, people on Korcula island were living in agricultural production. Among other cultures like wine production and fishing, there is also a tradition in producing figs as well as lavender. Besides growing potatoes and many other vegetables, Korculans were very good at producing oil from olive trees.

Development of olive oil was improved after war periods and the majority of citizens invested in their fields with intention of getting better and more quality oil. Olive oil from this island has been added to Europe’s list of Protected Designations of Origin and is therefore the most southern protected olive oil.

I have already written about Korcula town so I won’t get into too much detail but it really is a very cute little town. It has one Main Street and all the tiny streets are connected to it. There is one street without stairs, it’s called the ‘thinkers street’, probably because you can be lost in thoughts without falling of some stairs. And then there is one private street, that one was for a king or prince who wanted to walk down to the beach without being disturbed. 

Meeting an old friend

The first full day on the island we decided to drive around it and see as much as possible. But first we had to check out some places from Yuri’s past. 

While driving a car stops and let’s me pass – which is weird because I’m not driving that fast. Then the car is on my tail the whole time. Annoying! So I stop on the side of the road and the car stops behind us. Grrrrr…. Then a police officers gets out. He walks over to where Yuri is seated and asks us where our belts are. We have those old type belts, the same you have in an airplane. We show him and he seems happy, then he asks us where we are from. Yuri replies in Croatian and he is even more happy. We say goodbye and park the car. 

Yuri’s father came to the island when he was young. He met a girl here who he has stayed in contact with for all these years. Pen pals, how lovely! So, when Yuri was small he came here. She is actually living in Split but comes to Korcula for holidays like many Croatians do. While we are walking around the town Yuri suddenly remembers where she had the house and while we were walking down the stairs he sees a familiar face. Maria? Yuri?

They haven’t seen each other for at least thirteen years and this was a very unexpected meeting. Maria welcomes us in her home and gives us her homemade liquor as a welcome toast. Luka her husband just came back from their Olive Garden and his hungry. We still have a whole island to explore so we decide to meet each other the next day for lunch. 

Serpent roads 

Tiny serpent roads take us around the island. It’s hot, steep but Alexine is a beast. When she wants to at least. The island is well preserved. Small towns are dominating the coastline but nature is the boss on the rest of the island. The beaches are full of stones but the water is so clear and blue, if it wasn’t so cold we would definitely take a swim. I write cold because it’s very windy today. Almost like a storm so not really nice to get in the water and then freeze in the wind. 

On Google we see a dotted road which makes us curious so we decide to go there. It’s a gravel road through the forest. So so nice and no one really goes here. So we take the drone out, film a bit, take some photos and then suddenly there is a car sneaking up behind us. What on earth is a car doing here? It’s not like this road is used often, really not. We look closer and of course, it’s the two police officers we met earlier today. We joke about our belts. “But now you are flying a drone” one of them says. There is this thing about always seeing the same people on a trip. Do you get that often? We do, and these police officers are just like that. Or they are following us, which is also a possibility 😉

We drive to a small town; Brna. While at the beach, I learn that Odyssey’s himself came there once in a while. And he actually met some mermaids while spending his time relaxing at the beach. I cannot disagree with him. Telling a story like this, makes me wonder whether the story of Marco Polo is of the same teller… 

We continue our road without seeing any mermaids, instead we get to drive alongside incredible cliffs, green pine trees and far below the waves crushing into the cliffs. The sun is shining bright, no cloud covering any blue of the ozon. A good day to walk in shorts and flip flops while listening to wonderful roadtrip songs and drive around an island.

But the sun makes us tired to, thus we head back to our apartment in Korcula, get a pizza on our way back, finish the bottle of wine and go to bed early. 

Sunny Sunday

Waky Waky says the church! It’s Sunday morning, not that early though and the church didn’t really wake us up. Not like the one in Zadar. But this church loves its bells. For about ten minutes we have to listen to the church desperately ringing it’s bells as if no one knows it’s Sunday. After the ten minutes we hear some singing and then again the bells. 

Our Sunday morning exists of coffee and croissant instead of praying and listening. And wow the people here have to listen for long. For about 1.5 hours we hear loud and clear all he has to say, only if we spoke the language.

Lunch at Maria and Luka’s

We head over to Maria and Luka for lunch. We get some local cheese and speck, olives from the Olive Garden and wine from a neighbour. I even try one olive and it’s not that bad actually. Where I normally get sick tasting even a little bit of olives I now are able to eat one! Improving. But one is enough. After the pre lunch we get to eat chicken wings and greens from around. After the lunch we drink a nice strong coffee to end the lunch with.

Ready to check the Olive Garden! Maria and Luka have about 50 olive trees. They do everything by hand and I must tell you; it’s a lot of work. Not all the trees give olives every year. But they do have enough each year to make a lot of olive oil from it and give it to friends and family. There is also a tree with amandel (we get to taste one) and a lemon tree. Lots of grass, flowers and we get to pick some asperges which we will be eating tonight! 

After learning about olive trees and plants we head back. And when we want to say goodbye Maria gives us some packages so we will not starve in the way to China 😉

A good day after which we drive to the lighthouse, find a nice spot in nature to park for the night and make ourselves comfortable for our last night on the island. Free camping here is allowed but not everywhere, also not where we are standing but its off season. Let’s just hope we won’t meet Tweedledee and Tweedledum again 😛

Love, Milene & Yuri

The second birthplace of Marco Polo

The second birthplace of Marco Polo

Venice, the birthplace of Marco Polo. Or is it? On the Croatian island Korcula they believe otherwise. In their believe Korcula is the place of birth. For us enough reason to check it out.

Reaching Korcula

As it’s an island there is only a few ways to actually get here. One is by boat, which we did. The other one by swimming, which we would not recommend. And that’s about it. You can get here by taking the boat from Split (no cars allowed), or the ferry, which we took. Korcula is apparently the largest inhabited island without bridge to the mainland. Yeah when you don’t have a USP you make one right? The other one is Marco Polo.

And let me tell you something about this famous explorer. I guess it’s about time. 

Marco Polo on Instagram

If Marco Polo had Instagram he would probably have this as his bio;

🧔 Marco Polo • Explorer & adventurer
🫂 Friend of Mongol emperor Kublai Khan
✨Author of ‘The Travels’
🗺 Famous for traversing the Silk Road

Marco doesn’t have Instagram and it took him several years in prison to write a book about his travels so an Instagram bio isn’t enough to explain who this young man was. But, it does give you a quick idea.

Who is Marco Polo?

Alright so we know when he was born (1254), however where he was born remains a mystery. Venice claims he was born there but Korcula, a Croatian island claims otherwise. Even though evidence is a bit sketchy, Korcula town still boasts Marco Polo’s alleged house of birth.

Even though Marco’s place of birth is somewhat ambiguous, it is certain that he was taken prisoner by the Genoese in the naval battle of Korcula, between the Venetian and Genovese states. Having been captured and taken to a Genoese prison, he wrote his book Million about his travels to China.

Why is Marco Polo famous?

Marco Polo isn’t famous because of the pool game. Shocking! No, the book he wrote in prison made Marco’s travelling exploits famous throughout the world. The work caused a sensation in western society when published, since many Europeans were for the first time vividly immersed into the exotic and hitherto unknown culture of the Far East. Polo noted down the use of coal and ceramics in China, centuries before they became widespread in Europe.

However, many of Polo’s stories seemed so far fetched that people thought that he had made them up. Some of his claims have never been verified. Nevertheless, many merchants would follow Polo’s routes, and many more travellers and explorers, including one Christopher Colombus, were to be inspired by Polo’s achievement.

What’s our connection with Marco Polo?

And so are we. However, why we follow in his footsteps? Why we are driving the Silk Road with an oldtimer? Not sure… It may be the adventure that a trip like this brings, the stories the road will tell, the mysteries it hosts. Maybe it’s the curiosity of what is left of the ancient Silk Road and how modernity changed it. 

We don’t know and neither did Marco Polo. He went on a trip, blunt and unexperienced. And we, although we’ve travelled a lot, do quite the same. I guess it’s the adventure that attracted him to travel and it’s the same for us.

Many explorers like Barents, Alexine Tinne and Ibn Battuta are our inspirations and Marco Polo is certainly one of them. We followed Barents to Spitsbergen, another dream I have is to follow Alexine Tinne’s footsteps along the Nile and we would love to see as much as Ibn Battuta. Now we are on our quest to follow in the footsteps of Marco and to see if we can find traces of his journey East. Even if it is so little it’s hardly worth mentioning. 

Marco Polo’s Travels

Even though he inspired us to travers the Silk Road we are not entirely following in his footsteps.

In 1271, precisely 750 years ago, Marco set out from Venice to Khubilai Khan’s capital Dadu (Beijing) with his father and uncle. However, they didn’t set out in a van, but on a boat. They travelled to Acre by boat and from their to Ayas (Turkey). From Ayas they went overland to Erzincan, Erzerum, Tabriz, Esfahan and so on until they arrived in Dadu four years later. 

We set out from Venice in 2021 and continued our journey East via Bled in Slovenia crossing the border into Croatia and we will continue our route through the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. From there we will visit Georgia and Armenia before we find Marco’s footsteps again in Isfahan. In his time Afghanistan wasn’t a safe place but the bandits then aren’t the bandits now. So, we skip Afghanistan by car and will travel safer roads which take us from Iran into the Stan; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazachstan, Kyrgystan, Tadjikistan until we arrive in China. 

Marco Polo stayed for 17 years in China at the court of the Mongol Emperor. Whereas we do not have the intention of staying there for 17 years you never know. Polo didn’t. 

So I guess that’s the story of Marco Polo and I’m sure on our trip you’ll get to understand him a lot more through our tellings. We will refer to his book, which we have with us, once in a while. And of course many other historical people worth mentioning. 

If you have any questions regarding Marco Polo, do read his book, if it’s not in there it can’t be answered 😉 

Love, Milene & Yuri

On the road again, a new advanture.

On the road again, a new advanture.

That one night I told you about in the previous post became four. Three intended, one not intended. Let me tell you the story of ‘from relaxation into stress’, also how Alexine decided she did NOT want to move on.

But first, wow! What a nice stay we were having at this campsite. The weather so good that for the first time we were wearing shorts. And that was so welcome after the cold and rainy days in Slovenia and Northern Croatia. We don’t even remember how cold it felt in the snowy forests up north. It’s 17 degrees, sunny and we do not have to go anywhere. “It really feels like holiday” with that Yuri means a holiday within our travels. If you travel like we do you get to understand the difference between travelling and being on holiday. It’s not about the traveller or the tourist. Whether we are travelling the Silk Road or on holiday in the Costa Brava we are still tourists. And we are travellers. The difference is in holiday and travelling, and a holiday while travelling is nice.

We got to do some work. Yes we are still working on the road. We are making videos, maintain social media and take photos for companies. So sometimes we need a day to get our work done. Besides that, we need time to post some blogs, update our Instagram and back up our footage. I also got the time to learn and read. I speak Turkish a bit but lost it over the years so I’m getting back at it because from Turkey all the way to the border with China Turkish or a form of Turkish is spoken, except for Georgia, Armenia and Iran. 

One night became three because we enjoyed it so much and really needed a rest, toilet and shower for a couple of days. Cooking our own food was a plus as well. 

All good things come to an end 

Or there is an end to the good things, cause while leaving the campsite after the third night Alexine didn’t do what she should. Driving. 

At every traffic light her engine stopped. A problem we had in The Netherlands as well so we though it would be a quick fix. But after we checked what we knew (always start with checking what you know) she still had problems. So, we went to a garage. A Volkswagen service garage with a T3 in front. As Alexine is an oldie it’s better if we find a garage where they know these types of cars (the old ones). And yes, they could help. But not today. “Tomorrow at 10 there will be an old guy who knows this car. He can help you better than me”, that sounds reliable. We will be back tomorrow.

The sky is crying

Back to the campsite then. The sun and blue sky changed into rain and lots of wind. And as I was a bit stressed out because of the problems “why did we had to buy an oldtimer?” 🤦🏻‍♀️ it feels like the weather mirrored my feelings, my mood. 

133, our spot at the campsite was still free. Told you; it’s made for us. While it rains cats and dogs (such a weird expression) we got to see a new documentary on the history of Pirates. We love these kinds of stories. We also got to see a nice movie ‘Love and Monsters’ while eating a pizza – of course. Exhausted and with hope the garage can fix Alexine we fall asleep quite early.

The sun shines!

Will this be a message to us that everything is going to be alright? Yeah, we think so. Thus, we drive towards the garage. Alexine is really done with driving and my worry grows again. Luckily the garage isn’t that far.

The old guy who knows how to fix old cars is there. He checks Alexine and knows the problem immediately. While he works on the van his colleague reassured us he knows what he is doing by showing all his oldtimers. Wow! A garage full of incredible cars and motors, one even older than the other. Beautifully restored. I’m amazed and happy. 

Within 10 minutes Alexine is fixed – hopefully. Apparently, the fix was what we thought it to be, but we often do not know precisely what to do so we couldn’t fix it. Now we know 👍🏼 and the good thing is we learned how to do it ourselves the next time.

So, finally we are hitting the road again. While or initial plan was to go to Mostar after Split we’ve now changed our route. The coming days it will feel like summer so we decided to head for Korcula instead.

Korcula is an island just off the coast of Croatia. One can take a ferry from Ploce – what we are going to do, or from the peninsula. Why are we going there? Because it might also be the birthplace of Marco Polo. It’s not really sure where Marco Polo is born. One says Venice, the other one Korcula. Apparently on Korcula Marco Polo is seen as a local hero so I’m sure we will be able to see and understand a lot more of him. Maybe we get to know him a little better by visiting his second possible birthplace. 

Alexine is driving like she often does: steady, a little bit overheated and slowly. But we are getting where we need to get to: Ploce, to take our first ferry of this trip. 

Marco’s travels 

While we are mostly driving the Silk Road, Marco went from Venice by boat. There are more ways to travel along the Silk Road, there are actually more silk roads. Marco’s journey went a little different from ours. I will tell you more about his journey in THIS post. 

Boarding the ferry

While we are waiting for the ferry lots of people check out the van. Bulli they say. In Croatia (and other parts of the old Yugoslavia) they have three names for this type of van; the bulli, the hippie and the terrorist. The terrorist comes from Back to the Future where a van was used by Libyan terrorists. We stick with Alexine though.

Well, luckily for us no one thinks we are real terrorists thus we get to board the ferry and are off. It takes one hour and fifteen minutes to get to the other side, from there we have 20 minutes to drive across the peninsula. From the other side we take another ferry to Korcula. We almost miss the second ferry because we are not as fast as most cars and the road on the peninsula isn’t a highway. It’s actually a beautiful road winding through the mountains and wineries. So much wineries here! We can’t wait to get to Korcula, sit on a terrace and drink wine in the sun. But, first we have to get to the ferry. Which we get on as last and just in time. Actually a bit too late but they were so kind to wait for us.

In about twenty minutes we reach Korcula… But more on this island in a next post. Stay tuned!

Love, Milene & Yuri