MTCE Spring Meeting 2015: Crikvenica / Croatia
Guaranteed sunshine and a cloudless sky, crystal clear water, cosy swimming bays, surrounded by conserved nature, picturesque tiny towns full of art treasures, quaint villages, and hospitable people: all of this and more made the Croatian Adriatic coast one of the most favourite summer vacation areas in Europe. And there is much more to explore in Croatia, especially for bikers like us.
It began 33 million years ago when the African-Arabic plate pushed itself under the European one. Huge rocks piled up to the Alps in the North and the Dinaric Alps in the East. The foldings became smaller and smaller and mountain ridges emerged up to the Pannonian Plain. The plates still rub against each other hence there are several small and medium heavy earthquakes in Croatia every year. There are hot springs in Zargorje where volcanos formed the landscape some thousand years ago. It was corraded by the ice masses of the ice age as well as by other elements like continuously strong winds.
The Dinaric Alps are formed by several mountain ranges: The Istrian peninsula in the North. The Gorski kotar mountainous region between Karlovac and Rijeka. The Kvarner Gulf with its island is surrounded by the Velebit, the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. The Biokovo mountain range follows in the South, down to the Neretva delta. And in the lowland of the river the Snijeznica Mountain arises slowly and goes far to Montenegro.
No wonder that a brief look on map makes biker's mouth water. And there is the Jadranska Magistrala, the Adriatic Highway which is one of the top coastal highways worldwide. Just the sound of its name accelerates the heartbeat of bikers. Happiness hormones and adrenalin cycle tuned to seconds, both full to the brim. 1200 km swinging from one side to the other between dizzy abyss and skyscraping rock walls. Tarmac with maximum grip becomes slippery muck when the Bora lashes the salt water onto the road. Suicidal drivers on their way from one UNESCO World Heritage Site to the next one. This road can be biker's heaven as well as his nightmare.
The MTCE Spring Meeting 2015 was May 17th to May 22nd.
We explored all of this. Our camp was PANSION KONOBA BERTO close to the centre of Crikvenica, a busy small town which was already one of the biggest settlements of the Romans in this area. Here you can enjoy the full range of touristic infrastructure - if you need it. The hotel is specialized in hosting bikers, hence be prepared for some hints beside the usual worn-out paths. Very many thanks to Nicolina, Lucija, and Berto who accommodated us with such an hospitality that made us feel at home!
Sunday, May 17th, 2015: Arrival and releaxing
Monday, May 18th, 2015: Jadranska Magistrala and Velebit Mountains
- On the Adriatic Highway to the elemental forces of nature
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015: Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Exploring the UNESCO World Natural Heritage
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015: Break
- A day off to relax and let it all hang out
Thursday, May 21st, 2015: Pearls of the Adriatic Sea
Friday, May 22nd, 2015: Risnjak National Park
- Green lungs of Croatia, where the brown bear meets the wolf. Cancelled due to the Bora!
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015: Departure
For links to photos refer to the meeting overview.