At the Car Wash
Trip Start Jun 08, 2010
79Trip End Aug 26, 2010
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It turns out Croatian car washes are basically the same as US car washes, or at least the one I went to was. They've got those big automatic washes that move your car through a tunnel. There are a few differences, though. First, an attendant power-washed my car with soap and pressurized water. After that, it didn't really seem like there was a reason to go through the machine, but they sent it through anyway, maybe it applied a coat of wax
I wasn't allowed to drive my car through the machine wash myself. In fact, in Croatia nobody was in the car when it's being washed. The attendant drove the car up to the start of the automatic belt, then he sent it through sans driver. The walls were glass (or probably transparent plastic) so I did get to watch the car move along its journey. The car was in neutral and little rollers behind each of the car wheels bumped them to push the car through. One odd thing was they left the car running the whole time. I'm sure it didn't waste a measurable amount of gas, but it seemed unnecessary.
Today was mostly a driving day. I did spend about an hour in the town of Krk before leaving Krk island. It was the standard, port-with-small-basically-medieval-old-town town. After that, I left the coast for Croatia's interior. There were two routes to my destination: fast and indirect, or scenic and indirect. There wasn't a direct path because there were some mountains in the way. I chose the scenic route.
I drove down the coast for about an hour, stopping for lunch at my last chance for a sea-side meal before heading inland. I ordered a "tomato salad"
The trip through the mountains took even longer than it looked on paper. The problem was giant tractor trailer trucks and people in campers also used the two-lane scenic road. It was a full two lanes, so there were no space problems, but the road was steep and twisty in places, and the semi's and campers were having trouble keeping their wheels moving. At one point, I was stuck behind a tanker truck pulling two tanks of gas.
As with most of these things on this trip, what seemed like a big inconvenience, turned out for the best. Because I was stuck going 20 km/h, I knew I wasn't going to make it to my destination in a timely manner, and pulled off at a scenic overlook to take a break. It was an absolutely amazing view, and the last of its kind before I started down the mountain.
I know my picture won't do it justice
Tonight and tomorrow, I'm staying at a great guest house run by a really friendly Croatian woman. I ran into a little trouble trying to find it, though. Because Croatian town names don't mean anything to me, I have trouble remembering them, so I usually just make up some gibberish reading that sounds vaguely similar to an English word. Usually, I come out okay, but this afternoon I stopped two towns too early, because both names started with "Rad". I was going crazy until I realized the town name didn't actually match the address I was looking for. D'oh.
There are two pigeons fighting outside my window now. I hope they don't try to come in... Darn screen-less European windows.