We definitely picked the right day to move on from Krk, as on the morning we left the skies were very grey with a storm brewing, and within minutes of driving away it absolutely poured down. We would have liked to have made it to Pula and Rovinj before leaving Croatia, but the sites nearby had all closed for the season, so we set off for Slovenia instead.
There was quite a queue at the border, with the Slovenian police stopping and searching vehicles very thoroughly, even checking the inside of the fuel tank of one Italian car. Thankfully we didn’t get stopped – not because we have anything to hide, we just have so much stuff it would have taken forever.
Our stop for the night was in Podgrad, about 10 km over the border. It was quite a new-looking site behind Pension Patrik, and we spent the afternoon reading and cooking dinner. I tried calling my brother at one point, but the sound of the rain hammering on the roof was so loud I could hardly hear him. It became louder still when the hail started to fall.
When the rain started to die down we legged it over to the hotel bar for a drink. A one litre bottle of local red wine cost just €9 (£8) which tasted lovely – I’ve paid that much for a glass of rubbish wine in a London pub before now! As we were the only ones in the bar we had a good old chat with the barmaid who spoke excellent English, and it was great to find out from her what it’s like to live in Slovenia. She was also the first person we had spoken to for a while who hadn’t heard about Brexit!
The weather was much brighter the next morning, thank goodness. Once we’d completed the usual chores we set off for our next stop at Pivka, stopping off at Hofer (aka Aldi) along the way. In the drinks aisle I spotted some wine from the same producer that we’d drunk the previous night, costing just €2.89 for a litre bottle (Pension Patrik is onto a good thing with a 200% mark-up!). Needless to say, a few bottles went into the trolley.
With the shopping done, it was a short drive over the hills to Pivka. The scenery was very different to Croatia – more vegetation and less rock – and definitely autumn now, with the trees shedding their red and golden leaves.
The site at Pivka is in the Park of Military History, located in a former Yugoslav army barracks. It’s a museum telling the story of Slovenia from the end of WWII and the creation of Tito’s Yugoslavia, through to the war of independence in 1991.
The camper stop is tucked away to the side of the building, away from the main car park, and it has all the facilities including electric hook up for €10 per night. In addition, one adult could get into the museum for free. As we were stopping for two nights, we both got in for nothing this morning.
Knowing very little about Slovenian history, we both found it really informative. Most of the display boards were in English, and there were also rolling films with subtitles. Quite a lot of military hardware was on display, including a small submarine from the 1980’s which was used to spy on the Italians – very advanced for its time as it was powered by battery. The museum restaurant served up some great food as well – I had trouble finishing off my sausage and bean stew, a huge portion for just €4, which was delicious. We had a great day out at the museum, and it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area.