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Published: June 10th 2015
Southern Germany - You know about East Germany – Well it was a Socialist experiment that took over 40 years to prove itself a failure.
Well here we are in Southern Germany. Most people know it as Croatia. Maybe its an experiment to extend German influence.
But all I have seen is Germans. German speaking people – German Car - German Motorhomes – German supermarkets.
The bigger supermarket players here are Lidl, Kaufland, and Bila - all German with 2 other players of interest being Konzum ( a Croatian company) and a Plodine a joint venture Croatian and an Australian company.
The good French wine is kept at home I think by the French. Italian wine was available in some of the supermarkets near the Italian border. But yesterday we could not get Italian or French wine. It was surprising to see Chilean product amongst the local Croatian stuff.
What was a great find was a SHIRAZ from Australia.
WOW – What a find. And for less than E2..
Tonight we enjoyed the best wine of the whole trip.
A full bodied unashamedly male throat rinsing
Shiraz. From South Eastern Australia. Much more satisfyingly betterer than those insipid Italian lolly waters and even than many of the washed out Frenchies.
Croatia is preparing to become part of the big European protection racket- You might euphemisamiacilly call it the European Community of protected labour, trade and business arrangements .
Tonight we are camped in the Dutch quarter again.
It appears that either the camp operators, or Skippy, or fate- one or the other – prefers us not to camp in amongst the Germans. A French registered vehicle seems noticeable anywhere –but Germans are acutely aware and perhaps they feel uncomfortable. The Dutch are more forgiving of French idiosyncrasies.
But when we talk to either Dutch or Germans (whose English is invariably good) they seem to regard the French as maybe aloof - or a bit ”Out There”. Most regard he French language as difficult to master because so many words change meaning depending on context and the confusing rules about Le and La. But they open up when we reveal that we are Australian. However they invariably question the wisdom of being mistaken for French by driving a French vehicle.
When the Germans hear me speak they often ask –
“ Are you from Great Brittan ?”
When I reply that I am from Australia, their eyes usually open wide in honest anticipation of something enlightening. Then I usually ask them –
‘Why do you refer to the UK as GREAT Brittan, with such emphasis on the word GREAT when I know you do not have GREAT thoughts of that place we call Pommyland or the old dart?” They enjoy that.
But while Dutch and German thoughts of Great Brittan might be not so much of love as respect, I sometimes wonder if the French are more tolerated than respected.
So rocking up in a French vehicle is usually a bit like having a silver fern turn up at a Wallerbee BBQ .
Anyhow the camp we are at tonight is in the heart of Dalmatia. Have not spotted any spotted dogs yet. Its a big camp. On 12 Ha capable of accommodating 2700 persons. At the moment its robably about 70% capacity with 90 % of those being Germans the remainder being mostly Dutch with only a smattering of Slovenians the odd Pole or other European and ONE French vehicle. The Dutch are mainly congregated together in a little ghetto.
So you might get the impression there are a lot of German influences here.
In fact after driving half way along the length of Croatia I wonder if it ahs any economic purpose other than to provide holiday accommodation fro Germans.
The land we drove across yesterday was more mountainous than hilly.
There are only a few arable acres on a few elevated plateaux.
I realised how steep the mountains are when the trees are at an angle of 45 to 30 degrees to the land. Timber getting might be one viable industry . Most of the land could not support a bandicoot.
At one stage we drove over a mountain range. Talk about desolate and rocky. More barren than the Mojave desert. But where the Yanks run tens of thousands of wind powered electricity generators, the Croatians have only a few dozen.
This land is of ancient fjords and the mountains fall vertically to the sea. That makes driving the coast road as interesting as it is scenic.
Their roads and other infrastructure are really good. We took a second class road across the Istra peninsula and the road was wide and with good quality surface . the same quality applies to the coast road. So unlike those poorly maintained and narrowish bumpy Italian roads A length of Toll road we travelled on seems quite new, but sadly not so well patronised - maybe costed and funded on the Brisbane Motorways financial model.
I wonder where the money is coming from for Croatian infrastructure. I shall be looking for an answer to that. I would not be surprised if Angela Merkel has a hand in it somewhere.
Soon I will write about cars and their drivers in this part of the world , but for now we are enjoying the Dutch amongst the Germans.
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