Croatia Bound – 13th September 2022

It is a day of travel so not a lot to write about so we thought we might fill in a bit of space with some totally useless information about the Piccadilly Line which we have lived on for the last ten days and spent our retirement funds using.

We have highlighted where Karen and Miles live at Southgate. They are the third to last stop on the Piccadilly line going north. What is great about living on the Piccadilly Line is that you have direct access to Heathrow airport.

One of the more amusing items about the Piccadilly line is the most northern stop on the line is called Cockfosters. To an Antipodeon, this causes a lot of mirth but we felt we needed to show some reverence to the name so we did a bit of research.

The name was recorded as far back as 1524 and is thought to be either the name of a family or that of a house which stood on Enfield Chase. One suggestion is that it was “the residence of the cock forester (or chief forester)”.

We have informed Karen and Miles that we find it just too offensive for us to say Cockfosters so have renamed the northern end of the Piccadilly Line  –  wait for it  – Penis Budweiser.  They seemed quite pleased to see us leave this morning for twelve days – not sure why that might be.

It is always entertaining to read the billboards on the tube walls whilst waiting that intermnable minute for the next train. This one certainly took our fancy. Our trip to Heathrow Terminal 5 took us one and a half hours or four very difficult sudoku’s or having one’s head buried in The Daily Telegraph.

The process through check-in and security was seamless with a quick bite to eat and then onto our departing flight at 2.55pm. The flight is approximately 2.5 hours long with a time change of one hour.

We were fascinated with some of the destinations on the Departure board and some of them we had never heard of.

So, our flight today takes us from England to Split in Croatia where we will be for the next 12 days. Our trip is broken into three sections – all very distinct from the other.

Our first location will involve driving from Split airport for two and a half hours towards Belgrade to a National Park called Plivtice. We will go into more details over the next two days about the park. It is then back to Split where we will spend two days being Tommy the Tourists. The third and final section is seven days on a spiffy motor launch as we cruise down to Dubrovnik and back dropping into various island locations and swimming in the Adriatic Sea before flying back to London to yet again annoy Karen and Miles.

We arrived in Split at 6.40pm and all going well until we went to pick up the hire car. We could not find the office front for the car hire place in amongst the 12 others that were there. After much fluffing we discovered that someone was coming to meet us, but they were late. Finally, they turned up 20 minutes after the 7.30pm meeting time and immediately we were dubious just by her appearance alone. We were taken out to the large car park to a very used vehicle that looked to us to be someone’s personal car. By now it was dark so we couldn’t inspect the outside of the vehicle but inside it was scruffy.

The fuel tank was empty, and she just shrugged and said to fill it up. So here we are, late at night in a foreign country, hiring a vehicle from a dubious source from someone who really didn’t give a shit – then – we asked how we drop it off in two days’ time. To this she replied, just leave the keys in it – whoa – we began to freak out. We seriously began to think that this might be a hot car. At this stage we were pretty pissed off but what were our options as we still had a three-hour drive ahead of us and the hotel begrudgingly were staying up for us.

After finding a petrol station where the fuel was $2.20/L CDN, we headed out. Even though it was pitch black we could make out enough to tell that in daylight the drive would be spectacular. As the purple line on the map shows, we had quite the distance to go and some of the roads were very narrow and windy. It reminded Di of driving in New Zealand except at 10.00pm at night there was not a lot of traffic which was a blessing. We finally arrived at our very nice lodgings at 11.10pm, absolutely exhausted but more through stress.

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