Osijek, Croatia. More stress for Fred!
Grete & Fred Vithen
Wed 10 Jun 2015 11:42
After the interesting but slightly confusing brush with the Hungarian Tax and Customs Police yesterday morning, we decided to take a side trip from the Danube, up the Drava, a river that starts in the Dolomites of Nthn Italy and flows into the Danube. Fred had read about this interesting city, 20 kms up the Drava. Of course, as soon as we left the Danube our speed dropped from 16 kms to 8 kms/hr because now we were going against the strong current.
Eventually we arrived at Osijek at about 6pm and found that the marina only catered for much smaller boats. We were told to go back 2 kms and enter the harbour. So we turned around but got such a shock when we saw a low overhead cable which would take our radar mast off. We had passed safely under it before...didn't even see it....but now the car ferry attached to it was crossing the river and dragging the cable down. Fred hit full reverse, fighting against the current, and eventually we were able to sneak under. Next, when we turned into the harbour, same problem. We couldn't enter because of low cables. It had been a long day. We were hangin' out for a gin and tonic, and now, nowhere to berth. Just then our saviour appeared, a young guy who had a small private pontoon and a very smart bar on the dockside. He helped us tie up to his power boat. We were a bit concerned our 22 tonne aluminium yacht might squash his 2 tonne fibreglass runabout, or even tear the pontoon from its flimsy cables, but Fred added some extra ropes and all seems well.
" David and Goliath ".
Of course we felt obliged to buy some drinks at his bar....no great hardship.
We went for a walk around this very nice city, the 4th largest in Croatia, pop about 100,000. It was quite sobering to see so many buildings pock marked with bullet holes from the vicious ethnic fighting that went on here as recently as 1995!
We were still a little nervous about the boat when a wind came up in the evening. So it was reassuring to be able to dine in sight at an adjacent floating restaurant. Our money goes a long way here. Dinner for 3, with 2 bottles of wine, came to Croatian kn 650, = 82€=A$54, including a generous tip.
We had some more excitement this morning (Wed 10th) when the Harbour Master said that because one of the crew is from a non EU country ie me, the skipper and I had to present, with passports to the immigration police, 13 kms away. We went by taxi....no problems....all very cordial....just another stamp in my passport. Fred is miffed. He never gets a stamp!
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