Verazdin, Croatia to Vienna, Austria

Day 89,  Friday, November 22, 2019

You may wonder why we went to Verazdin, seeing as there really wasn’t all that much to see or do there?  It has to do with something called the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Area is an area with 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders.

The catch is that you can only stay 90 days in these Schengen Countries once every six months. Our holiday is 92 days, so we needed to go to a country that was not part of the Schengen Agreement so that we would not have any problems.

Most people we have spoken to don’t know anything about this rule…but then most people don’t spend more than 90 days on holidays in a six month period!

However, there are going to be changes to travelling in Schengen countries that will affect anyone travelling to Europe.   “World travelers privileged with visa-free entry to the Schengen member states will also be affected in the near future from recent changes that the EU has decided to implement.  The most important change is that as of January 2021, travelers will need to apply for an online authorization, and wait for its approval before heading to the EU.”

It is very foggy when we start our drive to Vienna, only we soon realize that it is smog, not fog!  It smells awful and bothered my eyes and chest. It clears up for a bit but then we drive back into the band of smog that stretches across the countryside.  We have never seen anything quite like this before.One of the many small villages in Croatia.  Most of these villages only have one row of houses along the highway, no side streets at all.  Notice the pretty yellow and purple chrysanthemums growing along the fence.  We saw lots of these flowers along the way. One fairly long stretch of the road has a shrine every 300 to 500 metres, and each one had fresh flowers placed in front of it. Another little village.  We don’t see many people about and think that they probably have a hard time keeping people from moving to bigger urban centres. The highway mainly passes through farmland, and I quite like all the trees along the side of the road.
We finally get a bit of sunshine.  There are winter crops planted which are just beginning to grow that are many different shades of green. We get to Bratislava about 3:00 pm, return our rental car and catch the Flixbus one last time back to our apartment in Vienna.  We are surprised how quickly it gets dark now.  This is photo taken on the bus just after 4:30pm. We catch an Uber from the Main Bus Depot.  Twenty euros well spent.  We are dropped off at our apartment door, which is the same apartment we had a couple weeks ago in Vienna.  It almost feels like coming home.  In three more sleeps we will really be home.

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