Made in Croatia

Croatia's New Adrenaline Sport for 2018: Motorway Slalom Driving

By 28 May 2018

A new adrenaline sport to pass the time on Croatia's motorways was played by TCN on May 27, 2018.

A new tourist season is approaching. In most tourist countries, this would manifest itself in preparations for the season - opening the shutters, putting out tables and chairs, getting the beach loungers in position. 

In The Beautiful Croatia, the imminent tourist season is usually announced with a flurry of activity. JCB diggers start tearing up roads that have seen little traffic since the previous October. Quite why this activity could not take place in the offseason with minimal disruption has always been beyond my comprehension. Much better to wait for the early season tourists to enjoy the fun. 


I am spending a lot more time on Croatia's motorways these days than is healthy. Outside the peak season, the motorways are usually a joy (as long as you don't think about the cost of using them), and traffic is rarely a problem. My most common route is the stretch from Varazdin to Zagreb, and my 52 kilometres of paid motorway use comes at a winter special one-way price of 28 kuna, which is a little cheeky. All the more so when seemingly half of it under constant roadworks. 

I have to compliment Croatian Roads on their traffic cone arrangement. They are normally impeccably lined up - with no seeming purpose whatsoever. There is nothing more frustrating after a long drive home from Montenegro to find yourself behind an overladen truck in single-lane traffic, because the road gurus have decided to section off one lane of the motorway with no work ongoing whatsoever. For over two kilometres. I saw a lovely new traffic cone twist the other day - one lane closed off with no work happening at all,with the friendly traffic police waiting at the end with their radar guns to fill the state budget. TCN advice remains the same - always observe the speed limit. 


My current favourite stretch of Croatia's beautiful motorways is the winding ascent from north of Zadar to the imposing Sveti Rok tunnel, and arguably the best piece of engineering in the national network. If you are driving on autopilot on empty roads, this section can be quite tricky, as the road has several reasonably sharp turns which require a reduction of speed, and when the bura is blowing, it can be a little challenging to negotiate. 

But the tourist season is here, and we have to entertain our guests, so why not put down a few kilometres of pointless traffic cones with no works ongoing? And to make things REALLY interesting, why not put them in every lane so that drivers have the additional thrill of trying not to hit the cones on both sides.

Roll on October, when all the diggers and traffic cones go into hibernation, for one has to rest after a busy season.