It was weird going from the coast of Croatia to the inland areas and specifically to Varaždin. You see, on the coast, there are countless moped morons buzzing around all the time. In Varaždin, there are no mopeds. You might see the occasional Austrian on a motorcycle, but that’s about it. Varaždin is a city of bicycles.
Everyone rides them, from old men to old women, to mothers with kids, to dads going to work, to farmers running in to town for whatever farmers run in to town for. Even the princesses with their glittery gold purses and shoes ride bikes in to town while sms-ing on their mobiles. As we sat in a square in the old town, it was just one after another that rode by in front of us. All of them blissfully sans screaming little motor.
It’s a rather good place to ride a bike as the weather as pretty pleasant year round and the terrain is quite flat. Beyond this, I think it’s the only city in Croatia where bike lanes have thoughtfully been provided for. In fact, outside of town, there are lanes all the way to the next biggest town of Čakovec and yes, people use them.
If you can’t tell by my tone, I was astounded at all of this. Of course, coastal Croats will point at the continental ones and say, “Yeah, they’re just different like that.” But what those on the coast don’t realize is that they’re just smarter like that. You can call it Germanification if you want, but I just call it peaceful. For those who know California, think of it as the city of Davis with 15th century (or maybe older?) city center.