Wednesday 29 July: Enjoyable train ride north to Varaždin with museum housed in picturesque castle, fine baroque town architecture and quality accommodation in Studentski Dom, too good for students, spatious en-suite room with free internet, cable TV, and fridge. Day out by bus to fairy-tale like Trakošćan Castle high above relaxing lakeside trail, with original furnishings and nudes by untravelled painter, Europa looking the most charming of the four continents.
Saturday 1 August: Train eastward again and overnight stopover in Osijek. Then cross-border bus, through war ravaged Vukovar under repair but with guns still in place ranged north over the Danube, eastward to Serbia and Belgrade.
Drinks: Wine - drinkable, just. Beer - dark Velebitsko a treat. Tea - wide selection of delicious fruit and herb teas. Weak English tea is available but if strong is your cuppa, bring your own. Coffee good in bars and restaurants but awful at hotel breakfasts.
Toilets: Upright, clean and free at stations, shopping centres, places to visit, large stores etc (M=Male, Ž=female and most have graphic).
Currency: Kuna (currently £1 = 8KN).
Language: Croatians in the tourist trade speak a little English. č is pronounced ch as in church, š is pronounced sh as in shower, ž is pronounced sh as in sure and j is pronounced ye as in yes. Dobber Dan is hi/hello/good day, Wahla (as in the French 'there you are' when presenting something) is thank you, prosim is please and no problem is just that.
TICs: Helpful if you ask with free local town maps and guides. Will book accommodation for you.
Accommodation: Bed only is the norm.
Food: Good variety of local and international dishes and, of course, pizza.
Supermarkets: Konzum mostly but many others like Kerum, Diona ond edge of town Spar, Lidl or Mercator.
Transport: Trains are comfortable and cheaper than equally reliable buses. Return tickets are 20% cheaper than two singles.
Medical: Health Centres, in most towns, will treat visitors. All EU members including Croatians pay 20% of the fee upfront.