Sunday 23rd September
I don’t think you are meant to sleep in Zadar on Saturday nights. They know how to party long and hard till late and then the street cleaners come through just on day break.
Today’s excursion took us far away to the Plitvice Lakes, halfway between Zadar and Zagreb, about 2 hours drive. We found out today that the limestone escarpment here called Velebit extends all the way down to Dubrovnik, but here it is further inland. There is an extensive freeway network and what is most amazing is the 5.75 km tunnel through the mountains to the central area of Croatia.
The national park we visited had series of 16 lakes, numerous waterfalls and board walks. Obviously the lack of rain has had some impact on the water volumes, but the colour and clarity of the water were particularly noticeable. In the shallower lakes there were most unusual orange finned trout. In most of the lakes you could see fallen branches from trees that have been petrified by the high content of calcium in the water. We walked around a couple of the upper lakes and had our packed lunch at the edge of one of them. A 20 minute ferry (all electric) ride took us to the lower lakes and from here we walked to the Velebit Slap (78metres) the highest waterfall in Croatia. Probably the most disconcerting of the walk was the smaller waterfalls flowing under lots of the board walks with many with no side railings. There were a few native cyclamen growing in crevices in the rock face. After about 4 ½ hours of walking our bus collected us from the other end of the park and headed back to Zadar. We broke the return journey with a meal stop, and checked out a few bears as well.
We are now back in our apartment. It seems rather quiet at present but that could be quite deceiving.
…….. Spoke too soon. Another broken night’s sleep!
Monday 24th September
Not in a great hurry this morning as our bus to Trogir didn’t depart until 11am. Breakfasted on whatever left overs we had, apples, shortbread biscuits and apple burek and later joined the locals for coffee in the main square and then Ewen had a bright idea. As we had passed the equivalent of Zadar’s Jaycar on Saturday morning, he decided he needed to purchase a European plug so that he could make up his own power board for future trips to ARDF championships. (I should be used to this by now.)
It was only a short trip today (just under 3 hours). The road followed the coast line most of the way, so on our right the views of the coast were good and helped pass the time. While on the left, there were a number of churches built on the peaks of the Velebit escarpment. We had no trouble finding our accommodation at Trogir, another rectangular grid of streets. We have enjoyed some of the local cuisine and polished off the remainder of our Serbian white wine.
The local tour guide told us that Trogir has had 25 centuries of continuous habitation, from pre Roman times in 500 BC. There was so much information it is a shame I can’t remember it. The buildings are incredible, not only in design, but the fact they have stood for so many years.