Dan's final day! We had an early morning wake up call so we could beat the huge tourist groups to the lakes. Toure said that by the afternoon, as many as 15 buses with tons of tourists will be unloading and starting their trek through the park. We had showered, ate and were ready to go at 9 am. It was a short drive to the park from our hotel. We were excited to start the hike to the waterfalls.
It was another warm and sunny day and we were ready to be active. The park is massive and beautiful. We hiked down to the first lake and took a ferry across to the upper part of the lakes. We started on the paths and hit several waterfalls right away. We were blown away by the different colors of the water and how clear and clean they are. You can see the fish swimming and everything all the way down to the bottom of the lake. It took about an hour and a half to walk around the first part of the upper lakes. We didn't even see all of them. We made our way back to the ferry and
took a different boat to the lower lakes. It was on this 20 minute ferry ride that Toure got a phone call. During the call he said "Dan Boler". We turned and looked at Toure who just informed Dan that he had left his passport back at the hotel. Really Dan? Really? Rookie move! Wow, but another disaster averted!
We toured the lower lakes and the waterfalls are just amazing. The scenery was incredible and it was really just an amazing day. We walked over 8 miles looking at this beautiful national park and all its glory. We shared a drink at the end and headed to our new city. Oh wait, no we had to stop off at the hotel first to pick up Dan's passport. We had a few hours drive from the park to our new city: Zagreb. This is our guide's home town and he is vey proud of it. It is a beautiful city. Since it was Dan's last day he asked if we wanted part of a city tour today. We said sure and then we were parked and walking around another incredible Croatian city. We walked all around the "new part" of
town. There are many Catholic churches, public squares, markets, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. The architecture is a mix of Communist and Baroque. There are several buildings that our guide described as horrible and ugly- communist style- and then the European style. Lots of yellow buildings, they painted all their important buildings yellow.
We made our first shopping stop at a souvenir shop and got everything we needed- lots of t-shirts. We informed Toure that we are one stop shoppers and don't need to worry about more shopping. We continued to walk through town and through the Catholic Church at the top of a hill. It was huge and beautiful. Toure explained everything inside the church and how there was a wall all around it at one time to protect it during the late 18th century. The last thing he pointed out to us at the church was the chandeliers. They were very ornate and very gold. He asked us a million dollar question to see if we could guess where they came from. We had guesses from France, England and China. All wrong. They were from Las Vegas! One of the casinos there was getting renovated and a
Croatian man bought the chandeliers and donated them to the church since they needed new ones. No one really likes to talk about where they came from.
We continued to walk around in the late evening sun and had a beer and one of the best breweries in town. Dan had the sampler of beers and we all kept getting to know each other. We continued on and had dinner together too. Dan was on a quest for a donner kebab, but Toure convinced us otherwise and we had local food- which was a lot like the donner kebab. It was really good and cheap.
From dinner, Toure took us to our hotel and we settled in for the night. We were pooped. We walked a ton and were sad that it was Dan's last night. Plus he had an early wake up call to catch his 6:45 am flight. Toure, unfortunately, was also Dan's ride to the airport and set his pick-up time at 5:15.
The day was really incredible to see all the scenery from the parks to the history of the capitol city of Croatia.
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