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Published: July 13th 2013
Zadar and Plitvicka National Park 10 to 11 July 2013
The road from Sibenik to Zadar along the central coast of Croatia was again, magnificent. I will let the pictures tell the story. The coast from Split to Zadar is 149 kms. The coastal road from Sibenik to Zadar is 74 kms. These roads are slow travel because of the windiness, the number of villages and the number of cars on the road. We didn’t mind because that gave us more time to look at the scenery. We stopped as much as we could but we wanted to get to Plitvicka National Park in good time because this was going to be yet another highlight of Croatia.
When we arrived at Zadar we parked and walked around the town. As usual, there are glassy café-bars sprinkled everywhere. This is a major port for ferries so the port was very busy.
Zadar (which was the ancient capital of Dalmatia), we found the 100,000 people were compacted into a relatively small tapered thumb of land that jutted NW into the Adriatic. Pretty comprehensively destroyed by the Allies in the last war – it was bombed 72 times – there is
not much left of the architectural history of the old town except for a lone Corinthian column which stands by a rectangular 1950s blocks, and Romanesque churches This used to be held by Venetians and was Italian-speaking city for many years. We could see the Italian influence even today.
We could also see the patch-work reconstruction of old and new architectural styles. There was additional damage inflicted in 1991 through the civil war. After this time, Zadar hit the economic skids but with tuna fishing, foreign investment and tourism, it is slowly recovering.
Again, I will leave the photos to tell the story.
We were now off to Plitvicka National Park to see 100s of waterfalls that have been formed throughout this national park which receives over 1 million visitors each year.
We found Camp Bear about 8 kms from the entry to the National Park. This was after checking out how we should plan the walk around the Park the next day. We settled into our camping site and after we arrived, the vans and campers kept rolling in. We saw there was a washing machine so we always grab the opportunity to do a
I haven’t mentioned before but we are slowly finding more equipment for the Motor home so we now have a microwave, an additional extension cord so I can use my lap top outside. At last we have a fold up table. This travel life is very busy – no time to shop!!!! There is too much to see!!!!
The next morning we left at 8.00am to try to dodge the busloads of tourists that we saw when we went to the Park the previous evening. It was packed then but in the morning it was really quiet and that made walking along the paths very easy. By the time we finished the walk (nearly 5 hours) there was wall-to-wal people on the paths and slow going!
You had an option to start at Gate 1 or 2. We chose Gate 2 because that was in the middle of the string of lakes. We bought our entry ticket (110 kuna = $20) and chose to do the “H” path which included the2 sections of the Park.
We caught a bus up to the top of the highest lake and walked down to the middle
lake. We then caught a boat down to the lower level and then walked back to the middle lake. What an amazing area. The scenes were stunning. There are literally 100s of waterfalls along the 8 kms string of 16 lakes hemmed in by densely forested hills.
The story behind the formation of these lakes and waterfalls is a result of the action of travertine, calcium-rich material picked up by the river and then deposited downstream – a process which, when repeated over the course of several millennia, produced a terraced sequence of barriers behind which lakes formed. Fascinating.
The Park is very well organized and has developed in such a way that that preserves the environment (as much as it can with having all those visitors in 1 year).
We had a magnificent day and finished the walk feeling very satisfied with ourselves. We went back to Camp Bear and had a shower and used their WIFI to phone our son Adam. It was lovely to speak with him xxx
We were then off to Zagreb.
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