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Published: August 20th 2019
17.08.2019. Our last day in Zagreb started at about 5.45 - early breakfast, final check we’ve got everything and a short walk to wait for our 8.00am bus that will take us to Split via Plivitce Lakes for a promised four hour or more walking tour. Great, we said, piece of cake, we said, stroll around the lakes, see the waterfalls, get on the bus, drive into Split, book into digs...can’t wait!
We arrived in Rastoke for a walk around the village, a pit stop for food and drinks and then on to the Lakes, arriving at about midday. The joint was packed, and I mean packed! We couldn’t move. We were advised to visit the facilities as there won’t be any on the walk for four hours or more...so off we set on a 20 minute walk down rocky steps, down, down, me bringing up the rear as usual. We hopped on a boat which took us across a lake to a landing and that’s when the fun began!
There were thousands, literally thousands, of people on these wooden walkways - which were uneven and broken in lots of places - both ways, not everyone walking in the
same direction. There were dogs, lots of them, small children, some in pushers, babies in backpacks and front packs, people taking their endless selfies and holding up the crowds, no one able to move. The walkways gave way to steep rocky paths, going up and down, and still the people came. There were hardly any railings to clutch onto and my greatest fear was falling off or being bumped off these walkways into the water. We reached a spot after nearly two hours where the track just went up and up and up...at which point we (read me!) opted out! I’d had enough. I felt frightened and unsafe.
Marco, our guide, told us we could head back and meet them all at a certain point in probably, oh, a few more hours or so, we’ll see you there! He directed us back to the boat, a hike of 30 minutes, a 20 minute boat ride to the other side and then an hour and a half more of these dangerous walkways to the top, where we sat for another hour or so waiting for our group to arrive. We were chatting to a Sydney couple who agreed that it
is very dangerous but thousands of people walk it daily! She said if anyone fell in the water or worse broke a leg, there’s no way to get you out. I never did see the waterfalls!
We hopped on the bus at about 4.45 and were driven to a restaurant where we had ‘lunch’. John and I then got on the Split bus and finally arrived there at about 9.30. Our lovely host Ema met us at the bus and walked us back to our accommodation where we fell into bed, tired and exhausted after a very long day.
18.08.2019. We love our digs, which are in the old town, after we got over the shock of the front door opening into the outside courtyard restaurant - Ema telling us everything should be quiet by 11.00pm. We assured her we had one of man’s great inventions, ear plugs, and were soon fast asleep, oblivious to any outside noise!
It is very hot here, even for us Aussies, and we tried to walk in the shade. It’s the height of the tourist season and there are people everywhere, cruises ships in the harbour, walking groups ambling along, people
on bikes, the street cafes packed.
We wound our way through the alley ways and lanes, town squares and through to the old castle ruins, the Diocletian Palace, built in AD305, the ancient cathedral, baptistry and crypt. The building are fabulous, fascinating, old. We‘d walk down a lane way and find ourselves in a town square, full of people eating, drinking, shopping. The garbage man drives his small truck down the footpath, the traders bring their rubbish out and he moves on a bit for the next pick up.
We had a lovely dinner at ’our’ restaurant, just outside our door - very handy! Tomorrow we head to Hvar Island and Ema has offered to walk us to the pier, an offered we’ve accepted so we don’t get too lost!
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