Archive for April, 2013

Croatia

Monday, April 29th, 2013

We went there.

The thing is that we both have time off from work and Raph had to plan hers at the start of the year because of stuff.
So we planned 2 weeks off in April.

Come March we decided we really should come up with a plan.
Somewhere warm (because), not too far away, somewhere not too expensive, somewhere with good fresh food (because Raph and just . . . you can’t get cheap, fresh produce that’s not cabbage in this town) and Croatia was it because . . . .
Well, we found a cheap flight and didn’t want to look further to be honest.

Some 2 days before leaving we picked up a Lonely Planet and found out Croatia is kind of a nice place on paper.

I love preparing my travel. Those trips fully planned out are always best.

So with a booked hostel and a grand total of 10 minutes looking at destinations we set off.

Turns out Zagreb is a nice place, Croatia takes a longer time to travel through due to all the mountains and there’s a perfectly good airport at the other end of the country that flies to Hamburg directly.
Point 1 of that list was quite nice, point 2 we’d soon find out and point 3 wasn’t going to help us seeing as we’d already bought tickets without looking to see if Croatia had more than just the one city/airport.

Seriously, when I had this in school it was fucking Yugoslavia and the capital wasn’t Zagreb. And when studying maps on far and exotic places, Europe wasn’t where my focus was. Czechoslovakia split up the year after my European geography test in primary school and forced us to re-do that shit. Yugoslavia at least had the decency to wait till I didn’t have to re-do that test. But yeah, as a result, before this trip, I knew there was a Croatia and a Serbia and like two other bits . . . . but yeah.

Anyway, Zagreb is a lovely little city. There’s more to Zagreb than the lovely little city, but that’s the only bit we saw.
It’s a town that seems to live on the street, there’s cafés and restaurants everywhere and it is pretty sweet.



The little theme continued with a curious Lego roof

And . . . toast

Seriously, it’s images like this that make me think there’s point to all your whining that it’s not you that are short but me that’s tall.
That’s pretty average toast then.

We managed to see pretty much everything except the extra special viewpoint on the hill. We couldn’t find that one.
You know . . .
This one.
MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

After Zagreb we went to the Plitvice National Park
Which is a lovely park full of waterfalls in the Karst mountains that looked a bit like this.







Now, it’s a bit early in the season as you can tell by the lack of foliage on the trees. This meant that we could see the waterfalls better, but the photos didn’t really come out as nicely.
The other thing is that this is the time when a bit additional water comes down from the melting snow.

Couldn’t really reach all the areas without wellingtons which meant we missed the big waterfall which was safely hidden after 2 km of trail 30 cm below water-level.

After that we went on to Zadar.
Zadar is a nice town that has a nice middle-aged center which, before reading about all the other things in Croatia we thought was kind of special.
It also featured a sea organ and a sun thing that was being fixed seeing as it wasn’t the main season and all 🙁



From Zadar we did a nice little day trip to Paklenica National Park and walked up a mpuntain.
I suppose this is a good point to mention I’m suffering from some health issues and the doctor said I should be walking a lot.
Not sure this is what he meant though.



And after that we went to Split

First though, we took a day of sitting on our ass (some of that on the sea organ)

Split is a lovely little town with not just a middle-ages centre. It actually has a Roman Palace into which they built their lovely middle-age labyrinth.






Split was another town that offered great butt-sitting, reading and hiking opportunities but also offered the chance of going to several lovely islands just off the coast.

Not sure why people go there though. They were awful.
Seriously, don’t go there.

On the way back (because we weren’t flying from the city on the side of the country we were on now due to being idiots) we took in Krka National Park.

“That’s a nice place, it’s where we started our trip”
“Really? Most people start in big cities with airports”
” . . . Yes . . . . Krakau is a big city and has an airport”

Pronouncing Krka is tricky.

Krka, like Plitvice, is a waterfall park.

BUT, Krka has better management. You see Krka is the waterfall park that charges extra for the use of the bathroom.




After Krka we were kind of unsure where to go and ended up here

Where we knew we couldn’t afford the only hotel in town. But in Krka we met some people that said we should use the private option.

Interestingly, it turned out that all those people that had been approaching us at bus stations while we waddled to our youth hostel were offering us really nice deals.
At least if our experience in Sibenik was anything to go by.
This was, after checking, ALSO in the lonely planet. Really, prepping a little bit can apparently help.

The apartment was so nice (and less than the price of two beds at a youth hostel) we decided to stay there till we had to fly back despite that the main attracting for tourists in that town was yet another middle-age labyrinth town.

It was an interesting trip.
I’d left feeling harassed about having to take a holiday because it would put my already late projects at work even later and now I’m writing this ready for our next trip.

Our next trip, which is an agonizing 12 days away.

Life is hard

Full pictures here as always.