Friday, April 30, 2021

Krka Zadar Zagreb and other totally normal Croatian names


"You wander from room to room hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck."
 ~ Rumi


I'm writing today from Belgrade, Serbia, but this post is from a "Road Trip!!" with the lovely Julieta, who came to visit me in Split, Croatia, in January. Her preference is to buy a flight 30 seconds after we agree on when she comes, and my preference is kinda always for her to fly into one location and out of another. Cuz: road trip, hello! The weather forecast wasn't really favoring a wild camping road trip, but I stubbornly insisted, and Julieta is nicer than me, so that was that! She'd fly into Split, in the pretty-far south of Croatia, and we'd work our way up to the capitol, Zagreb, in the pretty-far north. It's not a great distance, normally, but you can squeeze in some good misadventures if you try. There's a map below.


We stayed in Split a few days and went on some great hikes. Hiking, wild camping, road tripping, lovely Argentinian lass - come on, that works. Enjoy the pics!


The powerful Julieta, who controls the weather, more or less. When she comes to visit, it's going to be raining or snowing. Sometimes both.



Do we have any commercial farming in the US that uses plots this small? I'd be surprised if we do, not that I know anything about it.



Some type of lettuce, I guess. Ask someone who eats salad - I'm more of a pizza guy. Salads are for rabbits.



We went for a nice hike up the mountain, beginning and ending here.



Another hike. You may recognize the peninsula in the distance. That's the ancient city of Split, built in 305 A.D. as the home of a retired emperor, Diocletian. It's incredible what they built, including an aqueduct from about 7 km (4 miles) away to bring spring water to the town.



Sunset on the way back to Split.



Does anyone recognize this? I'm not sure you would. But...



It's featured in a famous TV show in the US...



Game of Thrones! The real name is Klis Fortress. The setting is spectacular. That's Split in the distance.



Here's our little road trip, starting from the bottom of the map in Split and heading north. You can click the map (or any other photo) to see a larger version.



This was the first day of a road trip from Split to Zagreb, over 4 days. This little affectionate furball started following us like a dog as we walked along the wooden path. It didn't last long.



This is Krka National Park, famous for its waterfalls.



The water is rich in calcium bicarbonate, which turns to stone when it's under pressure, such as going over the edge of a waterfall - or coming out of a faucet in your home. That makes the stone terrace walls naturally seek their own level, so you get these spectacular curtain waterfalls.



I imagined these waterfalls being really ancient, like many thousands of years old. But a sign says they were formed about 7,000 years ago. Relatively recent. Um, what was there before??







This scene in high season is usually absolutely packed with swimmers. The government recently decided to ban swimming in the park.















It's not unusual for thousands of people to come through daily here. On this day we saw five people!



Downstream from the waterfalls I had found this small boat dock a few years ago, and I've wild camped here several times. We spent one night here.


Windy and sunny the next morning.



We visited Zadar, which, come on, sounds like somewhere that Superman from. It's one of the oldest cities in Europe, founded in 900 B.C.



We wild camped on the sea just down the road from here. It was a beautiful spot - and I didn't take a single photo of it. Oops.



It didn't seem very cold, and as we were driving towards Plitvice (the other famous waterfalls) into the mountains I thought I saw snow. Impossible! By the time we got to the apartment we'd booked, up this little hill to the left, it wasn't clear we would make it. And the little van that could, couldn't. The tires spun and we couldn't get up to to the place. We ended up cancelling and driving a couple more hours to lower elevation and no snow.



And the next night: Zagreb. Here's the view from the 8th floor of our hotel. Julieta needed a coronavirus test to fly home a couple days later, and I was leaving "soon" to drive to Turkey! Cool idea. But Bulgaria was, and still is, closed to Americans, and I needed to cross it. So two nights in this hotel turned into 36 nights as I decided what to do. I never decided, I just left! On to Serbia...



The spa area on the 10th floor. No complaints.



The evening view from the window.


(The End)