Croatia

Things went smoothly until the end. The end wasn’t too smooth. Our goal was to first visit Split, in the far south of Croatia, then spend the night there. The next day, we would visit Plitvice Lakes National Park, and then we would visit Slovenia’s Lake Bled on the way to Salzburg, where our Airbnb was located. Since we had to drive through Slovenia and the whole of the Dalmatian Coast, it was already late afternoon when we arrived. The drive there was very nice, though. The Dalmatian Coast is very monotonously mountainous: we got the same type of mountains, but they were beautiful when we first saw them. The mountains got boring, especially after driving for around four hours in Croatia. 

We started in the downtown harbor. It was hard not to, as the main harbor also contains most of the attractions. The harbor was a relaxing place, as it was nice and warm, and there were palm trees lining the streets. It also explains why the harbor was packed with cruise ships. The first place we visited was Diocletian’s Palace. Roman Emperor Diocletian was actually born in modern-day Croatia. Now in ruins, the palace used to be the home of the most powerful person in Europe. We didn’t go inside (though I wish we did), but it was amazing to think about how old the ruins were. 

After that, we continued walking around the harbor, looking around. It was a very scenic place. We took photos at the Church of St. Francis, which looked less like a normal church, and more like a castle tower. The top of it was visible from Diocletian’s palace, but turning the corner gave us the best view. We continued along the harbor, taking pictures on the way, and eating a crepe from a street side vendor, and we strolled along the boardwalk. We also saw the Venetian tower of the palace, and it looked like it came from medieval times, being in much better shape than the rest of the building. This is because it came from medieval times. Diocletian’s palace was used for defence throughout history.

We had to then get back to our car to get to the Airbnb. The problem was, our Airbnb was high on a hill. The roads were snakelike, confusing like a labyrinth, and it was dark by then. Thankfully, our Airbnb driver was nice enough to come down and show us where to go.

The view from the Airbnb was also great. We got to see the city of Split at night, which was really cool. Night skylines remind me of stars at night, except these stars stop you from seeing the actual stars. 

In the morning, the view from our Airbnb was even better. The red roofs, the mountains, and the Dalmatian coast all combined to create a really nice view. We spent a few hours photographing the view, and finally, we left for Plitvice Lakes. It took a few hours to get there, but when we finally arrived, I was really excited. We parked our car, then walked on a small trail to get to the ferry, which would take us across one of the lakes. The lakes were very beautiful, with aquamarine water that contrasted beautifully with the greens of nature. Then we went on the ferry to the other side. We continued on the trail, and took pictures at some of the waterfalls. Lush and green, the natural beauty of Plitvice Lakes can’t be understated. 

We then continued on our hike when it started raining. Everyone took cover under the trees, and when we got out, there was a good amount of mud everywhere. We continued on the trail, and little did we know, the rain would soon cause a lot of trouble for us. But we continued hiking, and soon we came to a big patch of mud. A tree branch fell and got us halfway there, but to cross, we would have to touch some mud. My dad got off first. He chose wrong. It was the driest area, but the mud fell under his pressure, and caved in for him. Slowly. He was unable to get out, and though we tried to pull him out, we couldn’t. Through sheer luck, two hikers were on their way back from the hike. They pulled my dad out, and he was saved. His shoes weren’t, and he had to walk the way back barefoot. He had to walk over hard rocks and dirt, as well as burning pavement. We did get a fish “massage” though. By that, I mean we put our feet in the water, and fish swam around us. We took the ferry and walked back to the car. It was a disappointing end to the trip, especially because we couldn’t go to Lake Bled, but our stay in Split was relaxing and informative, so it made up for our losses. 

If we had more time, we would’ve visited Dubrovnik, another beautiful Dalmatian Coast city with amazing forts. We wouldn’t have visited the beaches in Split, because they’re rocky beaches, not sandy beaches, but we might’ve spent more time along the wonderful Dalmatian coast. 

Tips:

  • Currency: The Euro is accepted in some places, but in others, it’s the Kuna, so it’s a good idea to exchange some money.
Plitvice Lakes

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