Monday, 26 April 2010


Written 26th April 

We have been well and truly slap'd!  By which I mean waterfall'd :)

The Krka national park yesterday was stunning.  As with Plitvice, the river crosses karst landscape and unlike the usual errosive action of water, in these places it actually builds the barriers and ledges which form the falls and other features of the landscape.  The water is very heavy with calcium carbonate and the action of the crashing of the waters releases CO2 from the water leaving the calcium to fall out and become deposited on the rock, moss, algae and other plantlife through which the water rushes.  As the build up of calcium encrusted plants increases, barriers of 'living' travertine form, which increase heights of the falls and thus the crashing of the water which releases yet more calcium and CO2 and so the process continues and the landscape is ever changing.  Fascinating stuff!

On Ivan and Teresa's recommendation, from Drnis, we started at the northern end, at Roski Slap, a pleasant and tranquil circular walk across the cascades

or 'necklaces' as they are apparently known,

which culminate in a 23m high waterfall into the Visovac Lake. 

Driving on from there, we found our way to Skradin and, not realising that there is a free (included in the ticket price) boat from Skradin marina, parket by the main road entrance to the park and walked the 3kms along the valley to the Big Slap, Skradinski Buk, and it was amazing.

If Plitvice is about tranquil deep hued pools and a myriad of overflowing lakes, Krka is about the sheer awesome power of a single body of water.  A massive energy rush which overwhelms the senses in a continual roar of noise. 

You come to the main waterfall, Skradinski Buk first and it is amazing, leaping and bounding down over the rocks, seemingly fed from nearly all directions by torrents of foaming water. 

There is a nicely laid out eco-trail around the area - more gravels paths and wooden walkways - which also takes in the various old buildings which use the waters as their source of power. 

Stopping to nibble on the sugared almonds, dried figs and delicious sweet wine offered by the many little stalls along the way, we came first to the old hydroelectric plant, which is possibly, the first working hydro electroplant in the world to supply power to a town, but this is a bit unclear.  It describes itself as the first hydro electric plant in Croatia - fair enough - and then goes on to say  it is the second of its type in the world, being first put into operation in 1895 (from memory) only 2 days after the hydroelectic plant at Niagra which was built according to Tesla's pratents.  The Krka plant started providing electricity to nearby Sibenik almost immediately whereas the people of Buffalo had to wait nearly 6 months for theirs.  as I say, not sure why it isn't really the first in the world...

Onwards and upwards to the remains of much older river fed industry, the watermills.  These have been really nicely done up to house various exhibitions of rural working life, including

a blacksmiths,

a flour mill - with working spinning grindstones -

kitchen with the traditional hooded hearth arrangement,

washing tubs - proper rinse and spin cycle that! -

a film about basket weaving,

and a really lovely weaving lady who told us all about the traditional costumes of the region and showed us how the loom works.  Fascinating

Onwards along the paths to the various view points and cascades and it was all jolly, very lovely. 

And we got back the big waterfall in time to catch the last boat back and the last two seats up top so a pleasant float along the tranquil lake - perfect.

Can't really compare it to Plitvice, neither is better than the other, they are both so different - you will just have to go to both!

We were going to head on to Split yesterday evening but stopped in the Skradin carpark - free at the moment - to cook dinner and got chatting to one of the four sets of motorhome people there - Swiss, they spoke German, no English, I speak english, no German but we handily found a common french ground! - who said that they were staying the night and that out of season they thought it would be ok.

So we decided to stop too, it was ok, and very nice not to have to stealth cook in the dark!

This morning the sun was shining brightly when we woke up.  Will spent a happy morning re-fettling his code and I have started the epic oeuvre that is catching up on my daisies - got to Pula before we packed up, pics when I've finished! - before setting off Split-wards.

We stopped for a break and a wander in Trogir - a tiny mediaeval walled town on an island in the Trogirski channel between the mainland and Ciovo island.  And it was lovely. 

Typical marble streets,


wide open square,

prom with palm trees,

castle, sunshine, just lovely.

And we are now in Split, having found the shop almost immediately thanks to Ivan's map and directions - mercedes garage, blue building, left at the junction, on the right! - they don't have the oil filter in stock but will hopefully get one in for tomorrow, so we are waiting for the rush hour traffic to die down before setting off further into town

All good!

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