it has only been 10 days since we left croatia but i already long to be back. the pink-hued sunrise welcomed us after our night ferry from bari, italy. it was a long journey but we were anxiously up at the crack of dawn to capture dubrovnik from the sea view.

we didn't have the opportunity to meet any couchsurfing hosts in dubrovnik so we stayed in a private accommodation room. it was comfortable and came with a set of grandparents and a cat we named max. max came to visit us over the 4 days we were there and the last 2 nights he stayed the night. jay was beside himself with joy. i felt a bit like we were cheating on jake and midge...but if reports from home are accurate, our cats have pretty much abandoned all hope of our return and have settled in with my parents quite nicely...so i didn't feel that bad.

dubrovnik's city center is where all the action is but i found it a tad disappointing. many of the shops in the old town are conspicuously geared to tourists only. we wandered through the narrow, incredibly clean and polished streets but rarely ventured into these shops. once off the main streets we found the charm of dubrovnik...the daily washing hanging out to dry in the midday sun, a man singing along to the oldies from beyond his front door, and a terrace cafe with a view of the adriatic sea.

our blogging buddies from winnipeg, gadi & rebecca, strongly recommended plitvice lakes national park. much of croatia is part of UNESCO (something that jay is obsessed with btw) and this park definitely deserves the status. it is stunning. the colour of the lakes is turquoisey green and is so transparent that you can see the bottom in many of the lakes. the lakes are full of fish and they seem to revel in the attention that the tourists flourish upon them. they hover near the footpaths and boardwalks in the shallow water...possibly waiting for a morsel of bread from a passerby or perhaps they are avoiding being some other creature's lunch.

waterfalls are the main attraction in the park. there are hundreds of them. as you walk through the park there are signs that indicate what level you are walking on by showing a section view of the earth. i think we made it to the top level. the big waterfall was "2" km from our accommodations. i say "2" because there are mileage signs posted along the road and i saw at least 3 km markers along the way. maybe 1 km isn't much if you are driving but add that 1 km to the end of a long day of hiking trails and walking in the sun...i'm just sayin'...
the leaves were just starting to turn and the days getting shorter but the sun still shone strong during the day. it was perfect. warm during the day, wool socks & long sleeves in the evening. there wasn't much to do other than visit the park so our first afternoon we walked down to the big waterfall walking past the unattended rangers' station and had a drink at the restaurant. the second day we caught a ride to the main entrance and paid our entry for the day. the third day we were supposed to catch the 9 o'clock bus back to split but we met a lovely australian couple, jenny & mike, who offered us a lift. we got to spend another 1/2 day wandering the paths of the park which we boldly entered at the main entrance without a ticket...what can i say, it was our last day...what were they gonna do? kick us out?
jenny & mike were heading to trogir so that's where we went too. we spent a bit more on a hotel room than we might have if we'd planned the stop but it was definitely nice to have a comfy bed and an ultra clean and modern room if only for one night. we spent the next day exploring the tiny old town centre and had lunch on terrace underneath the grape-vine arbor.
back in split we hauled our backpacks to our couchsurfing host pascal's pad. it was a bit of a round about trip...all i can say is don't always believe google maps...especially if you already have directions from your host!
grgur of nin - this guy has a shiny toe because everyone rubs it for luck
...in love, in life...etc.

on our last day pascal took us for a ride in his convertible with another couchsurfer, celine (from france). we ended up at the source of a lake that i can't remember the name of. we ate a picnic on the shores and spent the afternoon wandering around taking picture after picture...the perfect way to end our time in croatia.

do vidjenja,


gayle said...

Wow One must really put Croatia on their must see list It's beautiful. Nice haircut J and great smile. Happy Thanksgiving and we miss you two M

Karla said...

Wow. Croatia is not what I expected at all. The color of the sea is stunning. And I agree with Gayle... Jay - your new do is cool. I can see why you already want to go back.

Mike said...

Wow! Croatia really is beautiful. I did not know that.

Gadster said...

I am glad that you went to Plivice National Park. It was a highlight of our Croatia portion of the trip.