Saturday, October 6, 2012

Krka National Park

Anytime you mention plans to visit Croatia to other travelers, the most common response you hear is “you must see the national parks!” So after listening to the advise of many others, visiting at least on of Croatia’s parks of gorgeous protected land had become a necessity. Lucky for me, the national park of Krka was only just over an hour away from Split and my hostel provided a great hook up for a tour that would take away all the stress that typically comes with transporting yourself back and forth, and would supply some actual facts to go along with the beautiful scenery. Taking off early in the morning, I hopped in the van full of some Aussies, Kiwis, and Germans with our neighboring van full of a rowdy group of middle aged English women following close behind, and we were off. Our chatty and informative tour guide lead us to the park and by the time we were there I was already bursting with more information than I could retain. Walking down the trail for just a couple minutes we had arrived at the breathtaking viewpoint of Skradinski Buk, the Krka Waterfalls. The falls are the result of two rivers combining and flowing together downstream with seventeen waterfalls along the way with the total difference from the first fall to the final one being close to fifty meters. The amount of water that is gushing through the falls varies throughout the different seasons, but averages about fifty cubic meters per second. 

There is a mock-up village museum located at one end of the park where we toured through the small historical rooms to learn a bit about the culture of the Croat people that lived off this land. We were able to see the inside of a traditional kitchen with the short chairs and tables where people sat close to the ground so they didn’t breathe in the hot smoke coming from the open fire oven. We also visited a blacksmith and a woman weaving clothing to show us the traditional ways in which people provided for their families. The force of the water rushing through the falls so rapidly was a vital part of their every day life as it provided natural ways to churn grain into flour and produce a higher quantity with less physical labor. 

After our museum tour, our guide led us through the rest of the park on the wooden walkway as we stopped frequently to enjoy the view of the falls from every angle. At the end of the rivers is the only spot where visitors can take swim, since the rest of the park is full of rapid waters too dangerous for swimming and also the protected falls won’t be polluted if the only entrance for people is down river. Being the only member of the group willing to brave the water I enjoyed a perfectly relaxing, and some what chilly swim through the fresh river water, and was reminded how much more I prefer fresh water over the salty sea water. 

1 comment:

Abby said...

david and I were just looking at these falls I think while reading about world famous lakes and waterfalls. I would have TOTALLY gone swimming with you! looks super refreshing and amazingly beautiful