Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The beginning of our Croatian National Parks tour -Krka

Last year my husband won two free tickets to enter Paklenica National Park. Sadly, we never managed to visit Paklenica until the end of the validity period of the tickets. As we're very sorry to never make it to visit Paklenica with the free tickets, we decided to commit ourselves to visit all eight National Parks of Croatia, at least one park in one year.

Earlier this year he won (again!) two free entrance tickets to Krka National Park, so we decided to start the national parks adventure in Krka. While summer vacationing in Nin in mid August, we took a one day trip to Krka NP which was around an hour drive from the coastal town of Nin near Zadar. When I googled about Krka, Skradinski buk attracted me the most. I thought, that was what I wanted to visit in Krka. Following our 6-year-old outdated GPS, we ended up in Roški slap entrance of Krka. We parked the car and consulted with a young girl at the ticket sale point about our destination. She checked the tickets my husband won, and she told us that they are only valid for the northern side of the park, which starts from Roški slap toward the north, and not valid for Skradinski buk. Meaning we actually were on the right spot. My husband packed babygirl on his back with Ergo carrier, we got a ticket for my mother-in-law who was with us (cost 60 kn for her -around €8) and started following the map the girl handed me.

Roški slap waterfall at the northern part of Krka National Park
We walked along the Krka stream which was very tranquil and breathtaking, learning about the biodiversity of the area on the boards along the hiking track. Babygirl was delighted by the amount of fish she saw along the crystal clear water, and many ducks that swam along the stream. The track is flat and wide, easy enough even for a 2-year-old and a 63-year-old (my husband's mother).

After crossing a small wooden bridge to get to the other side of the stream, we slightly went out from the walking track and decided to climb the 517 stairway up toward a cave called Oziđana pećina. The 517 steps were a little intimidating for both my husband and his mother, but I was determined (I even carried babygirl halfway, with a carrier on my back). We took a short break for water and peaches at around 250 steps (there are benches for resting) and finished all the steps quickly and went into the cave. We didn't see bats, but the story about bats thrilled babygirl that she went to the daycare in the next three days in bat costume.

The view from Oziđana pećina Cave
After getting back down the stairways, we were back on the track and stroll along to reach the ethnological village to see the traditional water mills. While looking at the old houses along the streams, we found a unique eating place (with a water mill) where the tables are set next to little waterfalls, on the water, allowing the guests to chill their feet in the clear cold water while having their meals. This point was probably the best experience for babygirl, because we had to bribe her with ice cream to get her to leave the place when we were done.

The concept of the place thrilled us, we got to bathe our feet while eating
Everything served here was home-made and home-grown. We got delicious plate of goat and cow cheeses, freshly baked bread (with the flour milled in the water mill inside the house), and beautiful salad plate of home-grown green olives and tomatoes dressed in home-made olive oil. We got both home-made red and white wine, although we liked the red one better. For a big plate of cheeses, a big plate of salad and a basket of fresh bread, including all the wines we had, they charged us 70 kn (€9) for all four of us!

After the food-and-drink break, we walked down the hill to go to the beach, which was looking toward the famous Roški slap waterfall. At this point my husband and babygirl couldn't wait to take off the clothes and jump in the water. But the water was way too cold for me. The water was unbelievably clear though, with lots and lots of fish you could swim together with, and there are smaller waterfall around the beach area where people are gather to bathe.

Bathing at the smaller waterfalls around the main Roški slap waterfall
After spending the afternoon bathing and enjoying coffee (babyccino for her) by the beach, we went back to the point where we we started. There are still lots of spots like ruins of castles and other waterfalls we could've visited, but at this point babygirl was deep asleep and grandma was way too tired. So we decided to go back to the parking lot and drive back home.

Overal, we were delighted by our experience of Krka. It's too bad we didn't get to the southern part (Skradinski buk), but we'll visit that some other time. This part that we visited are family friendly, with hiking path that are good for visitors of all ages. There are plenty of sitting places to take a break while enjoying the scenery and the animals living there, and the offers of foods and drinks are not overpriced. My husband likes it here because they actually let you bathe in bathing areas, while in other national parks like Plitvice for example, swimming and bathing are strictly forbidden, which, could be frustating when you're hiking and strolling around inviting crystal clear fresh water on a super hot day.

No comments:

Post a Comment