Croatia 2016

We’d excitedly planned an adventure weekend in Croatia in the spring way back in November. We were going to white water raft! Zipline in the lush Croatian highlands! Hike the trails in Plitvice National Park, a Unesco heritage natural site!

None of which actually happened. Over 4 days over the May long weekend, we were completely rained out of any such adventurous activities. Instead of rafting, we hung out at deserted squares in Split.

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Instead of zip lining, we huddled under cafes with awnings to escape the rain (with a hot coffee for a perk — incidentally, it is almost impossible to find bad coffee in Croatia, it seems. We didn’t have a single coffee-machine-bland-water sip in all 4 days. So, all was good on that count.)

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Instead of hiking trails in Plitvice, we hiked 50m from our car to the nearest viewpoint to take a picture, just so we would remember that we did drive 200 miles to get to it.

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(If you concentrate all your mental/visual attention on the view through the left railing, you will see a blurry waterfall which, on a sunny day, is only a harbinger for what lies ahead. For us, this was the entirety of our Unesco experience.)

We did catch a break about 20% of the time though. The skies cleared for enough time in Split for us to stroll its gorgeous harbour and its famed Green Market for a couple of hours.

From fresh fruits and veggies to delicious nuts for snacking to souvenir tees, the Green Market houses many fun treasures along centuries-old buildings. There’s nothing quite like visiting a local haunt to gather the soul of a city. This is why we travel.

The rain also held off for our tour of the Krka National park, the second of Croatia’s 8. Lifted right out of an enchanted wood, the trails meander through fish ponds abundant with stationary silvers waiting for their next meal, through waterfalls large and little eroding their rocks to a shiny gloss, through towering trees atwitter with chirps and flaps.

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Unlike Split, Zagreb is built around business and industry rather than tourism. Its central square is by no means ugly, but it hasn’t the charm of Split. Although, the candy shop sold the most delicious truffles and, like always, the coffee was refreshing. The main attraction is the Lotrscak Tower atop the hill (Upper town) that is accessed off the main square via a 30 second funicular train ride up, the shortest of its kind on the world. The tower strikes noon every day with a cannon shot cheered by many. It’s a nice spot to spend a couple hours: see Zagreb’s most photographed church and a couple of interesting museums.

I’ll end with a montage of the kids in their various “travel moods”. Notice the very long faces, especially from the one who shall remain unnamed (:)). Sometimes I wonder what trouble they are having to endure, hopping around the globe, learning through witnessing sights rather than cramming them when all they’d rather be doing is tapping away on an electronic device. Alas. (For them.)

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