Ljubljana (Loo-b-yana. Don't quote me on that). Slovenia

I have a little crush on Ljubjana. A curious cross between Canberra and Lisbon. Church bells and quiet streets. Quaint, welcoming, clean, not crowded.

Bekky and I went out for breakfast and went for a quick walk. We didn’t get back to the AirBnB apartment until the afternoon. A surprisingly delightful town.

A bonus for me - Photography Exhibition: LUCIEN HERVÉ: GEOMETRY OF LIGHT

Plitvice National Park

Day 2/2

Still cloudy but no rain today. A slightly later start as we had to be packed and checked out. By 7.45 the crowds were starting to arrive. An hour later and they were swarming.

The colour of the water though, has to be seen to be believed.

I found some flora along the trails today. We didn’t have a lot of time to stop and take photos as we had to get to Zagreb to catch a bus, and we were also dodging the crowds. It would have been good to have one more day at Plitvice.

Sunflowers in the Mist

We were pretty excited to see sunflowers in the front yard of the backpackers we were staying at. The rain had eased but the mist was hanging around so after we dried out from our Plitvice adventure and had a glass of wine to warm the insides, we went and played in the garden. We have some portraits too but they’re on Bekky’s camera so I’ll get back to you with those.

Plitvice National Park. While I was walking...

Day 1 /2

After Krka, we were prepared to be disappointed. But bloody hell, Plitvice blew us away. It was a cold, misty day. We had planned to buy rain covers from the gift shop at the entrance but they don’t open until 8 and we were there just after 7am. It was only a light shower. We’ll be right, we thought. We were wrong. We got drenched. It wasn’t just a light shower. It wasn’t even a heavy storm that passes over. It was constant, steady rain. It did ease now and then but for most of the morning we were trying to keep rain drops off of our lenses.

There’s no contest between Krka and Plitvice. Do yourself a favour and skip Krka and spend an extra day at Plitvice. But go early to dodge the crowds. Even in the pouring rain, by the time we were leaving there were bus loads of people turning up.

The park itself is stunning. The staff and the signage and information provided isn’t very helpful though. (I’ve reassessed my view on the people of Croatia as being friendly. They are polite but you do get the sense that you are a nuisance). It wasn’t over commercialised like Krka. And the soul of the place is still strong despite the swarms of tourists. The infrastrutcure in the park worked well. There were boats and buses to get people to and from different walks. The pathways blended well with the environment. For our first morning at Plitvice and despite the constant rain, we were in love with Plitvice.

To Krka on the wrong side of the road.

3 hours kayaking in Dubrovnik (highly recommend it) followed by 4 hours driving to Skradin, still salty and damp, into the sunset, on the wrong side of the road, in a manual car (with 6 gears) and the indicator lever on the left. [Stay on the right. Indicators are on the left. Remember to change gears. Clutch, clutch, clutch. Stay on the right. Indicators on the left]. In and out of Bosnia. A stop at a Bosnian supermarket. Can’t figure out how to get the car into reverse. Can’t figure out how to turn the rear wiper off. Can’t figure out how the handbrake works. Fun, fun, fun. Through a hundred tunnels. 130km/ph. Stay on the right. Whoops, that’s the wipers, not the indicators. Toll roads we weren’t expecting. Beeped at the border crossing person when I leaned over to show my passport. Lookout for boars and bears (didn’t see either). Road signs that from a distance look like a grand piano and a whale, or maybe I should’ve gotten those new glasses before I left.

Holiday - Travel? Travelling is hard but rewarding. Holidaying is relaxing. I usually need a holiday to recover from travelling. You learn so much when you travel. About yourself - your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, capabilities and fears, what you miss, what you appreciate. Your view of the world deepens. Different cultures. The history. The politics. The maths trying to work the money out. The language.

We were a little underwhelmed by Krka. It felt a little soulless. Beautiful but lacking in spirit. It felt over commercialised, over crowded and we didn’t connect with it at all. Maybe we’re just a bit spoilt by our Aussie National Parks. Happy to head to Plitivice and hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Dubrovnik. While I was walking.

Dubrovnik. Croatia. First impressions and Travel tips.

(First tip is for bloggers. Save your post as you go or you might make one last adjustment before you post it and choose to discard that change only to discover you’ve discarded the whole fucking blog post with no way to recover it).

The people are friendly.

The place is beautiful.

Everyone speaks English.

They don’t use Euro so bring plenty of cash (Kuna)

It is peaceful. Nobody hassles you. There are no spruikers or hagglers or hustlers. Apart from the thousands of tourists, it is a pleasure to walk the streets. It feels safe and peaceful.

It’s costs 200 Kuna (close to $50 depending on the exchange rate) to walk the Walls of the Old Town. The steps aren’t as bad as they say. If you’re staying in the Old Town it would be a hassle to lug your luggage to your accomm. We stayed 4km away at Lapad and caught the bus in. It was worthwhile for us to buy a 3day Dubrovnik Card as it included entry to the Walls (and a stack of other places) as well as bus passes.

The beaches are pebbly so bring shoes you can swim in as they’re impossible to walk on as you sink into the pebbles and it’s very ouchy.

Best tip I received before I left home - Bring a powerboard.