Krka National Park – Waterfalls and a Really Big Lake
For our day at Krka National Park, we got up reasonably early (for us) and headed out. Although we were following the signs, we eventually reached that inevitable fork in the road where both roads lead to the national park. This time we had actually done a little homework, and knew that we wanted to see the park a certain way, so we headed toward what we thought was the southern entrance (it’s really easy to get confused on these mountain roads).
After driving around the town for a while, looking for obvious signs of the national park entrance, we gave up and parked the car in a town lot and started walking. In these situations, where you’re pretty sure what you’re looking for is nearby, but really unsure how to find it, it’s best to follow the German tourists. They’re the ones who look really put together, outfitted with whatever technical gear is required for the activity, and marching with confidence toward every tourist attraction in the world. They led us right to the ticket booth with perfect timing – we had eight minutes to board our boat and head up the gorge to the park.
Once you find the ticket office and board the boat, life is easy. Cliffs rise up both sides of the gorge and if you look closely you can find some birds and small wildlife along the way – it was all so very relaxing. The first sight in the park is a large waterfall. As large parts of Europe are experiencing the highest water levels in 500 years this summer, the water here was at the highest level anyone in the park remembered! It reminded me of Hawaii, where new waterfalls spring up after each rain.
After being amazed with the waterfalls for a while, we finally figured out how to take a boat up to the monastery and upper falls. Here’s some nature we saw along the way:
Sights from the boat:
And a swan song while we waited for our boat:
We stopped briefly at a monastery built on a rock island. Since the 1300s, it cycled through different Catholic orders, and under Ottoman rule was alternately destroyed and reconstructed. It fell again in the Homeland War between Croatia and Serbia/Yugoslavia, and was finally reopened in 2001.
With more scenery, we finally reached the upper falls and the source of all the water!
There was also an old millhouse with a few historical exhibits.
We luckily made it back in time to hike down the gorge and catch the last boat back to parking. While eating dinner that night, a really exhausted German couple sat next to us and told us they had missed the boat and were forced to walk for an hour just to get out of the park! Extra bonus: because our car was parked longer than the lot attendant worked, parking was free for the day – score!