We woke up early that morning hoping that we would be able to find a spot on the bus headed to Krka national park. By the time we decided we wanted to go (the night before) it was too late to make reservations, so we had to just show up at the bus station in the hopes that someone overslept and missed the bus.
We were standby number 4 and 5, and even though 3 people missed the bus, there still wasn’t a place for us. The next bus would be coming at 10:00, and we had to keep ourselves busy in the town until then. As the seats began to fill up, it was looking like we would just be able to squeeze in. After a ton of suspense, we were happy to be on the road to Krka. It was awesome to get out of the city and see more of the landscape. After only being in Split for a few days, we had already fallen in love with Croatia, but we were eager to see more of it. The bus ride was about an hour and a half and the landscape was very arid, almost desert-like. A quick travel tip, I would recommend wherever you are going, try to get out of the city at least once. It is often tough to get a good feel for the country you are visiting unless you get out and explore the landscape beyond the tourist centers. The next couple of days would be an excellent opportunity for us to do just that!
We arrived at a small town along a river. During the middle of the day, this place seemed to be very quiet, although we started to notice some groups of people beginning to gather by the dock. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then boarded the beautiful boat that would be taking us down the river to the waterfall. The boat ride itself could be a contender for the best part of the trip. It was probably at least the most memorable part of the trip. We cruised over the beautiful turquoise water, passing by stretches of forests, mountains and little groups of baby swans. It was mid spring, so all the wildlife began coming out and the cygnets paddled along in groups of about a half dozen or so.
Just when we thought the boat ride couldn’t get anymore beautiful, a group of kids began to break out into song. They must’ve been about high school aged, and a few of them brought some instruments. There was an accordion player, a guitarist and a few singers. They began singing some classic songs in Croatian. We wished we could sing along, but because of the language barrier, we just decided to enjoy the wonderful music and scenery. It was very clear that Croatia has a very musical culture, and it was so nice to see these people happy enough to sing in front of total strangers just because they wanted to.
Up ahead, we started to notice a waterfall as we got closer and closer to our destination. Eventually, the boat let us off and we were free to run around the park like a bunch of kids turned lose at Disney land. Obviously, the main attraction here was the famous waterfall. This waterfall has multiple courses, and we were able to walk along a path all the way up to the top. I knew I would soon be swimming here, that wasn’t even a question, but I first wanted to see as much of the river as I could, so I walked to the top of the path to take a few pictures of the upper course of the waterfall.
When it came time to swim, we started to slowly dip our toes into the freezing cold water. This is the type of thing I had been training for, and I wasn’t going to let the cold water ruin a once and a lifetime opportunity to swim in a beautiful waterfall! The only reason I mention the temperature is because if you look at pictures of this place it seems like it would be warm in tropical, but no, the water was almost freezing. It felt more like the glacial lakes I had become accustomed to. We put on a brave face to take some cute pictures in front of the waterfall and I went back to swim a little bit more.
After a full day of waterfall swimming, we headed back to split for what would be our final night. It was sad to think we wouldn’t be coming back here, because it really was one of our favorite cities, but we didn’t let this stop us from making the most of it. We went to a new restaurant, ordered some food and then headed to Diocletian’s palace for one last night of live music and dancing. Tomorrow we would have a long 3-hour drive ahead of us as we headed to Dubrovnik.
In the morning, we packed a lunch and headed over to the bus station for the second day in a row. There was so much we would be leaving behind in Split. The great beaches, the amazing old city, our nights of live music and great dinners and also the awesome Airbnb we were staying at. We knew that we would make so many more memories in Dubrovnik, and we were both really excited to see the next city.
I think some of the best times I’ve had travelling involve the journey from one place to another. The cities and the landmarks that I’ve been to our awesome, but I always remember the journey I took to get there even more. This was one of the best journey’s I’ve had. Even if you have the budget to fly, I would strongly recommend taking ground transportation when you can. There is so much stuff in between that you miss when you fly. Here, we drove across almost the entire coast of Dalmatia. We drove on high cliffs overlooking the water, we saw hidden beaches tucked away into the coast and we drive through small fishing villages. This was absolutely incredible, and made me realize there is so much more to see here.
We stopped by in Bosnia and Herzegovina for lunch. The coast of Croatia is mostly uninterrupted except for one tiny stretch of coastline about three miles long that is controlled by Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the only part of the coast that this country controls and we got to see the entire thing! This is truly a strange geographical marvel and I’m happy to have gotten the opportunity to see it.
After lunch, we headed back onto the road for the second half of our journey. I was so excited to be in Dubrovnik that I didn’t even care that we had no way to find our Airbnb. I knew we would find it eventually and have a great time along the way.