Monday 7th May
It’s 22 Degrees Centigrade by 8.30 am, it’s going to be a hot one, Dave is off to reception to get the fresh crusty baguette we’ve ordered although we decide not to carry a picnic today as we will probably be back for 2pm and we can get something then and besides we need to carry our swimming costumes and beach shoes as we’ve heard that you can swim in one of the waterfalls, Stradinski Buk.
The parking in Skradin is 11 kuna per hour and it’s a large car park, they put all the Moho’s together on one side, we are in the queue for the foot passenger boat at 8.45am and already it’s getting busy, the boat is full by the time we are all seated, the ride is smooth but not as peaceful as the electric boat at Plitvice National Park where you could hear a pin drop. Once we get off the boat we quickly see that just like Plitvice there are boardwalks over the waterways, but these are wider and with less gaps, more organised for the family or elderly visitor, we note that it’s a little more commercialised with cafés and ice cream huts and beer and sandwich bars too, this is not surprising as the park gets thousands of visitors in the summer months.
We start to make our way around the circular route which is only 2.5 kms and will take approx 1 hour, there is plenty of shade under the lush vegetation and trees and apart from the stunning views all around the route there are little viewing spots where you can get the best photo opportunity or selfie for the many as seems to be the case wherever we go! We are enjoying the park and it’s extremely beautiful however our heart is with Plitvice, I feel Krka is better for families though or those with limited mobility .
We started and ended the walk at Stradinski Buk the largest and most beautiful waterfall in the park and as I am always drawn to water I have the urge to get in, there are already quite a few people tentatively making their way into the falls over the rocks which are jagged and slippery in parts but that’s ok today as Dave has brought along the beach shoes, Dave? What no shoes? Oh well I’m doing it anyway, we see some young people to the side near a smaller waterfall getting changed under the trees on a little patch of ground near the rock face, holding towels for each other to protect their modesty, I’m prepared, I have my swimming costume on already under my dress, we decide on this spot as it’s away from the wooden foot bridge where there seems to be a small rapid and the water flows fast there and I don’t want to take any chances going under that!
So we stick to this little pool formed around some larger rocks, the water is cold and Dave looks at me as if I’ve gone mad as I slowly find my foot placement down into the crystal clear water. It gets deep soon so to avoid the stones and rocks I swim forward quickly, oh my ! it was an amazing feeling swimming in the falls and Dave is loving taking pictures, we will see if any make the editors cut! Many people are stood on the wooden bridge admiring the falls but maybe also admiring the daring swimmers! Dave decides this is an opportunity not to be missed so he’s in too! Wish I’d had hold of the camera as he oohed and ouched audibly over the stones, Should have remembered the beach shoes Dave! We find a lovely smooth rocky platform about half way in and perch ourselves on it and wonder at the amazing waterfall which has created this crystal pool for us to enjoy.
Dave spotted a young couple on the edge leaving after their swim so asks them to take a photo of us pointing to his backpack and our pile of clothes he asks him to retrieve his camera for the photo, he obliges and kindly puts the camera back in the bag. Climbing out was fun! I’m glad that there is no photo of that, well I guess there may be one but someone else has it, it’s probably doing the rounds in Iowa right now, I can just imagine ‘’ This is Stradinski Buk’’ and this is an English Butt!.
We dressed quickly and made our way from our shady spot back into the sunshine and over towards the cafes and beer stalls, Iced Peach tea for me and coffee for Dave, as with Plitvice we are glad we came in May as the summer season gets reportedly 10,000 visitors a day and we’ve read that you are shoulder to shoulder on the boardwalks and long queues for buses boats and loos! The loos cost 5 kuna which some are annoyed about but with those numbers it’s not easily managed and there are costs to maintain services so I don’t mind, the cost for the park entrance is 115 Kuna (£13.74) per person.
There are thousands of frogs here and they are so loud, I tried to capture it on a video here.
We have really enjoyed today and Krka National Park is stunning , we’ve been spoilt by doing Krka and Plitvice but if we could only pick one of the parks to go to it would be Plitvice National Park as that stole our heart with it’s totally organic feel and natural state.