Picking up the pace
23.04.2007 - 26.04.2007 0 °F
Well after a little relaxation in Brac, I realized that I would need to pick up the pace a bit I were to see the entire country in the remaining two weeks.
The bus trip from Split to Dubrovnik was even more incredible than the trip along the Amalfi coast in Italy. Almost the entire trip winds and curves around the rocks and cliffs that make up the Adriatic coastline of Croatia. From my window I couldnt see the road, and the shoulder must have been inches if anything at all. At one point there was road construction and they had created a new single lane for traffic to alternate passing. As the bus driver navigated this hairpin turn on an unpaved road I could see all of the rocks and gravel propelled from the bus tires and falling from the edge down into the ravine. Along the way I counted some 24 vechicles that had not been so lucky to navigate the difficult passes over some 200 km.
There are two places in the journey from Dubrovnik from Split where you have to cross through Bosnian territory. This would be my first taste of the tension between the people from seperate states of the former Yugoslavia. There was a definate sense of hostility between the Bosnian borbder control and the Croatian passengers on the bus. I would find out later that even though there are few problems between Bosnia and Croatia, there are hundreds of years of history between the two dating back long before Yugoslavia and the Homeland War.
Dubrovnik is famous worldwide as the walled city on the Adriatic. Three sides of the old town are bordered by the adriatic sea with only a drawbrdige entrance frm the land. The city has been written about in literature for hundreds of years, and is also rembered for the massive bombing at the hand of the Serbians during the Homeland war in December, 1991. There are still some remnants of the destruction in the form of walls in the process of resconstruction, and memorials of lost town jewels such as famous works of art, etc.. The houses and buildings mark the areas of the bombing by the distinctly different colored tile roofs on the areas they were hit. Other than that, the war is a memory that most Croatians want to forget, and when the topic arises its best to keep your opinions to yourself.
Unfortunately all of this attention has also attracted a wave of tourism. Even during the off season the streets are flooded by day with Cruisline stop overs, adnd tourist from all over the world. This caused the city to loose quite a bit of its appeal in my eyes. I did however, discover a great travellers bar full of backpackers and travellers from all over Europe and America. Met several great people, and enjoyed my fair share of the Dubrovnik nightlife experience.
After three days I decide to head north to Krka National Park which is located near a city called Šibenik. Famous for the Krka River Canyon and picturesque waterfalls, I decided it was time to start enjoying some of the inland territory as well.
I was equal parts impressed and disappointed by the National Park at Krka. The spectacular views of the falls and the rivers were spoiled a bit by the souvineer shops and cafe restaurants at every turn. I looked for opportunities to branch off on a trail or find some peace from the masses. I found a little trail leading over the side of a hill with a nice view of the more tranquill part of the river. Caught a nice break headed back to Šibenik and then on to Zadar.