Tour group hell - that’s where I was. And the worst part was that I had willingly booked myself on to the tour. “It’s the most people I’ve ever seen here”, said our tour guide. Lucky me - I managed to get one of the hottest days of the year AND have thousands of other tourists around me.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a stunning piece of work by Mother Nature and a must for any visitor. Just not in August and especially not the two weeks in August that all of Italy has holidays (and visits Croatia). Connected by environmentally-sensitive timber boardwalks and trails through a series of waterfalls, the sixteen lakes are varying shades of blue. Even though it was incredibly hot, I was glad that there are strict measures in place to protect this pristine area with no swimming allowed.
Today, on a full day boat trip from the coastal city of Split, I saw more shades of blue than I thought possible. Perched on my front row seat next to the skipper, on a smooth, clear ocean that continually changes, I marveled at the surreal colour of the water in the aptly named ‘Blue Cave’ when the sun shines in on a certain angle. No digital enhancement could ever match what occurs naturally here in Croatia.
The islands are a mix of 20-something party scene, swimming, snorkelling, old fortressed towns, limestone cliffs and more partying with yachts, powerboats and fishing punts of every shape and size. At 26 degrees, the water is far from refreshing, but is so very nice to be immersed in its blueness.
But despite the attractive scenery and buzzing summer scene, something is missing for me here. I need to be a traveller (not a tourist) for a few days. I need to detour to a place with more substance to interest and excite me.
That place has Sarajevo, Bosnia written all over it.