Croatia, Krka National Park – Swimming Before a Waterfall
It is mere 30 kilometers from Sibenik. Therefore, it doesn't take long before we get off on a parking lot and immediately board a bus which gets tourists to the start of nature trail on season's beginning. Wooden bridges and walkways are everywhere. Actually, we walk on water all the time... Nature immediately surrounds you. Ocassionally we spot beautiful butterflies. Once we start listening we hear bird singing and bubbling of water. The area is one of the most precious ornitological localities in Europe.
Network of waterfalls was created on the Krka river, its spring is below Krsevac hill. Wild river flows through karst landscape. Before you get to the waterfalls, you will walk significant distance. At is upper stream, there are many rapids, it flows through gorges, plus there are travertine cascades. Limestone is also why it looks the way it does and why it is so quiant. Dinar Karst is very rich on lime. Waterfalls like here are to be found nowhere else in the world. The Krka River has seven of them.
We get through a section which is known as Skradinski Waterfalls. We turn right close to bus parking. Then we follow wooden walkways and weave our way through rapids. The journey is easy. What vistas you get depends on season. Sometimes rich green doesn't allow you to explore the area thoroughly. We walk down the stairs and soon the waterfall emerges before us. Skradinski buk waterfall is the greatest attraction. Take your clothes quickly off and then carefully tread into the water. It is quite cold yet we don't mind that. The stream help us move so get under the rapid is no problem for us.
Before the river gets here, it must come over 17 barriers on mere one kilometer. Individual floors are of different width. Water falls down 45 meters. You can enjoy waterfall the best when you stand on its right side, i.e. on the road which gets you up to watermill.
Bath was very nice. After a short break we go down the other part of the trail. We stop at vantage points and our camera shoots one picture after another. At the middle of the hike uphill we can see the rest of the hydroelectic powerplant, the second one in the world. The first one was launched on the Niagara river in 1895. This one began operations several days after.Therefore, Sibenik had electrical energy at its disposal much earlier than other European cities.
There is one more stop we would love you to see – water mill. It is an old, stone house with many surprises hidden within. Inside, there millstones which were used to grind grain and corn jednu zastávku si neodpustíme – rekonstruovaný vodní mlýn. Starý kamenný domek skrývá mnohá překvapení. Uvnitř najdete mlýnské kameny, které se používaly k mletí obilí a kukuřice (jsou funkční, můžete i vyzkoušet). Proutěné košíky, vybavení starověké kuchyně, kovárna, lidové kroje, tkané koberce, to vše je součástí expozice. Nejvíc mě ale nadchla pračka – kamenná nádrž, kam je přiváděna voda, která vytváří vír.
The nature trail ends here. One should mention that there are plentiful ways how to enjoy this national park. If you happen to have more time at your hands go for a cruise to Visovac island. There you may visit Merciful Mother Franciscan convent and the Virgin Mary of Visovac church. Also, you can choose to make a trip to Roski Slap waterfall or to enjoy beautiful vista over Manojlovac waterfall, the third highest on the Krka river, some say even the most beautiful one. The trail has been open since 2011, it features a vantage point from where you may see the waterfall.
GPS: (Skradinski buk) 43°48'20.0"N 15°57'48.4"E
Text and photos: Magdaléna Radostová
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