Last night again was very noisy, yelling people and noisy cars that drove off and on. No wonder that there is still so much space here near the entrance ... After breakfast we text a few times with Josko to make an appointment and he tries to come here by bus. We first spend an hour on the beach and then get in the car for a short tour through the interior. To the north of Šibenik lies the national park Krka (pronounced as Koerka) that we would like to see. But now we drive past and come through villages that have suffered visibly from the war in the nineties.
Here is the Croatian Krajina where the Servians in 1991 proclaimed their own republic, the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The Croatians were here in the minority, but in 1995 the area was reconquered by the Croatiars. Both parties have been very violent and the whole area is full of damaged and destroyed houses. Signs warn for mines and when we take a picture of such a sign, police officers warn us that we should not go any further. No, we have understood that ourselves.What we do not understand (and do not even want to understand) is the fact that people are willing to terrorize and even murder fellow human beings for a different idea. Even if you only defend yourself, such a destructive act and cruelty is simply a lack of humanity, we think. Fanatic nationalism should be banished, just like all other things that are fanatically propagated (religion just to name something...). But that is our personal opinion as a global citizens-in-training. Self-respect (also as a nation) only makes sense if you also respect the identity of someone else.
Hundreds of thousands of people were driven out of this area, first the Croats by the Servians, and a few years later it was the other way around. Many houses are still there as they were left by the original residents, mostly Serbian. Croats complain today that Serbians get more help in returning and repairing their homes than the Croatian war veterans. Barely 10 years after the war it is logical that such feelings play, but we hope that a multicultural society (with all different Slavian people) is also possible here.
After a few hours of driving around this devastated area we go back to Šibenik where we pick up Josko at the bus station. It is a great reunion with our friend and we quickly leave the gloomy bus station to go to the Krka national park. 109 square kilometers national park and we go inside at Lozovac what the most beautiful part of the park would be with the Skradinski Buk (waterfalls). The river Krka is the center of attention: through 7 waterfalls and many more smaller gradients, the river is 242 meters lower.
Josko is the first to see the snake. Not immediately, but he notices that the fish are stuck in the water and keep looking at 1 point. Then we see the snake, which apparently also has fish on the menu. The whole area has a large number of protected plants and animals, but we are not experts in that area. And of the 17 species of bats that occur here we do not see one, but that is not surprising in the middle of the day.
The walk leads over wooden bridges and small paths through a beautiful nature reserve and you wish you had such a garden. Everywhere streams with the clearest water you can think of. Rapids and water overflows that you see everywhere in the green, glimpses of nature at its best. Now a national park with humanity at its best ...
There are 2 waterfalls that are exceptional, the Roski Slap and the Skradinski Buk which is actually a mix of several rapids. You can swim at various places in the river, but we think the youngsters who play here in the waterfalls and jump one floor lower, are a bit overconfident. As a child we would probably have done it ourselves in the past, but now we do not want to think that such a child is jumping against a rock.
It is a wonderful walk and time for a refreshment. We have talked a lot with Josko on the way and it is clear that he is in a difficult period. He is a musician and you can not really live in Croatia if you are also a bit quirky. So he also worked in the tourist horeca (a job that yields very little, about 300 to 500 euros per month), but after a heart attack he was fired; he will soon be dad and does not know if he is ready and if this relationship is going to hold up; in other words, his life is turned upside down and he is quite upset about it. We can not do more than talk about it.
Fortunately, he is also a bon vivant if he gets the chance and today he has the chance, away from all worries and in a beautiful area where he has not been to before. Unfortunately we do not have time to take the boat trip that is included with the ticket because the national park is much larger than the walk we have made now.
The bus brings us back to the parking lot and we still have some beautiful views over the Krka. We drive to the highway and bring Josko to Split where he stays with a friend and we arange to see him again tomorrow.
It's late when we drive back to Šibenik, but on the highway we are quickly there. By 8 o'clock the sun is already set and we need a sweater and long pants and not only to resist the mosquitoes, it is suddenly a lot colder! Tomorrow it gets even colder and rain is predicted. Poor us...
But we have seen a beautiful sunset from the highway.
But we have seen a beautiful sunset from the highway.