Wow, Saturday already! I’ll see if I can remember what we’ve been doing for the last few days. On Wednesday we drove south to Mlini, which is only about 10kms south of Dubrovnik. Greg had picked it out on a map of Croatia when we were trying to think what to call this blog, so we just had to go there … to say we’d been there. The town gets its name from the water-powered flour mills which are no longer in use. We didn’t stay long enough to find any, just parked quickly in someone’s No Parking area, waved to the woman watching us from the house across the road, raced to get a photo of the 2 of us near the ‘Welcome to Mlini’ sign and zapped off again … at about the same time as an old gent arrived on his motor scooter – possibly to tell us to get out of his No Parking space!
It’s only possible to drive another 30kms or so south to the Croatian border, and we were keen to head north to get the ferry across to Ploce, so we didn’t bother. As we drove north, past the beautiful Dubrovnik, we found a roadside stop for lunch with tables in the shade and a beach nearby. Unlike most Croatian beaches, this one wasn’t completely full of people, umbrellas, sun lounges & lilos, so we went down for a look, and Greg had a swim. The water was a bit chilly, and the beach part was actually just small round stones that are hard to walk on without some kind of foot protection, but it makes us realise how lucky we are in Australia, with our beautiful sandy beaches.
After going back on the ferry, which was only about half full, we drove 80kms or so on the Autoceste and camped at a little campground just a couple of kms off it. The owner is a keen gardener and has carved out a little oasis of fruit trees and cottagey flowers. The ground is basically just rock, so he has had to bring in lots of soil to get stuff to grow, but he’s even got some Australian everlasting daisies there. Nice campground, but pricey – $46 for the night.
Then to Plitvice National Park, which is the Number 1 tourist attraction in Croatia. A series of lakes and waterfalls, with boardwalks that go beside, between and over some of the lakes. We camped at Kamp Korana a few kms north of Entrance 1. Owned by the National Park and spread over 35kms along the Korana River. It was very crowded near the facilities, but we found a flat spot at the top of a hill away from the crowds.
I think I’ll let Greg’s photos tell the ‘story’ of our time at the lakes, although I wil add that I’m very glad we got there early. We were all packed up and in the car by 7.10am, which is probably some kind of personal best for us. We got a bit lost getting to the park as the entrances are not well sign-posted, but we got a park and bought our tickets without any problems. We visited the lakes in a different order to most people which helped avoid the crowds and even though we had a long wait for a boat to take us back to our starting point, that was the only slow part of our visit. When we got back to the car park, there was a HUGE queue of people waiting to buy tickets .. and then there would have been huge waits for them to get anywhere within the park for the rest of their visit.