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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Park time!

Day 3: Plitvice to Split, Croatia
Today was a designated ‘hiking day’ - my sister has an enthusiasm for outdoor activities, which I mostly share, bar any camping!  So after fuelling up with breakfast (and sneaking some extras as a packed lunch) we headed out into the National Park.  We only had a long morning to explore as we were heading off to Split mid-afternoon.

There is a good transport system available so we caught the bus to ‘stop 3’ (Labudovac) then walked down to ‘P2’ past lots of clear water lakes and waterfalls / cascades.  


The water was crystal clear and we spotted lots of fish and even snakes enjoying the cool blue lakes.








Faux-fisherman!
We stopped for a picnic lunch in the shade (complete with field mice running around us!)

After walking the trail down the hill, we caught the boat across to ‘P3’ where we hiked up to amazing viewpoints over the bright turquoise lakes.  





We also investigated ‘The Big Slap’ waterfall (complete with comedy shots!) and a hollowed out cave.




Before rewarding ourselves with ice-creams!


After wandering back to our cabin we caught the public bus to Split, arriving in the city shortly after 9pm.

We got a bus to our hostel and had quick showers before walking back into the city for a late dinner.
Split is the 2nd largest city in Croatia and a good example of Dalmatian life - there is a real balance between old and new.  The city’s heart is Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage site and an impressive Roman monument) and is filled with bars, shops and restaurants, as it has been central to the citizen’s life for thousands of years. 
Split also has a beautiful setting - right on the stunning Adriatic sea and surrounded by dramatic mountains.  So we wandered through the old palace walls into a maze of small streets, stumbling across ancient buildings and lively squares.


 We had a delicious dinner in a small square at the back of Jupiter’s temple, tucking into octopus salad and pizza, accompanied by a litre of local white wine!




Happily fed, we walked down to the waterfront and found an open-air bar still buzzing with music, drinks and dancing so we joined in - celebrating ‘Canada Day’ with cocktail jugs and dance-offs.

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