A Travellerspoint blog

Plitvice Lakes to Sibenik

Croatia

overcast 22 °C

Finally managed to make a decision this morning about where I plan to be tonight. Weather is overcast and a little humid – not the best weather in the world, but contrary to weather reports it does not rain (well at least not until late afternoon).

This morning the plan was to complete the other half of Plitvice Lakes – the lower half. This involved two ferry rides along one of the bluest blue lakes I have ever seen. From here I realised that I had probably made a good call in that I seemed to moving the opposite way to the majority of the hordes.

These lakes are breathtaking. The water is crystal clear – you can see fish, submerged logs, the bottom around the edges. It may be that we cannot swim in this place, but I’m fairly sure it would be one of the best places to swim in the world. The waterfalls continue to be small but sparkling as I made my way down the lakes. Not sure how many photos I took but it’s fair to say more than enough. The waterfalls gave me a good opportunity to play with the shutter speed setting on my D-SLR , well SLT really) to try and get the waterfall pictures that are continuously flowing. Some success I think however a tripod would be useful. But who seriously wants to carry a tripod while walking several kilometers? (Ok so give me a year or so and I’m sure that will be me…) After the recommendation of two travellers I had the pleasure of meeting on the bus to Plitvice, I did the rather steep stair climb up to the view point above the largest falls. I really was cursing that I decided to do this – until I saw the view then recommended it to everyone else I passed who spoke English.

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By lunchtime (1pm) I was pretty buggered. I should work out how far I did walk in the 24 hour period. It sure felt like a lot – but a very pretty lot.
The caught the bus from Plitvice to Sibenik via zadar. The bus only passed through Zadar and I didn’t get a chance to see the city centre or along the shore; I did not see anything immediately to contradict my decision not to stop here at the moment. Maybe on the way back up.

Posted by ellenjd 15:32 Archived in Croatia Tagged lakes walking plitvice sibenik Comments (1)

Salzburg to Zaagreb to Plitvice Lakes

sunny 26 °C

The train to Salzburg left at 1:34 am – ouch. However I had a sleeper cabin all to myself. In fact the train looked really empty. I slept on and off for about 5 hours then was woken to prepare for border formalities as we crossed from Slovenia into Croatia. Hopefully I’ll get back to Slovenia.

I had a good 5 hours to wander around Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Despite other people telling me it was a bit of a hole filled with smokers, I found Zagreb to be fine – nothing overly special – certainly not as special as Prague or Krakow, however its own unique charm without the finish or pizzaz of some of the other cities.

After finding the bus stop, I travelled from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes. I had made a reservation that day to stay at one of the three hotels in the National Park. Nothing massively special but close enough to be able to visit the lakes this evening. I spent 2.5 hours doing the top loop of the upper lakes. They were just, beatufiul and the weather was stunning. The main reason for getting out and doing these tonight was the forecast of rain for the following day. Had to see some of it with the sun out! Anyway, had to speed walk the last maybe 500m or 1k – last ferry to cross the lake was to leave at 8 and at 7:50 I had no idea how much further it possibly was. There was no way I wanted to walk back out the other way (several hours probably most of it in the dark). Anyway, myself and a mother and daughter travelling team who I had met on the bus just made it to the boat thank goodness.

This evening I sat on the balcony at the hotel and drank vodka fantas? (it seemed to work ok).

Sorry for the lack of photos - have had trouble uploading.

Posted by ellenjd 15:30 Archived in Croatia Tagged lakes walking plitvice zagreb Comments (0)

The last sights of Salzburg

Schloss Hellbrun and Mozart

sunny 30 °C

After a leisurely morning packing, transferring and uploading photos onto my computer, Danielle, Matt and I headed to Salzburg Hbf so I could buy my ticket to Croatia for tonight. Once that formality was out of the way we jumped on a bus to head to Schloss Hellbrun - the summer hunting palace.

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Whoever built this had a wicked sense of humor that's for sure. Water jets that sprayed out of the chairs guests were sitting on, curtain fountains as you passed into buildings and reindeer or some sort of deer with water spurting from its antlers. There were also large gardens you could walk through as well as a smallish palace (well small for a palace in Europe anyway) to visit.

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Upon catching the bus back into Salzburg it was time to say goodbye to Danielle and Matt who had a plane to catch a good six hours before my train left. So I wandered through the city and visited the two houses or Mozart. I also grabbed some prized ice-cream and made my way back to the hostel to spend an hour or two before my train to Croatia departed.

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Posted by ellenjd 05:34 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg fountains mozart hellbrun Comments (0)

The hills are alive...

with the Sound of Music.

sunny 28 °C

After a bit of a lazy morning, there was a small bit of bad excitement of me throwing my room card down under the door of the elevator down into the well – oops. Lucky my credit card didn’t follow it down.

We headed out late morning to a Bier Garden. Lunch and a pint were the order of the … lunch… After this headed back to the hostel to await our Sound of Music Tour! We visited the lake where they all fell in and climbed the trees. We also went to the rotunda in Schloss Hellbrun, the church where the captain and maria were married in Moonsee and saw a number of other sites associated with the Sound of Music. There were songs on the bus with some rather enthusiastic singing.

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After the tour, which didn’t include Mirabell Schloss, Danielle and I decided we needed to re-enact a few scenes, including the posing like the statues, skipping up the garden archway, walking on the edge of the fountain, and jumping up the stairs like they do in ‘Do Re Me’. Also, due to our very disappointing lack of twirling on a hill we had to find a spot in Mirabell Schloss to do our twirling thing. I think everyone thought we were insane.

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Lastly for today we headed to a beer garden in a Church. Or an ex-church really. It was pretty and sold beer by the 0.3, 0.5 or 1L. So a litre or two down and some food made this evening complete.

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Posted by ellenjd 13:31 Archived in Austria Tagged beer salzburg steins sound_of_music Comments (0)

Salzburg

Old Town Wanderings

rain 18 °C

Arriving in Salzburg made my heart sink – continuous pouring rain that really didn’t look like it was going to abate. But managed to hop on a bus to the hostel where I luckily ran into Danielle and Matt in the lobby. Good luck really because it would have been interesting to try and find them downtown.

So we wandered around the old town despite the weather (my Granada umbrella has come in quite handy this trip). Some Italiano was in order for lunch today. Then in the afternoon we headed up to the Salzburg fortress which afforded awesome views of the city in a brief respite from the rain. On the back down into the old town we stopped by the abbey from the sound of music near the end when the von Trapps are hiding in the graveyard. Very pretty. Walking back to the bus we headed through the gardens of Mirabell Schloss.

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Posted by ellenjd 13:12 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg old_town fortress Comments (0)

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