An early morning coffee and croissant were in order to welcome Zoe to the holiday fold. She had looked up a third wave coffee shop on Google and was very keen to take us there. Unfortunately it turned out to be closed in yet another un-google-notified closure. We were very disappointed but made do with a nice view on the Riva instead.
The periwinkle blue sky without a cloud in sight and no wind to speak of meant today was a good day to hike up to the top of the Marjan National Park. The park sits on the right hand side of the Split Peninsula and was previously home to infamous worst zoo in the world. Thankfully the zoo is now shut, but the playgrounds remain. We didn’t remember the front pack for Thea this time, instead opting for the pram. Little did we realise that the fastest way to the entrance was up a steep street covered in stairs. After some quick googling we managed to make it up the road way instead. If you want to do a pram friendly version of the walk I suggest asking for Google directions for driving instead as a road goes almost the entire way to the top of the park.
An intricately laid stone pathway lead us up to a little chapel overlooking the Split harbour. We paused here to park the pram before we headed up to the top lookout point. A bit more uphill, a playground stop and 315 steps later we reached the top. Azure blue skies gave way to terracotta orange roofs, forest green trees and sparkling blue water. It was breathtaking.
The climb was 100% worth it. After such a lot of exercise a pizza stop was in order at the Riva. Then home for a well deserved rest.
Andy and Craig took Thea up the road to pay for more parking for our car. On the way they found an abandoned tennis court that was home to a collection of peacocks. I thought there was a dying cat the first time I walked up the road, but instead it was the shrieking and piercing cry of a peacock climbing a tree!
They had great fun finding a peacock feather and old cannon at the Maritime Museum near there.
Next morning, it was Saturday and a 20 kuna/kg at the op shop we’d already visited. Steph, Zoe and I raced off trying to find a bargain or two while the guys found a playground and coffee for the kids.
A successful morning was had by all with Zoe and I collecting 5 new pairs of shoes, 2 coats and a number of other cute items. If you want an op shop to visit, I’d highly recommend it! A trip to the green market and some bartering got us lunch, before we headed home for some much needed rest!
Sunday dawned sunny and warm again so we decided to head off for the Krka National Park. Olga, our tour guide, had recommended it as a closer alternative to the Piltvice waterfall park about 2.5 hours drive away. Krka National Park could be reached in just over an hour’s drive and apparently had a beautiful collection of waterfalls too.
We were so thankful that she’d recommended it. The park costs 30Kuna per adult and under 5s are free, we paid for our tickets and drove through the gates. The road winded downwards and on and on through lush greenery with glimpses of sapphire blue lakes every so often until we reached the parking area. A park ranger greeted us and congratulated us on our choice of front packs for our two girls. Although the pathway we took was pram friendly it was significantly easier to negotiate the gorgeous lookouts with the front packs.
Once we reached the boardwalk for the park a collective gasp came up from our group. The gentle sound of rushing water met our ears as we saw not one but five little waterfalls cascading over one another down towards another further on. Impressively there is also a working water mill at the park. We excitedly explored it and saw the corn being ground into flour as well as viewing a natural waterfall laundry room. Apparently it was in use up until the 1970s by the locals.
The background wooshing and crashing of the waterfalls sent Evie into a deep slumber as we meandered our way around the wooden path. The path has been built over the lakes and catchment points of the waterfalls without any safety rail so we had to keep a very close eye on Thea. As we rounded each corner or headed down a set of stairs we came across more and more waterfalls. The bubbling white waters at the bottom gave way to emerald green pools. There were several lakes varying in depth from 10 metres right up to 25 metres deep. The trees provided some welcome shade from the hot sun.
After a while longer we came across our first big waterfall. It has several tiers tumbling over one another and ran quite quickly.
Further on a much smaller and more sedate fall meandered it’s way down the hill.
They all ended in a magnificent 45 metre high waterfall which is the culmination of 17 different waterfalls known as Skrandinski Buk.
The walk was 1.9 kilometres in total and ended in quite a bit of uphill back to the starting point at the top.
By the time we finished our walk it was after 2pm and we were starving. Our guide had also recommended going to Sibenik, a town about 20 minutes from the park. Steph found a pizzeria on Google that was well reviewed right on the waterfront there. It was great to sit down, enjoy the view and eat delicious home made bread with olive oil and cheesy fresh pizza.
Evie needed a nap so Craig took her and Thea to a local playground while the rest of us visited the Sibenik Cathedral. A stunning piece of Gothic architecture it was built completely out of limestone from Brac, an island off the coast of Split. The dome and stonework inside are beautifully executed and extremely ornate.
It rounded our day off nicely before we grabbed some gelatos and headed home for dinner.