Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sibenik & Krka National Park

Saying goodbye to Trogir, I went north to visit the Krka National Park. Located in Šibenik-Knin county, central Dalmatia, it is just about 15 kilometers away from the city of Sibenik. There are 7 daily buses that commute between Sibenik and Skradin via Lozovac (2010 timetable, intercity line, ŠIBENIK - SLAPOVI KRKE - SKRADIN). Departing from Sibenik bus station, the bus drops you outside Skradin's old town. You can pay the park admission fee at either Lozovac or Skradin entrance; the price includes a bus (from Lozovac entrance) or boat (from Skradin entrance) ride to Skradinski Buk where the walking trail starts.

I wanted to take a boat ride to Skradinski buk so I bought a ticket to Skradin. Somehow the idea that Lozovac entrance was further than Skradin stuck in my mind (maybe because Lozovac is located at the upstream of the national park?) so when I saw the first parking space of the Krka national park and all the "touristy looking" people seemed to be all getting off the bus at this stop, I was confident that I must have arrived at the Skradin entrance. I bought a ticket and was ready for the boat ride even though I couldn't see a boat. I asked the staff where could I take the boat and she told me the shuttle bus would take me there. The shuttle bus stopped in front of an information/ticket booth and the staff came out selling tickets for the boat excursion, I was totally confused, the boat ride should be included in the admission no? It wasn't until I saw the boat docking by the river bank at the other information booth at the other end of the trail that I realized I got off the bus too early and I took the Lozovac entrance instead of Skradin.

The Skradinski Buk is the longest and the loveliest waterfall on the Krka river. Wooden trails built on water take you deep into the flourishing forest making a close contact with waterfalls possible. In fact, at the bottom of the Skradinski Buk you can swim in the icey cold water with the most magnificent waterfalls in the area as background. I saw a man climb up the cliff and dove into the water; girls in bikini posed for photoshoots; babies happily tapped water in fathers arms on shore; seagulls waited by the falls for fish; a snake submerged into the water luring fish to take the bait.., it was paradise for everyone.

It takes about 2 hours to circumnavigate the Skradinski Buk (if you only stay on land) and that's just a small propotion that the Krka National Park has to offer. A boat excursion to Visovac Island, Roski slap, the Krka monastery and the Early Croatian fortresses of Trosenj and Necven is also availabe with extra price 50-130kn based on the journey you pick. Details refer to the google map and the official Krka National Park website below.


View Krka National Park in a larger map

Sibenik is often overlooked by tourists and served as a pitstop enroute to the Krka National Park. Churches and monasteries, stone houses and mansions, all are ornamented by portals and heraldic crests, Sibenik is one of the 7 UNESCO Heritage sites in Croatia and the highlight, Cathedral of St James, was constructed entirely of stone and is reputed to be the world's largest church built completely of stone without brick or wood supports. Well, after exploring the city of Dubrovnik, Split and Trogir, Sibenik seemed a bit plain at first glance. I got back to Sibenik from Lozovac and waited under eaves of the public library to open for internet access (opened at 18:00; 10kn for 2 hours) while pouring rain hit. An hour later, the rain stopped, I walked out of the library and it seemed that the historical city came back to life with the touch of golden rays from the sky, like a miracle. Jugglers and a mini circus were busy entertaining the crowds whereas a ballet was staged in between the town hall and the cathedral of St James. It was the trademark of Sibenik, International Children's Festival, that has been held during the last week of June and the first week of July annually for the past 40 years. I bought a popcorn and sat on the stone road with crowds enjoying a "mosquito movie*" in Hrvatska, even though I didn't understand what they were saying in the movie, I laughed like a kid.



Useful info
Sibenik buses timetable: http://www.atpsi.hr/index-eng.asp
Krka National Park: http://www.npkrka.hr/#/pocetna/?lang=eng&p=
Sibenik time: http://www.sibenik-times.com/ 
Explore Sibenik :http://www.sibenik-tourism.hr/eng/
Grad Sibenik: http://www.sibenik.hr/index-eng.asp
Tourist board: http://www.sibenikregion.com/en.html

* In Taiwan, a mosquito movie is a humourous term for an outdoor projection at special occasions like a local temple ceremony where people tend to get bitten.

4 comments:

Daniel said...

Great photos

Hanjié said...

Thanks, Daniel.

Traveling Hawk said...

Nice photos, informative comments! I visited Krka Park one year ago, also Sibenik - great experience.

Ira Jones said...

Love your pics. Made me feel like I was strolling there with you. Did you known that Sibenik is the oldest Croatian town on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea ?