A week in Croatia

8/8-8/15 2006

After wedding festivities in Czech Rep., we were all happy to head to Croatia for a week in an effort to escape the rain and cold. My parents had reserved apartments in town Malinska, at the island Krk, which is right south of Rijeka in the northern part of the Croatian coast. We had three cars and 17 or so people. My dad's and brother's car housed my parents, bother and his wife, me, Shelly and two other Americans. Shelly's brother Andy had rented a minivan which seated another 9 people.

The Czech contingent of the trip left early Tuesday with a plan to do a hike in coastal mountains before heading to Krk. The drive was relatively uneventful, although slower than I expected due to several prolonged stops. Some people are not used to drive non-stop like me. Therefore we got off the freeway towards Risnjak NP, my planned hike spot, at about 11.30. Parents and brother were tired, so they headed straight to Krk. Me, Shelly, her sister Lorrie and boyfriend Dan drove to resort Platak, which was pretty empty. Effort to buy a map of the park was not successful, the pub was just a pub. They had a map of the park hanging in the doorway, though, so, I got an idea where to go to Risnjak peak, the highest mountain in the park. The trail markers were putting the hike time to Risnjak to 2.5 or 3 hours, depending on the marker. We headed out pretty quickly, and soon I realized that I forgot my camera and that the batteries in my GPS are dead. We were pretty excited to be moving, though, after days of messing with the wedding and being stuck inside due to the rain, so, it did not matter too much. The trail went on old forest roads through beech forests with occasional views to the surroundings. About half way up, Lorrie and Dan turned around due to stomach problems. Me and Shelly pushed on and another 45 min or so later we got to the mountain hut under the peak. I thought it will be a typical alpine hut busy with hikers, beer pub, etc. Instead, the hut was empty and noone around. We climbed to the peak made of bare limestone, where we enjoyed great views both inland and towards the sea, and a good lunch with leftover schnitzels from the wedding. Then we headed back the same way, including about 30 min stop at the peak, the hike took about 4.5 hours. We were thus about 1/3 quicker than the signs were saying. Then we drove to Krk and got settled, and I fell off pretty quickly after that because I was pretty tired from driving, hiking, etc.

While staying at Krk, we did not have great weather, it rained quite a bit, perhaps every other day. One day it rained long enough that we were stuck in the apartment for an afternoon. The weather was not very warm for swimming, so, we tried other activities. In the local tourist office, we got free hiking map of the area and did two afternoon hikes, that are described here and here.

The third day we drove around the island, stopped in the largest town on the island also called Krk, and hiked to the highest mountain on the island. Pictures and map from the hike are here

On Sunday, we drove to small town Glavotok on the northwestern side of the island, where is a camp which is presumably the only place on the islands that rents sea kayaks. We rented two singles and one double for 4 hours (about $15 each for the singles, $30 for the double), and paddled along the coast. Pictures and map from the float are here

On Tuesday, we left early and stopped for half a day in Plitvice Lakes NP. It consists of a cascade lakes with waterfalls that flow through forested karst area. It's a huge tourist attraction and it was very busy with people despite expensive $20 entry fee (per person). The entry included drive in a bus and float on a boat on one of the lakes. We walked the main loop that visits all the lakes from top to the bottom. The scenery was good but ot spectacular and the droves of people were annoying, especially those who smoked, which it seemed that almost everybody did. Pictures and map from the walk are here

U of U / CHPC / Cuma / Travel / English / Croatia 06