Day 2 of our cruise was to the port city of Split, Croatia. Okay, I will be honest. In the list of European countries on our wish list to visit in our three of so years in Germany, Croatia did not even make the D List. It is not that we had any negative thoughts about the country, but we just really never heard too much about it.
If you follow world events, one is aware of the war that was fought in the 90s that broke up the former Yugoslavia into separate countries. And, I was aware that Croatia always seemed to have different Olympic teams that competed in basketball. But, as a tourist destination, I am afraid I was never aware of Croatia before.
But, thanks to our cruise, we got to experience the sights, sounds, and people of Croatia.
Looking at a map, Croatia is situated along the Adriatic Sea across from Italy, and border by several countries: bordering Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southeast, Montenegro to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest and Slovenia to the northwest. It is just a little smaller in square miles than West Virginia is in the US.
Our port city is a town called “Split” in the Dalmatian region of Croatia. The area has been conquered by many different groups of people in the past thousands of years from the Venetians, Greeks, French, Germans, & Turks. As you can imagine, with all the different nationalities of people over the ages that have settled in the area, this caused a lot of the reasons behind the war in the early ’90s. Croatia gained independence in 1991, and is one of the newest members of the European Union since July 2013.
We took a bus tour from our port to a place inland about an hour away called the Krka National Park. The park is an area that surrounds the Krka River with waterfalls and nature. The Park has built a “boardwalk” feature that takes you through a winding path around the top and bottom of the magnificent waterfalls located here.
The weather was fantastic for this 6 hour trip (2 hours driving and 4 hours at the park). Our tour guide told us about the people today and this history of the region. You can feel the pride he has for his country. And, after our visit, I can understand why.