You don't! You avoid saying it to any Croatian because you know you will only embarass yourself. 

I'm kidding, kind of. According to a few websites (internet =fact, obviously), it's PLEET-veeh-kah. Maybe I'll be a normal human and actually ask someone.

 (**update, I asked a Croatian man on a ferry ride from Hvar Island who I befriended with the offer of french fries, and he said it's PLEET-veetz-ka)

 

ANYWAY! I know, I just skipped riiiiiiiiiiight over Italy on to Croatia, after that teaser of a gelato post. Will I skip it forever? No! Will I maybe skip it until I get home to a keyboard because typing on a phone is super annoying, I feel overwhelmed to catch up, even though the pressure is all self induced and imaginary, and no one will care by the time we are home anyway?? MAYBE! Or, maybe I'll catch up in the next few days when I should really be looking for a job! Who knows!

Until these posts are real though, here's all you can look forward to from Italy:

 

1) Roman Holiday, Kind Of

2) That's One Delicious Capri Sun

3) Nathan is our Favorite Cousin, and other Amalfi Coast Stories

4) Rome Pt. Due: Let's Not Eff it Up This Time

5) Under the Umbrian Sun: Having more fun than Diane Lane in a sub-par movie

6) Forget Florence: A Tale of One Woman's Quest to Remember Anything From Her Study Abroad Program, While Her Husband Laughs At Her

7) CinqueTerrOR: 5 Hills, 5 Fights

8) Stalking George Clooney: Lake Como Edition

9) "Ahhh, Venice," and other references to Indiana Jones.

 

And then we said arrivederci to Italy for a bit,  took a Ferry from Venice to Croatia, where border security was one dude standing on the pier with a stamp. Best customs line ever.

 "How do you feel, Adam, about arriving in our final country?" 

"How do you feel, Adam, about arriving in our final country?" 

 A much better view of Rovinj. And maybe Adam, too.

A much better view of Rovinj. And maybe Adam, too.

CROATIA!

 Rovin beach, Pula Arena, Salsa dancing in Rovinj 

Rovin beach, Pula Arena, Salsa dancing in Rovinj 

I'm not even starting with our first 2 towns, Rovinj and Pula. Just trust us they were cool. Yet oh-so-hot and sweaty. Romanesque. Beaches, boobs (lots of free spirited Croatians, free of bathing suit tops), Roman Arenas, fresh fish, clear water, salsa dancing festivals that confused us before we knew it was a festival (before we knew I seriously wondered. "wow, how did Croatia get such a latin influence?"), and an equally confusing amount of candy shops. No really. A TON of candy shops. Croatians love them some candy, I guess? Specifically, pirate themed candy shops:

 So. Much. Candy

So. Much. Candy

But then we rented a car yesterday -- FREEDOM! -- and drove away from the heat of the coast to Plitvice Lakes, which is basically on the border of Bosnia. It did not take long for the countryside to change. The Istrian coastal towns we were just in look a lot like Italy. And no wonder why, they've been taken by Italy about 17 times throughout history. But inland, it starts to remind me of...Austria? Beautiful, mountainous, quaint little villages and alpine-esque architecture, with the occasional bombed out looking building (remnants of the 90s war?) thrown in to remind you this area was not always so tranquil or quiet. 

We stayed at a cool little family inn, and had the most delicious mountain trout, 2 nights in a row. They caught/kept them in a stream behind the lodge; you knew your meal was fresh! It rocked. 

 Countryside! Family Inn (called a "sobe")! Creek with Dinner! 

Countryside! Family Inn (called a "sobe")! Creek with Dinner! 

We came to this area for the famed, beautiful, UNESCO protected site of Plitvice Lakes National Park. It's basically a series of lakes that connect through limestone waterfalls (created, I believe, from buildups of calcium carbonate in the water), and it's gorgeous. The park has a phenomenal system of trails and boardwalks that take you around, through, over the lakes and falls. I've never seen anything like it.

 Awesome, as in, the actual meaning of the word (for once).

Awesome, as in, the actual meaning of the word (for once).

Half the time we were just walking right OVER waterfalls. I didnt have to chase a damn one (haaaa! 90s TLC references are so great, right? Eh? hello?)

 Nothing to chase. It's RIGHT THERE! 

Nothing to chase. It's RIGHT THERE! 

This park is, not surprisingly, very popular. Tour buses unload day trippers by the hoard mid morning, so we actually managed to drag our asses out of bed early and got to the park before the masses of tour buses got there. Our morning walk was pretty tranquil and awe-inspring, even in spite of ugly overcast skies.

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Then the great nothing rolled in after lunch and unloaded about 7 feet of rain and hail on us.

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But the day wasn't ruined, we look pretty stylish in rain gear, and we went to see the other side of the park.

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The afternoon, even with crazy storms, was super crowded, but pretty spectacular nonetheless. Here are .0008% of the photos we took:

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 People were waiting in LINE just to get this shot. I think Kate and Leo here took about 17 shots, and we stuck around to see if the line rioted (they didnt, but you could see in their eyes that they wanted to)

People were waiting in LINE just to get this shot. I think Kate and Leo here took about 17 shots, and we stuck around to see if the line rioted (they didnt, but you could see in their eyes that they wanted to)

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