Did you ever have one of those screensavers with nature landscapes? Me too, and one place in particular I saw a photo of and said, "I'm going there" and that was Krka National Park.
Yes, other countries have National Parks too. Croatia included and they're quite proud of Krka. All throughout Split there are kiosks toting day trips to the Krka waterfalls only 1.5 hours away by bus.
We met at the statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin. Apparently, if you rub his toe you get a wish so we did.
Our group was about 14 people with mostly couples and several solo female travelers. (I say that because many of my female friends say that it's too dangerous for a woman to travel alone and here are several examples of women doing just that).
The bus took us to the town of Skradin, population 200. From there we boarded a boat for 20 minutes in to Krka National Park as the Jurassic Park theme played in my head.
They gave us four hours to explore the park and it's well designed and well staffed.
The first area you walk in has outdoor picnic tables where you can buy food, beer, ice cream, souvenirs, or have a picnic. Then, you see the first set of waterfalls. Here is the only place to swim in the park so there were many people in bathing suits ready to go into the water.
We walked the trail of the park first which brought you through more charming dining areas and then on to the wooden boardwalks that weaved over ponds and through trees throughout the park.
They had a small museum with "a story about water" which was just a few posterboards explaining the water cycle while a girl sat in the corner and played Coldplay.
We took a nap on a bench and had a picnic of sandwiches, pastries, and fruit that we brought from Split. We listened to the parade of languages that walked by everyone a tourist and everyone enjoying holiday.
A few people with dogs had them jump in the pools and they splashed around happy as shit, because there is no animal more "in the moment" than a dog. (An example we should all follow as a dog never worries about the future or punishes itself daily for something that it did in the past)
The boardwalk looped back to the entrance falls and it was time to go in to the water. We changed in to our swimming clothes (i.e. my Lululemon workout shorts) and went in to the cold water. There were fat people, ugly people, skinny people, German people, French people, Asian people but no one cared, because every one of us was on vacation and we were all playing near the waterfalls.
On the boat back to Skradin I sat next to Clara, a German medical student that was traveling alone and we watched German kids laughing and playing with their parents.
The bus brought us back to Split and on the way the guide showed us a filming location for Game of Thrones, which meant nothing to me since I've never seen a minute of the show. Is that a popular show, everyone on the planet that will badger you if you don't also watch the show and then spend 10 minutes trying to explain the plot to you?
That being said, now that I've been Croatia maybe I'll give it a try when I get back. That girl with the white hair looks cute anyway.