We are all missing our travels abroad at the moment, dreaming of trips away and reminiscing about the good times that we have had.
Here Salford reporter – Chris Vickers – tells us about his trip to Krka Valley in Croatia. One to certainly keep on your bucket list for future holidays.
“Krka, having only the one vowel at the end, I was figuring how to pronounce the name of the valley we were scheduled to visit. It is, we found, K I R K A and rhymes with burqa.
“However, place sounds are immaterial when one visits such a magical environment. Sir David Attenborough would be truly in his element!
“The valley is a truly dramatic, magical place created by the River Krka flowing through a series of gorges before joining the sea. When first glimpsed, high-up from a twisting, narrow mountain road the valley is a central, horse-shoe shaped island. One continues to get tantalizing peeks through the foliage as the road spirals downwards. Eventually, we trundled down until we reached the ticket office and had a loo break before exploring nature’s Disneyland.
“As soon as one steps from the vehicle there is a beautiful cool perfumed freshness to the air. That’s due to the fact that the valley is watered by seventeen waterfalls, growing ever more imposing and culminating in a giant fall creating a large lake in which people swim and by which they sunbathe, relax and eat ice creams.
“At the beginning, one walks along regular roads past quiet, shaded ponds which are home to shoals of static, blackfish hovering as they feed. There’s an old wood mill for those inclined to visit it. But as we ventured on the air is filled with sonic-like booming croaks and strain our eyes to eventually spot fat-bellied frogs, sitting on reeds and old roots bellowing raucously at each other.
“The nostrils now inhale an earthy smell as the babbling water gushes over gnarled tree roots, green fronds dip and trail into the water, alongside waving green reeds and algae; fast-flowing water agitates the muddy stream bed. Ears are filled with the sounds of gurgling water, birdsong, and the loud, endless croaking of the bullfrogs. The colours are greens, browns, greys, and black combinations from the ancient trees as old as time and still standing sentry.
“The wardens at Krka have constructed a wooden circular platform which leads you through the waterfalls and past the differing streams and mini lakes and right in nature’s way. It is relaxing and reinvigorating to be at one with nature like this. The experience is intense and the sights, sounds, and smells almost literally intoxicating. There’s a constant wash – day freshness as the water rushes through, cleansing and rejuvenating all in its wake.
“As one walks on along the platform the sights and sounds and colours vary as yet another waterfall feeds in more water and natures gouges and moulds the landscapes. We completed the lap of the platform and lunched near the big ‘fall and the lake. Happy to have been immersed in nature for the day but also sorry that it was over. Like the thrill of a rollercoaster you crave to relive the experience.”