The highlight of the final day of the recent Gastronaut tour of Dalmatia was a visit to National Park Krka on November 8, 2017. Krka in the summer sun or autumn rain? Both are magnificent, and for very different reasons.
Once you have visited a tourist attraction once, you have seen it and need not return, right?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Sometimes there is too much to take in on a first visit, but sometimes the changing seasons gives an altogether different experience altogether.
As we have already written in an earlier article (Krka Beyond the Waterfalls: 10 National Park Treasures Not to Miss), there is a phenomenal range of diverse activity at National Park Krka that it is simply impossible to take it all in in one visit. But if you have visited in summer and return in autumn, prepare yourself for an altogether different experience.
The omens were not good. After a wonderful Dalmatian Indian summer, the heavens opened as the three-day Gastronaut trip began.
The rain relented for a while, but then returned, but in a way it felt better for the poorer weather. My first impression of Krka in the summer, once I had overcome my breathlessness at its beauty, was the intensity of its colours – the intensity of the blues of the water and sky and greens of its endless forested terrain. In November, the colours are altogether different, and the grey sky was an ideal backdrop to the multi-coloured foliage in various states of seasonal transformation.
And for those wondering what Krka looks like when autumn meets the sun, there were plenty of stunning pictures and information points around to show them. One of my first impressions of my visits to Krka is just how well organised and user-friendly it is as a national park. Great information everywhere, offered unobtrusively. Really impressive.
But the thing that really impresses in autumn over summer is the sheer volume of water. The waterfalls all over the park were demonstrative in their power. Any thoughts of worrying about getting wet were gone in an instant. This was Nature up close and personal. It was hypnotic.
Whichever way you looked, the water flowed majestically, a true force of nature which was a sight to behold.
With panoramas aplenty, taking in the changing colours of the leaves.
And the power of the water, which flowed relentlessly on. I honestly cannot recall if it rained for a minute or an hour.
There were still a good number of tourists, despite the weather and lateness of the season, but much less than the peak summer months of course. Apart from more space, there was the additional benefit of a more intimate experience with nature.
And it was not just the humans who were taking it all in…
National Park Krka has plenty more to offer than just water, of course, including this very interesting little attraction, which I will explain via the official description from one of those wonderful information boards:
“The Krka Hydro Dam
Hydroelectric Krka was the first Croatian hydroelectric alternating current. Its builders and investors were Sibenik mayor Ante Supuk, his son Marko Supuk, and pl. Vjekoslav Meichsner. It was put into operation on 28 August, 1895, when the city lights of Sibenik were turned out following construction of the transmission lines and low-voltage city network. It was the second such hydro dam of its kind in the world.
“The first was built on the Niagara River by the American Forbes, based on Tesla’s design and patent. That dam was put into operation on 26 August 1895, only two days before the Krka dam, however, the city of Buffalo only began to receive power from that dam in early 1896 when the transmission lines were completed. In 1895, the Krka hydro dam generated 320 KS of power, while another generator was added in 1899, raising the power to 640 KS (about 470 kW, with the maximum water flow of 3.2m3/s. The Krka hydro dam was in operation until World War I.”
Not that I was trying to be childish, but a photo op to impress my kids back home.
Until I was upstaged by a true champion, as soon as I posted the image on Facebook.
It wasn’t long we were back to that magical water – it simply drew us in.
A picture postcard at every turn. All that was needed was a better photographer than me to capture the moment.
And for those who were tempted (not many takers on the day we visited), a gentle reminder that diving in is not permitted.
So powerful was the water, that it crashed over the extensive wooden protective barriers in a couple of points.
Another noticeable aspect of the Krka experience, apart from the general cleanliness, is how well developed and well-integrated into nature the walkway system is. At no point did it feel intrusive, and the Krka team has worked hard to expand the walking options. I lost count of the distance walked, but we were on the go for a good two hours. The signage and info pack available highlights all the options available.
Not many at the picnic spots that day, but a nice ambience in nature in dryer times.
Information, information, information.
From the mightiest waterfalls to the tiniest, Krka is a stunner in autumn.
Plenty of Asian tourists and a great number of American accents, presumably on a stop from one of the cruise ships.
Of course, Krka has attractions indoors as well, and the crashing waters by the ethno village provided a great contrast between the power of nature and man-made authentic Dalmatia.
The collection of traditional Dalmatian stone buildings house a trove of authentic treasures of the past, including various workshops of traditional Dalmatian skills, a popular education point for visiting schools. Something for everyone – I like that about Krka.
And this is where I found my favourite Krka waterfall of all, one which I call the Caveman Jacuzzi. But we will have to investigate that another time.
National Park Krka, you have amazed in summer and autumn. What magic will you provide for winter and spring visitors?
To learn more about National Park Krka, visit their very informative website.