Thursday, 21 April 2016

CROATIA - HIDDEN GEMS

       PLITVICE LAKES- MREZNICA KANYON - PAG - ZAGREB
                                                   

My first experience at travelling independently other than holidays with friends was back in the summer of 2014 when me and my pal Ali went backpacking around Croatia.  Quite an obscure choice of destination you may ask? Well I think you’ll be surprised by how gorgeous of a country it is and how underrated it is as a whole!

When choosing where to go travelling we were inclined to visiting somewhere not overwhelmed by tourism, but somewhere close - still in Europe for we only had a small budget each. We actually funnily enough just typed into good ol’ Google ‘Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World’ and at number seven was Plitvice Lakes in Croatia then based the trip round that!

We spent two weeks discovering the country, and the itinerary we made was not a typical traveller route (ZAGREB – PLITVICE LAKES – MREZNICA KANYON – NOVALJA/PAG - ZAGREB). The majority of people we met travelling Croatia had or were planning on visiting Split/Hvar along with the Croatian capital Zagreb, and the majority of these people didn’t even know that these places even existed!




Ever since we spoke to some locals in the local area we soon found out that there were wild wolves and bears which roam the forests... Sadly we didn't see any in the wild, but we asked our taxi driver if he knew any sanctuaries where we would potentially see either or, and with the language barrier being a bit of an issue, we ended up at what was almost a car park behind a shop. But little too our surprise we got too see a bear!

Another wicked place we visited was the Botanical Gardens located in downtown Zagreb. The peaceful gardens make you feel as if you are deep in the countryside somewhere and not in a capital city which is the type of escape any traveller needs. Although rather small, there is so much variety of plants and flowers too see which truly are beautiful. The small circular greenhouse with a little pond in it is my favourite thing about these gardens, especially on a sunny summers day when the light glistens of the water. 
   

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