The Krka National Park, makes up an area of 109 square kilometres along the Krka River. This park was proclaimed a national park in 1985. It was formed to protect the Krka River and is intended primarily for scientific, cultural, educational, recreational and tourism activities.
In the morning, we picked up a friend of Roman's who was going to show us some great hiking in the park. As we drove towards our destination, Roman told me that the area that we were in used to be a camp for the Serbian troups during the recent war. As of July 2014, minefields in Croatia cover 587 square kilometres. The minefields are located in 11 counties and 82 cities and municipalities. These areas are thought to contain approximately 64,000 land mines, in addition to unexploded ordinance left over from the Croatian War of Independence. Land mines were used extensively during the war by all of the sides in the conflict; about 1.5 million were deployed. As of 2013 demining programs were coordinated by the government who was hiring private demining companies employing 632 deminers. The Croatian government hopes to clear all minefields by 2019. In the meantime the areas are marked with more than 16,000 warning signs like the one in the photo above. As of April 2013, 509 people have been killed and 1,468 injured by land mines since the war. This total includes 60 deminers and seven Croatian Army engineers killed during demining operations. I asked Roman to stop the car so I could take a picture of the sign.
We actually parked on a road beside a farmer's house in order to start the hike. The hike was not marked so it definitely was not a tourist destination. The sheep were just arriving for feeding time.
The farmer also had goats.
Agriculture is an important part of the Croatian economy. In Croatia's northern part the fields are dominated by wheat, corn and sunflower crops while fruit-growing, viticulture (cultivation of grapes) and olive farming are popular in the coastal region with pasture land common in the mountainous areas.
The start of our hike through the park. Roman and his friend led the way.
The views kept getting better and better, the higher we went.
Roman's friend pointing out something in the distance- I believe it was caves.
After a great hike, we made our way back to the farm where the car was parked.
An old farmhouse.
I could not get that cow to look at me.
It was a pretty interesting area to walk around in.
After dropping Roman's friend off in a nearby town, we headed to the touristy section of the KrKa National Park. In this area there were lots of footpaths, sightseeing tours, presentations, boat trips, souvenir shops, a museum and restaurants.
Walking on one of the trails in the park.
One of the larger falls from a distance.
The watermills in the park belong to the system of pre-industrial water-powered plants on the Krka River. As a symbol of economic power, they were often a source of conflict. The preserved mills date back to the 19th century. One of the buildings had demonstrations but not when we were there. There were also talks on the old fashioned ways of ploughing and food preparation in the old kitchens.
The last place we visited in the park was Visovac Island which was founded during the reign of Louis I of Hungary. This is the home to the Roman Catholic Visovac Monastery founded by the Franciscans in 1445. It was a very short boat ride to get to the Island. This Island is also called Mother of God Island.
We spent about half an hour or so wandering around the tiny island. During its stormy history, Visovac was and has remained an island of peace and prayer.
Gardens behind the monastery.
The front of the Monastery.
One last view of the island taken from the highway. You can see the landscape of Visovac Lake.