Early morning walks through the towns have been a great way to see all the historical places without all those crowds getting it the way and Zadar was no different. The bell tower of the Cathedral of St Anastasia was the first to open and I, the first one to climb the steps to see the town from above.
It was already getting hot out so my trek up the steps was a hot and long one. The views however were just as great as they were from the other bell towers in each town. My next stop was the Church of St. Donat, originally called the Church of Holy Trinity, built in the early 9th century. A completely circular church it upper story held the women’s gallery. The church stands completely empty and for that reason seems much holier than the more ornate ones.
The church hasn’t been used as a church since 1797 but with its wonderful acoustics I’m told that makes it great for concerts that are often held here. Across the John Paul II square lies the Church of St. Mary. I had hoped to get inside but I found out from the nun that the church isn’t open on Fridays.
The church was built for King Koloman in 1066 but has undergone many renovations ending up with the now Renaissance façade. After one last look around it was time to board my bus for Plitvice Lakes. Arriving at the national park about 5pm I checked in at Hotel Jezero, located inside the park, for my one night stay. I was told that if I bought my pass tonight for the park I could get in with the same pass tomorrow at no extra charge. I decided it was a great plan and after dumping my stuff I grabbed my gear and headed down the hill to the entrance of the park. It took awhile to figure out the map but when I did I ended up boarding a boat that took me to the first lake and my first views of its well-known waterfalls.
There were many little waterfalls as I wandered along the boardwalk of Gradinsko Lake. The above photo had one of my favourite little hidden waterfalls. Every little nook and cranny seemed to have some water rushing out. One never knew what was around the next corner.
The nicest surprise was when I turned right along the boardwalk and found this waterfall under the stairs.
Time was running out to catch boat back so I decided to walk along the road to see if I could catch a ride on the park bus. A gentlemen in a tractor stopped and offered to take me right back to my hotel and I took him up on that offer. Apparently I had missed the last bus to the park gate so I was very lucky to have crossed paths with him.