19. August 2011 07:31
by Rene Pallesen

Drive to Plitvice Lakes - Croatia

19. August 2011 07:31 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

drive to plitvice lakes croatia

Driving to the Lakes we decided to take the old road rather than the highway.This road crosses the mountain range and then catches up with one of the larger roads further inland. We were told that after the highway was built there was less traffic on this road, but when we got onto it, it was completely empty of any traffic whatso ever.

The drive across the range was very different. It was very scenic and the road was in great condition. The landscape was very rocky and very dry, almost dessert like with low scrubs and there were many old farms and houses that had been left probably because life was too hard up here. I would have thought it would be the typical place to have goats roaming around, but we didn't see a single goat up on the high plateau. The farms looked like they were several hundred years old. It was the typical farms you see in these areas where the farmers every year pick up the stones they see in their fields and put them to the side to eventually form a type of fence line/walls around the field. Some of these walls were several metres high for even very small fields meaning that they were very old and that it would have taken a lot of really backbreaking work to be able to grow anything up here.

After about seventy kilometres we were across the plateau and one of the first larger town we arrived to was Knin. We decided to stop here to pick up a few supplies and site down and have some lunch. Not far from the supermarket was the trainstation and here was the very nice old steam locomotive. It was built in Budapest (possibly in 1955) and was now just sitting there rusting.

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Knin was also the only place on our trip where we saw a significant military presence. I later found out that this was one of the Serbian strongholds during the was and they tried to break free of the newly independent croatia in 1991 as the Republic of Serbian Krajina. As it attempted to break off from Croatia in 1991 they ethnically cleansed the area of non-Serbs and set up their own local government. In 1995, the Croatian army retook the region and the majority of the Serb population fled or was displaced. There are today still some tension in the area and there are not a lot of opportunities. It is also close to the border and strategically located so hence the large military presence.

Just outside Knin we passed this weird structure on one of the farms. It was liks a big silo, but with a large chimney on top. Next to it there was a a wooden structure with some hoisting structure in it. I have no idea what this structure was for. It could be some sort of a furnace for melting something, but to be honest I have no idea...I would love to find out what this structure was for?? Today it looks like the building is used to store cow manure. There are some vineyards in the area so this could possible provide a clue. My guess is that it was for burning limestone (plenty of that around) to produce cement or mortar.

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The remainder of the drive was on a much more busy road with large trucks. We managed to get to the lakes early afternoon. Just in time to have a quick visit to the lakes...but more about that in the next post.

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