the land that beauty found

Some places on earth are so beautiful, they need to be seen to be believed.  Croatia is one of those places.

I traveled through that gorgeous country this past week with a friend from Australia; even she, from the land of jaw-droppingly beautiful landscape, couldn’t believe her eyes at times.  It isn’t just the brooding stone mountains with dark conifers flowing down the sides or the transparently clear cobalt and emerald water or the deep blue skies with clouds low enough to snag on the mountain peaks or even the veils of thundering water pouring over the cliffside: it’s the clarity of all that beauty.  It is precise and sharp and clear and clean.  It sparkles and shimmers and glitters and glows.  It is truly amazing.

I’m grateful I had the chance to see Croatia, even more so that I saw it with a friend.  We drove roughly 1,000 miles; we walked approximately 65.  We ate delicious food, talked to pleasant people, stayed in interesting places.  We learned how Slovenia pays for its good roads.  We discovered that GPS only gets you so far.  We walked through the Škocjan Caves, over Lopud Island, up the Dinaric Alps.  We ate fresh-from-the-Adriatic-Sea seafood in Trogir and Dubrovnik and Split – and, most excitingly, in the coastal town of Neum in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The world is a lovely place sometimes.  I’m just glad I get to see it.

IMG_2737

The American and the Aussie: ready to go

IMG_2749

the Cathedral of St Lawrence steeple in Trogir – which I climbed

IMG_2756

a view from the steeple

IMG_2779

Roman city of Split

fullsizeoutput_22e1

moon over Trogir

fullsizeoutput_22c8

feet, meet the Adriatic

IMG_2824

sunset in Dubrovnik

IMG_2828

Dubrovnik in moonlight

fullsizeoutput_22bc

exploring the Elaphite Islands

IMG_2853

water in the Lopud harbor

IMG_2865

Lopud Island

IMG_2882

sun, sea and stone

IMG_2906

Dubrovnik from the city walls

IMG_2919

walking the walls

IMG_2944

entering Plitvice Lakes National Park

IMG_2960

water in motion

IMG_2972

falls through the trees

IMG_3030

“Oh, are you taking a picture?”

IMG_2977

the water of Plitvice

IMG_2990

the miles don’t count when you have views like this…

IMG_2998

…and this

IMG_3024

sunshine and happiness