Category Archives: Croatia

A Week in Croatia

You can’t do Croatia justice in a week but you can bloody well try! Well that’s the attitude I had anyway as I raced from destination to destination, ignoring anything that involved standing still, maximizing my time and enjoying some of the best moments I’ve ever had while traveling. This was no sailing trip, I missed the sunny shores and all the beautiful islands that go with them but I’ll save that for another day, this trip was all about life in the fast lane. Dubrovnik was delightful, Split was spectacular, Plitvice was perfect and Zagreb was….zesty? These are some of my favorite photos, thanks for the memories Croatia, till we meet again.

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Loving Zagreb

After a crazy schedule traveling through Croatia I felt relieved just to make it to Zagreb, I’d explored some amazing places and taken a few nice pics so surely my work was done right? Wrong. Zagreb is too nice to dismiss like that so once again I set out to see what made it tick (first world problems right). There’s some beautiful parks, classic architecture and interesting sculptures to keep the camera busy and the city had a very welcoming feel to it. I was tempted to make my way out to the neighboring mountains for one final Croatian sunrise but then I realized my flight back to London was at 10am and I’d barely slept over the past week. Chalk up a point for sanity (possibly its first one on this trip). Loving Zagreb was easy and loving Croatia was even easier, good times.

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Zagreb Town Square

This is a photo of the Zagreb town square, taken from my hotel room late at night after most of the earlier hustle and bustle has died down. I’m staying at Hotel Dubrovnik, a pretty standard hotel with a slightly confusing name (it’s in Zagreb, not Dubrovnik). The best thing about it is definitely the location, close to tram stops and right in the heart of all the action. I don’t often write about hotels but the staff were nice here so a tip of the hat to them.

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Zagreb Graffiti

While walking from the bus stop to my hotel I came across some great spots in downtown Zagreb, including this interesting area of graffiti and posters alongside the tram tracks. The late sun skimming off the wet asphalt gives it a nice, gritty texture that’s good enough to eat, but perhaps not so healthy.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park

I must admit that I’ve kind of fallen in love with the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Ever since I first read about it and saw pictures of the cascading waterfalls I knew I was going to go there sooner rather than later. As the bus from Split gained elevation through the snowy mountains it became apparent that it would be different from the photos I had seen of the park taken in summer. Instead of a summery glow, the park was blanketed in a wintery white that while different, looked just as impressive. Another bonus of going so late in the year (I was literally the last guest in my hotel) was that I almost had the park to myself. It can get quite crowded in the summer months so it was nice to explore the lakes in such quiet surroundings. I took a 4WD to the upper lakes, did a few short hikes, ferried to the lower lakes, checked out Veliki Slap (the Big Waterfall), explored some caves, took a million photos and repeated something similar the next day before I left for Zagreb. It rained at times but to tell you the truth I barely noticed, the park lived up to my expectations and I’d be tempted to go back again some day.

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The Waterfalls of Plitvice

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is a natural wonder full of gorgeous lakes and waterfalls. The weather was a little varied while I was there but I managed to get some nice shots of the waterfalls that appear frequently along the hiking trails around the lakes.

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Veliki Slap – The Big Waterfall at Night

I was pushing the limits when it came to closing time at the Plitvice Lakes National Park but I really wanted to get a photo of Veliki Slap (the Big Waterfall) at night. I’m glad I waited because the waterfall looked incredible as the light faded with the falling water having the appearance of sugar as it cascaded down the rock face. Veliki Slap is the biggest waterfall in Croatia, but you already knew that didn’t you smarty pants.

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One Night in Split

With only one night in Split there wasn’t much time for rest and relaxation, it was all about seeing as much as I could in the limited time I had. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for a good time but it went surprisingly well and I was lucky enough to be there on a beautiful night highlighted by an incredible sunset and dramatic full moon. I could have spent more time exploring the palace ruins but it had been a long day that included a bus ride from Dubrovnik so I was happy to get some sleep and dream about my next destination, the Plitvice Lakes.

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Exploring Diocletian’s Palace

I had barely done any research on Split so exploring Diocletian’s Palace was more a stroke of good luck than good planning. It was getting late and I was hungry so I set out to find something to eat. While searching for a restaurant I found myself exploring the ruins of an old palace, Diocletian’s Palace to be exact. It was pretty cool but I tend not to appreciate things as much as I should when I’m hungry (I ended up finding a decent pizza place for dinner, in case you were wondering).

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Full Moon Over Split

This best things in life seem to happen be accident, and photography appears to be no different. After recovering from an incredible sunset on one side of the bay I walked closer to the centre of Split, stopping at the marina to take photos of the city at night. The shots looked quite nice but just as I was packing up I noticed a light forming above the hill. I eventually realized (suprisingly slowly) that it was the moon, a full moon! I quickly set up my tripod again and got this shot as the moon sat just above the hills, partially obscured by some hazy clouds. I’m happy with how it turned out and all thanks to a bit of dumb luck!

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The Boats of Split

Whether you’re sailing around Croatia, fishing from a dinghy, cruising to Hvar or showing off your latest super yacht, Split is all about water and boats. With so many on display I couldn’t help but take some photos of my favourites, so here they are, the boats of Split!

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A Sunset in Split

There are sunsets, then there are sunsets in Split, a charming seaside city nestled alongside the Adriatic Sea. I got here late in the day but with only one day to explore it I didn’t even bother checking into my hotel and dropping off my bags until after I’d had a look around. The sun was rapidly falling so I made my way down to the water’s edge and followed the remaining sunlight until it disappeared for good. I arrived at a nice park and walking area at the perfect moment, allowing me to take some great snaps of an almost too good to be true sunset.

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Bus Ride from Dubrovnik to Split

While a lot of people sail around Croatia, my stupidly ridiculous schedule means I don’t have time to lounge about. Instead I’m on the bus, and while no doubt inferior to sailing, there are still quite a few nice landscapes to enjoy. I managed to get this relatively clear shot during the bus ride from Dubrovnik to Split which shows off some of the gorgeous coastline.

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Dubrovnik in 36 Hours

Looking back at my photos I’m kind of amazed I was only in Dubrovnik for 36 hours as I managed to squeeze in what felt like a weeks worth of sightseeing and activities. I loved walking the Old Town Walls, exploring Lapad, climbing the hills above Dubrovnik and strolling along Gruz harbor. The weather really came to the party (in terms of photography anyway) with wild winds, dramatic clouds, heavy rain, intense lightning and glorious sunshine setting a memorable scene. While 3 days to a week is probably a better length of time to spend in Dubrovnik, especially if you want to check out islands such as Mljet, I’m more than happy with my 36 hour adventure.

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Dubrovnik Lights

After the storm was kind enough to move on I managed to get the photo that I had originally set out to get before I was so rudely interrupted by lighting, heavy winds and rain. These are the lights of Dubrovnik looking out over Lapad, Gruz Harbor and nearby islands. It was pretty much night time and I was still on the hill so I packed up and finally headed back to my hotel for some rest, what a day!

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A Storm Over Dubrovnik

With only one full day to explore Dubrovnik I’d planned to take the cable car to the top of the hill and take some night shots of the region from above, only there was a storm setting in and they’d closed the cable car due to high winds. I could have made my way disappointingly back to my hotel in Lapad but instead I thought screw it, if I can’t take the cable car then up just gonna walk up! The fact that a ominous looking storm was rolling in directly towards me was slightly disconcerting but also very exciting. I eventually found the track and made my way up the hill, stopping for photos every few minutes as the storm took shape. Sitting at the top while watching lightning bolts and a thick band of rain dominate the landscape was a real thrill, I got pretty wet but I don’t regret it for a second, just an awesome experience.

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Lightning Over the Old Town

It’s not often I manage to capture lightning so I was pretty excited when I took this picture of a lightning bolt over the Old Town of Dubrovnik. It was a pretty intense storm so there were lots of great photo opportunities and a few nervous moments as the storm rolled in towards me…

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Wild Waves and Stormy Skies in Dubrovnik

Wild waves and and stormy skies were a theme throughout today as dramatic clouds rolled in to Dubrovnik above the angry seas (I should write poetry). How did I get so close without getting wet? I didn’t, I got completely soaked, head to toe, camera included. Great fun though, I love how photography gives me an incentive to do (stupid) things that I might not otherwise do.

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The Old Town Walls of Dubrovnik

I enjoyed the Old Town Walls of Dubrovnik so much that I walked around them three times! The weather was a little wild so the first lap was cloudy, the second stormy and the third sunny. Being a popular tourist destination it was quite crowded but nothing that I hadn’t seen before while traveling around Europe.

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Inside St Saviour Church

One of the first things I saw when I entered the Old Town of Dubrovnik was the Church of St Saviour, it’s around 500 years old and a beautiful space to enjoy. I don’t remember seeing any signs while inside but I couldn’t help but take a quick picture to preserve the memory.

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