So according to my guidebook on Croatia, this month marks the start of the migration season for deutschis touristus. Over the next few weeks, scores of Germans—traveling in groups ranging from two to well over a dozen or more—will wander hundreds of miles to the Croatian coast, where they will gorge on the abundant shellfish, sun their ingurgitated bellies on the rocky shore, and—if they aren’t too sluggish from the sun and shellfish—to awkwardly mate. It’s a fascinating and wondrous phenomenon to observe, especially this closely. Interesting tidbit: Most of the time, you can tell the males from the females by the bushy tufts of hair on their faces. (But not always!)*
Today I walked around Plitvice Lakes National Park, a land of gorgeous turquoise water and terrifying waterfalls that you can damned near walk over. I then accidentally got lost in the countryside, after which a kindly Croatian sheep farmer gave me a ride back to my room. I offered to pay him. He jovially replied, “No, no. Happens all the time.” He said this with a your silly, lost, desperate American tourist face was payment enough twinkle in his eye. So it was a mutual exchange of services. (Awesome technology addendum: In the Internet and cell phone age, you can actually Tweet to the world that you’re currently lost in the Croatian countryside. Note, though, that while definitely awesome, this does very little to actually help you not be lost anymore.)
According to my guidebook (for real this time), this part of Croatia also is where most of Europe shoots its American-style spaghetti westerns. So some town and street names, weirdly, are Croaitan-ized versions of well-known American Indian words, tribes, and chiefs.
Photos of the falls in the next couple days. In the meantime, here are a few more shots from Ravinj, which I think is my new favorite town on the planet.
(*Note: I’m going to claim that my part-German heritage gives me license to make ethnic-ish jokes about German tourists.)