croatia: zagreb, istria & plitvice lakes national park

We visited Croatia in October of 2021, starting in Zagreb, and working our way west to Istria, where we stopped in Opatija, Motovun, Rovinj and Pula.  Then we continued southeast to Plitvice Lakes National Park where we explored the park in cold, windy and rainy weather. This was our first international trip since the pandemic started.

We also went south to Dalmatia, along the coast, which I’ll feature in an upcoming video.

In Croatia, we strolled among the disheveled and forlorn populace of Zagreb and ate pizza and fluffy pillows of warm bread with beer and rakija. We took a funicular to the Upper Town and visited the Museum of Broken Relationships with its sad tales and detritus of heartbreak. We chatted with the waiter at the Bulldog Café about divisive matters of the world. Later, we walked around the Green Horseshoe and found actors rehearsing an opera on the portico of the Croatian National Theatre. We drove to the Eastern Riviera in Opatija and promenaded down the Lungomare to meet a woman surrounded by seagulls. We enjoyed the vineyard views of Istria from the hill town of Motovun. We immersed ourselves in blue light with harbor views and seafood at Gostionica “La Gondola” in Rovinj. We wandered through the Old Town and to the Church of St. Euphemia after checking out the rock-carved “beaches.” We bicycled on a trail leading to a rocky beach where we swam under the shade of cypresses and Aleppo pines. We visited the Roman amphitheater and strolled through Pula. Finally, we were serenaded by waterfalls as we traipsed through Plitvice National Park in the pouring rain on boardwalks lined with tropical plants and marsh grasses growing out of limestone.

I recommend watching on YouTube for the best experience. 🙂

Our top six experiences in the northern portion of Croatia were:
6) Plitvice Lakes National Park (rainy, cold and miserable, but beautiful)
5) Zagreb, especially the Upper Town (Gradac) and Tkalčićeva Street
4) Motovun
3) Opatija
2) Pula and the Roman ruins
1) Rovinj (our favorite of the entire trip)


Our northern route in Croatia from Polarsteps

Thanks for watching!