June 28, 2015
Waterfalls, Part 2
I am on our little porch at the guesthouse. The family works hard to take care of us indulgent tourists. We are back from Plitvice Park a little early as we finished walking all the main trails. I am enjoying the porch to compose and relax with my custom Slovenian wine. Not great but getting it was fun.
We finally got a handle on Croatian map reading and didn’t make any longish hill treks today. There were still plenty of stairs but we did fine. We did manage to get most of the picture post card views that you see in travel brochures. We even climbed through little caves made famous in German spaghetti westerns. It was pleasant day.
We did some tourist observations that might be worth edifying. As readers of this blog know, I frequently make somewhat snide remarks about tour groups. Let me be clear, we too have followed umbrellas and flags. They are an efficient and easy way to see the sights. The negatives are that you see at the pace determined by the tour and you see what they want you to see. However, observations are still in order.
Chinese tour groups are funny. The selfie stick is the Chinese national device. Everyone has at least one. You can spot the wands a long ways off. The Chinese are quite the characters when it comes to posing. They are exuberant and animated. They also tend to cluster at the photo places. Of course, everyone else does the same but then everyone else is not a group of 40 trying to take the same picture from the same position one at a time. We just try to adjust our walking to avoid the clots.
The Japanese are generally recognizing by their diminutive size. The women also have on hats for plenty of shade. Suntans are to be avoided by Japanese women. The Japanese also like to take many flower pictures. Plitvice Park must be like the largest Shinto garden in the world. Water and plants must overwhelm them as much as it does us Westerners. Also the Japanese are more demure and restrained than the Chinese when posing.
The Slavic speakers are enjoying their home. They are generally with the kids and have to deal with the challenges of wooden walkways and the imminent possibility of a quick swim to grab a child. You can always tell the Europeans by their national attire, t-shirts. They all have English writing with garbled American phrases like New York Beach Club or Trafic Free Los Angeles (that was mine but you get the idea). It is a funny world.
Despite the crowds, everything went surprisingly easy. For the most part people figured out how maneuver to get their pictures without others in the way. There is a bit of a dance that needs to be mastered. Most people get it. Some don’t. Most irritating are the family groups that block all traffic for their selfies or glamour poses. I was better than I normally would be since we are guests. I was however tempted to send a couple into the drink.
This was a nice break from our busy travels. Tomorrow we head the beach for three nights as we reach the half way point in our trip. It will be nice to have a break.