One way, not another

Plivice/Zagreb - 01/09/2010

No swimming, no fishing, no straying from trails, no wrestling the bears. Simply shuffle round in tightly packed column taking the same pictures as those that went before you, leave. The Plitvice Parks are an eden but a tightly managed one. I cannot decide if this is the only way they could remain as they are or have had their natural beauty somewhat diminished by the railings of man's modern impositions. One cannot deny the sumptuous visual banquet they present though. The lakes are aquamarine at depth to clear, crystalline purity in the shallows. If a person were permitted to plunge into the deep blue they would surely hesitate lest it all be the flat, paint-daubed canvas of a master artist. The fish, their fins tinged with cornflower blue, bathe in the sunshine in perfect awareness of their protection. The flora and fauna seem oddly monocultural, is this a place of preservation or presentation? What primordial force draws us to water, causes us to wonder at waterfalls? Two hydrogen, one oxygen and the genesis of life I suppose.
The force of time drew us back to the car and our tarmaced trail, Zagreb lay ahead. Another city, another hostel, quite the pensioners we are. Hoping to get ahead of our curve through Eastern Europe for the first time since leaving Istanbul we needed to ditch the wheels (in a non literal sense, again). Zagreb's road system is a crisscrossing morass of one-way roads bespeckled by trams and bemused foreigners. There are no straight lines in this city, not between a person and their destination, left turns are banned. We were thwarted in our attempts to return the vehicle and there would be no absquatulation on the early bus out for us, time to tarry. Our last meal had been eaten too many hours ago on the roof of a car in a layby so we decided a dinner involving chairs, a table, cutlery and plates would be something we could stomach. My baby Octopus drew a grimace from Mike but he tried one nonetheless, you next Clarke. Fin.

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