Insignificant? Not exactly. Although this stair looks like a multitude of ancient stone paths found throughout the world, it has historic significance. This is one of many stairways which lead to the top of a town called Stradinsky Buk in Croatia. This ancient city was the first town in the entire world to be illuminated with lights powered by electricity from nearby Lake Krka. Nicholas Tesla built a generating plant at the waterfalls of the lake which created AC current, exactly at the same time Thomas Edison was creating a DC generating plant in New York. Edison finished his generating facility first, but Tesla beat him to actually distributing power for street lights.
By the look of this old city, one would never guess the importance of such a major achievement. If you were to walk down the streets and alleyways of this old city, you would find a town which looked much as it did hundreds of years ago. This fact just goes to show that one cannot judge a city, a book or even a person by its mere cover. All have significance…including you.
I am excited to share these next set of photographs because they are of a little known area about one and a half hour’s drive NE of Split. The name of the old town is Skradinski buk, and adjacent to this town is KRKA National Park. This part of our trip itinerary was directed to Plitvice Lakes which is a much better known and larger national park with beautiful water falls and board walks. However, as we prepared to venture from our hotel in Podstrana, we asked the consierge what was the best route to take to Plitvice. He checked the time and advised us that we would be leaving too late to fully enjoy this area since it was a 3-plus hour drive and the time was already 10 am. He then directed us to KRKA and said we will really like it. He was correct. And, the cost to take a roundtrip boat ride to the water falls and park was very affordable. As was the case with Cavtat, this detour ended up being one of the highlights of our vacation. Funny how the unexpected can produce great benefits if we allow interruptions to become adventures rather than disappointments. As a side note, I have included a photo of a set of buildings which became the second electrical power generating station in the world-only after Edison’s at Niagra Falls (Croatia supplied electricity to a city before America because Niagra didn’t finish its distribution power line for several months after the plant’s completion). This generating facility was bult using Tesla’s alternating current rather than Edison’s DC power. Nikola Tesla was a Serbian born engineer / physicist. I find it rather interesting that this part of the world was ahead of its time (in some respects) back in 1895 !The next set of photographs are of the boat ride from the town to the park and back. The boats shuttled visitors on regular intervals and took about fifteen minutes each way. This excursion provided some wonderful views of the town and Lake Krka.These final set of photographs are of the town, Skradinsky buk. It is typical of many small old world towns throughout Croatia with antiquated buildings and churches, sidewalk cafes, locals chatting over espresso, and stone stairways to higher elevations. With surprises around every corner or alley, we didn’t want to leave. But alas, the Adriatic Sea was calling us to return to its shores so we reluctantly left with another confirmation that Croatia is truly a beautiful country to experience.