Tom and Steffi, two fire spinners with a passion for the outdoors are circus performers who are currently travelling Europe with their dog.
Steffi has been dancing with fire for seven years while her partner Tom spins and is also a highliner – that means he is walking a slackline which is a thin piece of webbing between cliffs, gorges, buildings and across bodies of water.
We travel in ex-school minibus that we converted by hand into a camper van. We try to find like-minded people and incredible locations to rig highlines and spin fire. Our dog Raffin is an ex-street dog from Spain who lived nearly a year of his life in a kill shelter until he was rescued, brought to England and we adopted him. Now he is our beloved pet and joins us on all our adventures.
They were looking for pretty places to visit on their way down through Croatia and they really wanted to check Plitvice off their bucket list. So how did they like it?
The water was stunningly clear and we were delighted to be able to see the rock formations beneath. The waterfalls took our breath away, especially being able to get so close to them that we could feel the cooling spray on our faces. Around every corner was a new surprise and it was really unique being able to walk over the flow of some of the rivers and waterfalls on the walkways and see the fish seemingly suspended in glass in the water beneath.
How did their dog Raffin liked it?
We very much liked how dog-friendly the park was, with Raffin being allowed onto the boats and buses without question and he really enjoyed watching the water go past on the boat ride. Raffin loved the park but was rather disappointed that we wouldn’t allow him to dive into all the gorgeous lakes. Every time there was the mildest splash or spray he stopped and basked in the moisture, although at one point he did fall in. We suspected it was deliberate looking at the smug grin on his face even though we fished him out again immediately afterwards he took great delight in rubbing his wet fur on us.
And we were just curious and since they were professionals, we asked could Plitvice be a good location for some circus show?
In terms of doing a slackline/highline/waterline performance it would be a dazzling stage to exhibit our skills upon, but we would have to work very closely with the park and its rangers to ensure that we completely minimised any kind of environmental impact, as the lakes are perfect and untouched. There is boundless potential for rigging lines but it would have to be undertaken with all due care. A fire show would certainly be possible with very low risk to the environment. In a perfect world, we’d suggest staging the show on a pontoon on one of the lakes to maximise the range of the audience, allowing as many people as possible to spectate and also causing stunning fiery reflections on the surface of the beautiful still waters. Really, Plitvice is a remarkable stage for any kind of event.
They travel the world, is there some destination that reminds them of Plitvice?
That is such a difficult question to answer. We have many places that we have adored but all for different reasons and attributes. To compare them seems impossible. The Caribbean held untold wonders as we travelled their islands to unlock their secrets, the endless barren sand dunes of Namibia held a haunting beauty, but nowhere we have encountered could possibly be compared to Plitvice as the landscape of its interconnecting lakes and waterfalls is so unique.
Going on a recommendation, we took raffin for a walk and stumbled on this stunning little gorge. The water was so clear that at times it looked like glass. When we bumped into a lovely couple we had met previously we decided to join them at their campsite (the first time at a campsite this whole trip!) We set this line up the next morning before we went canyoning in the afternoon.
And would they recommend Plitvice as a good travel destination?
We definitely would. Plitvice manages to capture the imagination and stay seemingly untouched whilst still being a tourist hub. So many gorgeous settings have been spoiled and have lost their magic by constant footfall of wanderlusting travellers just wanting to marvel at them. Plitvice allows this curiosity and wonder to blossom whilst keeping its purity intact. There is such a mutual respect here for nature that it’s almost humbling and really refreshing to see.