Plitvice Lakes National Park or Nacionalni park PlitviÄka jezera as the locals call it is the largest national park in Croatia and one of the oldest national parks in South-east Europe.
The name of the park comes from its lakes that are arranged in cascades. The size and water flow of the Plitvice Lakes does change from time to time. The lakes are separated by natural dams made of travertine. Right now there are 16 lakes inter-connected by a series of waterfalls. They all have distinctive colours, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colours do change all the time. It does depend on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of the sunlight.
The whole area looks like this. There is a boat service on the lower lakes and special Mercedes Unimog trucks that bring people from one entrance to another. We did come late and the whole system on the maps is a bit confusing. I was quite shocked about the entrance fee – 27€ per person? Really?? Plus parking on top of that… To much if you ask me but Heike did want to go and see the lakes again.
We did park at the Entrance 2 and got the boat to the other side of the lake on the right. The boat does not leave from the same side as you can see on the map! You have to get a boat to the other side and from there another boat to get to the start of the hike. We did lost over 1 hour as getting on the boats was very poor organized where you get on the second boat. But finally we where on a boat on the lower lake and on the way down.
Nice to look at – but you can not imagine how many people where in the park. Since most of the paths are about 1,5 metres wide it is no fun to walk there. Visiting the park in spring and autumn must be a more tranquil experience but if you go in summer – be ready to fight the crowd!
Fish in the crystal clear water. European chubs are taking the waters over from trouts.
Be that duck
Down to the next lake
Snake at the Plitvice Lakes
Veliki slap or Large Waterfall (78 m) at the lower part of the lakes.
There was a long line to get on the rock for this picture
Bus loads of Chinese Tourists
It was late afternoon and we did check with the park service if there would be enough time to do the long hike of the upper lakes. The girl confirmed and we took one of the last buses up to the trail head. We where only 6 people in the bus. That did look good and it was even better. Nobody was up there any more so we could finally enjoy the beauty of nature. Only birds and the sound of flowing water without all the human noise.
Prošćansko jezero – the highest and second largest lake in the park.
There are wooden paths all over the park so you can imagine how it was at the lower part of the lakes with too many people going up and down. If only one did stop for a picture – everybody on that side of the path had to stop as well.
A world under water
It looks almost like the fish are floating in the air
The GalovaÄki buk waterfall at the Upper Lakes
Went back to our hotel: Guesthouse Nikolina and had a good nights rest. After breakfast it was time to hit the road again. Off to Bosnis – but that will be another post!
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