Thursday, 22 April 2010
Written 20th April.
We have that the best day! Plitvice Jezera national park was, until very recently, our only croatia recommendation, got from some people we met in a carpark in the algarve back in January. Golly, it did seem a long way off back then and now here we are - doesn't time fly!
and yes, the borders on this map are wrong, can't do anything about it!
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, walking in the park.
Plitvice National Park is a series of stepped lakes stacked on top of one another, with waterfalls flowing and tumbling down between them. And it is amazing.
On arrival at the entrance, it is not immediately clear what's what - well it wasn't for us anyway but we got the germany speaking ticket seller - but it soon became apparent that there are 16 different lakes and umpteen waterfalls,
five different trails or walking routes by which you can see them, and buses and boats to see that you get all the way round in the time you have decided you have.
Once in the park and en route, the trails are clearly signposted, the paths are either obvious tracks or wooden walkways and it is stunning.
No pictures I take will do it justice but of course I had to have a go - 1.5 SD cards full in fact! It is one of those places where every turn is a viewpoint, every viewpoint is a picture crying out to be taken. The crystal clear turquoise and emerald pools, the cascades of diamonds glinting in the sun.
It is glorious.
The water colour is apparently due to the minerals washed down from the mountains so it is always different depending on the light or concentration.
Spring is the time to come for the waterfalls when the rivers are swollen with melt water and the lakes overflow at every edge - the noise is defening at times but all it takes is to round a corner and instant hush again.
I think in summer you get the best colours, when the water is stiller and the sun is at its brightest but it also gets busier and the paths would be less fun if full - more like trudging round ikea on a sunday we imagine, but with better vistas and fewer sofas and tea lights...
Even now there were coachloads of people (a lot of japanese!), we saw them on buses we weren't on and boats going in the other direction, but somehow managed to have our little bit mainly to ourselves.
So we found the falls,
and tranquil pools
and even the end of the rainbow.
The transport links were good - and we were lucky to arrive just as the boat bus we wanted were ready to leave so no waiting. We had lunch with us but the food in the café looked good and the coffee was a sensible price.
It felt like few people bothered to get all the way up here which is their loss as the view was jawdropping.
All in all, a grand day out and highly recomended!
So, onwards and downwards, back to the coast and in search of some island fun. We just need to find somewhere to park...
With love for now from Becky, Will and Jules on Thursday, April 22, 2010