Plitvice Travel Blog› entry 3 of 17 › view all entries
August 27th, 2007 – by: cneoridium
The route to the park in near the Bosnian border and was especially affected by the war.¬† It's sad to see how vicious the fighting was here.¬† It's not just a few stray bullet holes; every building has been riddled with bullet and rocket fire, evidence of fierce house-to-house fighting.¬† The area seems pretty depauperate of people.
At Plitvicka Jezera (Plitvice Lakes National Park) we arrived along with an infinite number of tour busses, mostly from Germany.¬† At first the paths were so crowded it felt more like we were at a concert than a national park, but once we found some steeper, less used paths we had whole hillsides to ourselves.¬† It's usually not hard to escape tourists if a place is big enough, most of them hang up near the park entrance or the first bar along the route and make it no farther. That's when it became apparent just how beautiful this place was.... However much you hear about this UNESCO World Heritage Site being the most beutiful place in the Balkans, you're not prepared for what you see there.
The lakes are a series of turquoise limestone pools in a deep gorge with a seemingly infinite number of waterfalls cascading into them, pool to pool.¬† There are caves, forests, marshes...¬† The water is disturbingly clear with huge schools of fish and the almost unnatural milky blue and green colors you get from disolving limestone.¬† They've done an especially good job of giving access to the areas with a series of wood plank and dirt paths.¬† The kilometers of boardwalks crossing water, land, and marsh alike are formed from the timber from trees damaged during the war. The paths curving paths blend nicely with the landscape and allow access to the entire perimeter of the lower lakes while protecting the vegetation an wetlands. We hiked all day barefoot - so much nicer than boots and dirt paths.
When the shadows got too long, we headed south to the beach house near Vodice, on the Adriatic coast.¬†
The highway is steep and curvy, climbing over a series of parallel mountain ranges, and finally over a pass in the 'Dalmatian Alps' and down to the coast.¬† I was really hoping that Z's parents would like me! After all, I was about to spend a week with them! Did they even want me to come?
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