Plitvińćka Jezera

Plitvice Travel Blog

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The orangemobile, somewhere near the Bosnian border
We decided to head to the coast on Monday to avoid the weekend crowds since we were stopping at Plitvińćka Jezera National Park on the way.¬† We piled into the bright orange 1974 Renault 5 (The Orangemobile) and headed south into the countryside.¬† The roads are good, but the drivers are... I don't know, insane?¬† As we struggled up the steep mountain roads no curve was to steep or blind, no line was too double to try passing.¬†

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.
Grabovac crayfish village symbol! There's always a sign with the town name crossed out as you leave the town.
  Ethnic Serbian residents didn't return and many of these ancient stone houses and farms were too badly damaged to be functional again. People relocated to the cities.

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.
Houses destroyed during the war line the road in areas south of Zagreb. There are still some pretty big depopulated areas south of Karlovac.


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?
Mezmerized says:
This is a beautiful place, I must visit here on my next visit to Croatia. Great photos :-)
Posted on: Aug 16, 2009
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The orangemobile, somewhere near t…
The orangemobile, somewhere near …
Grabovac crayfish village symbol! …
Grabovac crayfish village symbol!…
Houses destroyed during the war li…
Houses destroyed during the war l…
Waters of Plitvińćka   
Its so c…
Waters of Plitvińćka It's so …
Blue waters of the lakes
Blue waters of the lakes
The true color of a lake.  Plitvic…
The true color of a lake. Plitvi…
This bridge crosses miles of wetla…
This bridge crosses miles of wetl…
The river steps down through a ser…
The river steps down through a se…
Turquoise pool at a cave mouth
Turquoise pool at a cave mouth
Less crowded paths in the forest
Less crowded paths in the forest
Caves in the limestone
Caves in the limestone
Fish seem as if theyre floating i…
Fish seem as if they're floating …
Under the lake (taken by dipping t…
Under the lake (taken by dipping …
Plitvice fish!
Plitvice fish!
Up the gorge
Up the gorge
Taking the above picture...
Taking the above picture...
Limestone cliffs over milky blue w…
Limestone cliffs over milky blue …
Blue summer skies reflected behind…
Blue summer skies reflected behin…
Cave
Cave
Waterfall at every corner... The l…
Waterfall at every corner... The …
So happy to be on vacation
So happy to be on vacation
A giant amongst the regular-sized …
A giant amongst the regular-sized…
Zvonka on a precarious cliff above…
Zvonka on a precarious cliff abov…
Feet
Feet
Zvonkas picture of the same area …
Zvonka's picture of the same area…
Plitvice
photo by: genetravelling