Continuing our trip through Croatia and it was time to drag ourselves away from the ever inviting sea and head inland to the UNESCO listed Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice, which is the largest national park in Croatia, is one the primary tourist attractions of the country and is world-famous for its series of connected lakes and cascade waterfalls.
Our hitchhike out of Krk was suitably laborious for a tourist seaside town. For some reason we always seem to have problems in these spots, which we believe is because package tour holiday-makers are bastards. Eventually a woman with some slightly peculiar views on Chinese immigrants (for the record I didn’t see a single Chinese person in the whole country) took us of the island to a main road. From there a hippy Swiss couple took us a bit further on, to what we thought was the main road to Plitvice. And from there we waited and waited and waited, changing position two or three times but still without any success. It took a young Ukrainian man who was constantly worrying about his car to take us on to the next junction on the motorway and from there a lovely Italian couple who drove us directly to the campsite.
Seeing as it was our 6 year anniversary we decided to splash the cash a little and pay the extra money for a cabin and after a good feeding of fresh fish and a good night’s sleep we were ready to hit the park.
The first thing that must be said is that the waterfalls and lakes are just beautiful. The cascading waterfalls are one of nature’s finest sights. The 16 lakes, which can be divided into the 12 Upper lakes and 4 Lower lakes, are all interconnected and complimented by countless waterfalls and an array of fish and other fauna that are simply stunning.
However, the place is packed full of tourists which kind of takes away from the wonder of the place. It is really hard to appreciate the wondrous beauty of it all if you are constantly ducking and diving to avoid being in other people’s photos. It would be nice to be relaxed by the gently running of the water but all you can hear is the cacophony of noise produced by tour groups being directed, parents desperately trying to entertain their extremely bored children and the shuffle of feet across the wooden decking. The one and a half hour wait in the baking heat in the middle to take the boat from the upper to the lower lakes was also a bit of wretch.
But still, one mustn’t grumble and I suppose that everyone was there for the same reason as me. It’s just a shame we all had to come at the same time.
written by: Jon
Follow our 2 month hitch-hiking trip across the north of Italy and the Balkan Peninsula:‘The Balkan Peninsula by Thumb 2013′. It’s happening now!
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