Monday, September 30, 2013

Plitvice Lakes National Park

A few years ago I read about Plitvice Lakes National Park and saw a Rick Steves' travel show about it. I was surprised that I had never heard of it, but decided if I was ever in Croatia I would visit the park. 

When traveling with teenagers you don't get the earliest start, which is unfortunate because the park was a four hour drive from the Hotel Vista. Still we were determined to give it a go. Two of the hotel staff members had recently visited the park and told us it was definitely worth the effort for its extraordinary beauty. They recommended we take a direct route to get there and return by the more scenic route along the rocky, Croatian coast. 

After our little jaunt into Slovenia that had us lost on our way to Croatia, Addison made sure to check all our driving directions on his computer before we went any where. We were almost flawless getting to and from the park except for the last two kilometers. We seemed to lose our bearings right at the end, so I asked a father and daughter for directions. The daughter told us we were very close  She said to cross a nearby wooden bridge and the park was just beyond on the other side. Don't be scared she added. Very slowly I drove our rental car across the rickety structure and prayed we would not end up in the water below. Thankfully, the bridge held and a few minutes later we were purchasing tickets to tour the park. 

Plitvice Lakes National Park is full of waterfalls and pristine lakes with miles of trails winding through lush forests. The views are stunning. We spent five hours hiking from one end of the park to the other with a boat ride in between. We were hot, tired, and hungry when we finished, but we had seen some of the most spectacular scenery we have ever experienced. 

I have included Rick Steves' video of the park at the end. His words are much better than mine at describing the park. I did not make a video of our experience, but I did take lots and lots of photos. These are some of my favorite.

Rick Steves' Plitvice Lakes National Park video.

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