After leaving Zagreb, we made our way to Plitvice Lakes National Park. The park is in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a surface area of 294.82 km, this National Park is the largest of Croatia's eight national parks. Plitvice was proclaimed a National park in 1949 which also makes it the country's oldest National Park. The park was included in the UNESCO list of World Natural Heritage sites in 1979. Plitvice Lakes represents a phenomenon of Karst hydrography and is famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently 16 lakes can be seen from the surface and I'm pretty sure we saw all of them during our hike as we spent all day walking on the trails.
Starting on the trail, this was the first view we came to. The lakes are all interconnected and follow the water trail.
The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colours, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colours are constantly changing depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.
Given that it was a beautiful day, the park was very busy although I suspect nothing compared to the summer months. This photograph shows the Lower Plitvice Lakes.
The phenomenon of Karst hydrography creates the feeling that the Plitvice Lakes are never the same from one day to the next. For those of you who want a further explanation, I will give the explanation from the brochure: Travertine is a porous carbonate rock formed by the sedimentation of calcium carbonate from the water. It builds barriers,sills and other forms in karst rivers and streams. The travertine formation process is especially prominent in the Pitvice Lakes waterfalls and is constant, happening even while visitors are walking through the park. With this travertine development, numerous waterfalls are created. Over time, the water changes its course, leaving some barriers dry but stimulating the travertine (or tufa) growth in other places.
One of the many hiking trails that we walked on.
Roman taking a photo of one of the many waterfalls we came across. There were a lot of students in the park learning all about the geography of the area.
The lake area is heavily forested, mainly with Beech, Spruce and Fir trees. Because of poor industrial development of the area and early introduced protection policies, a nearly untouched landscape has been preserved.
The Plitvice lakes do not represent separated, stationary waters. The lakes have always been seen as one composed system of lakes. Notice the beautiful turquoise color of the water.
You can see just how clear and clean the water was in this park-this is what I found throughout Croatia.
Eventually we took a boat across the lake to another part of the park.
The waterfalls and mist are showing through in the background. The further we walked, the less tourists we came across on these wooden paths.
Waterfall at the upper lakes.
In this park, alll species of flora and fauna continue to exist as if man had not arrived.
A closer up shot of one of the falls we walked by.
I decided to bring my tripod on the hike so I was determined to use it. I finally found a spot out of the way where I could photograph the falls using the tripod without being in anyone's way. Somehow while I was removing the camera from the tripod, the tripod fell in the water but fortunately, Roman was able to retrieve it for me.
After leaving the park we headed towards Primosten where we would be spending a couple of nights. It was a beautiful drive along the coast.
We ate dinner at a local restaurant with a view of the water. Meet the boss of the restaurant!