On the American International School of Zagreb's fall break,
we boarded a Flixbus for an overnight trip tp Plitvicka jezera Lakes,
Croatia's oldest national park.
Despite temperatures in the mid-30's Fahrenheit (single digits
Celsius), wind, and rain enlargely enshrouding the lakes in a cold
mist, nothing could mar the spectacular scenery. Truly, there are
probably few places on eath that rival Plitvitce (the shortened
spelling) national park for natural beauty. Given the increasingly cold
and wet conditions, our tour was limited to the waterfalls and lakes of
the lower lakes region. We hope to return in the spring to see the park
in good weather, and to tour the upper lakes region as well.
boarded a bus at the Zagreb bus station at 8:00 in
the morning, riding through increasingly ominous weather for roughly 2
1/2 hours, being desposited at the bus stop just outside Entrance One
to the park. The photo to the left shows the bus stop. From there we
walked a short distance into the park and purchased our tickets for the
day. (Photo to the right) The fee was 360 Croatian Kuna (about 28 USD
or 25 Euros each. Next we walked down a long zig-zag trail leading to
the Veliki Slap, the grand waterfall near the park entrance.
Plitvitce Lakes are a descending series of lakes ending in the Koran
River. Each lake is lower than the previous one, and they resemble a
series of canal locks. The dams separating each lake is formed from
"tuff," a porous igneous rock. Water flows through the tiff, forming
small waterfalls, and the overflow water is handled by a roaring stream
that connects the lakes. The photo to the right shows one of the "tuff"
dams, while the photo to the right shows the overflow stream connecting
descent to the Veliki Slap began at the lookout shown in the photo to
the left--only the barest outline of some of the waterfalls were
visible in the mist. We followed the long path down, passing between
two of the lower lakes. Along the wooden walkway were scenes such as
the photo to the right, where the waters rush from the lakes above to
the Koran River below. The 360 panorama below (embedded from Google
Earth) offers a view of the
Veliki Slap during milder weather.
Panorama of Veliki Slap
due to weather
restrictions our tour was limited to
the lower lakes. By the time we reached the ferry dock for the journey
to the upper lakes, the weather began to look like the onset of a
disaster movie.To the right is a photo from Whisperer Wanderlust
which shows the ferry dock on a much nicer day. To the left is
photo of the ferry during our visit! We chose descretion and walked
back to the park
entrance. Below is a diagram of the entire lake system. The portion
that we covered on our walk from Veliki Slap is shown in the right hand
portion of the diagram.
of the Plitvice Lake System