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.

We 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.




The 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 respective lakes.




Our 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.


360 Panorama of Veliki Slap



Again, 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.




Diagram of the Plitvice Lake System











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