Friday, September 3, 2010

Plitvička Jezera

That´s the Croatian name for Plitvice Lakes, a beautiful national park that was the first stop on our trip to Croatia. It is a chain of lakes and travertine waterfalls through a lovely limestone canyon. We hiked a loop around most of the lakes in the park, for about 9-10 miles of hiking. A good deal of that was on boardwalks over small pools and waterfalls. The boardwalks were just wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side comfortably. With the crowds of tourists, most of the time you couldn´t walk at your own pace, unless your pace is that of an elderly Japanese tourist. Oh well... it was a nice day and a gorgeous place, a good start for a vacation.

The drive down from Zagreb was uneventful, there are big signs at every turn pointing the way to Plitvička Jezera, and it is on the main road south from Karlovac. Finding our way through the outskirts of Karlovac was the hardest part, and that wasn´t bad.

After hiking a lap around the park, we still had part of the afternoon left, so we made a dash for the Dalmatian coast and the Adriatic Sea for the evening. An hour and a half later, we were in Senj. The hairpin turns on the road down to the town were very interesting. Then we headed south along the coast to Karlobag; I didn´t get to sightsee much because the road -- narrow, twisty, turny -- was getting pretty much all of my attention. After dinner in Karlobag we headed up another huge series of switchbacks to gain a few thousand feet and get back to the inn after dark.

After two nights here, we headed back to Zagreb to catch a flight down to Dubrovnik. My mothers cousin Branko is arriving in Zagreb just a couple hours before our flight, so we get to see him and his wife at the airport. We will meet up with him later in the trip for a tour of the old village where my maternal grandfather is from.

Photos from Plitvice Lakes (Picasa album)

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