May 11, 2022
After setting up camp, we cooked our usual dinner: pasta with Bolognese sauce. Although this night we added some tasty sausages from our dinner in Lubljana. I also found a peach cider at the camp market for two dollars, and Diana enjoyed her usual mineral water (“with gas”). And I also found this bottle in the market:
I wish I had room in the panniers!
As we sat at the table, a neighbor walked by from his RV, wearing a “Michigan” t-shirt. I had to ask:
“Are you from Michigan?”
He hesitated, and it was immediately obvious that English wasn’t his first language. Finally, in a heavy German accent, he replied, “No. Are you?”
I never did find out the story behind the t-shirt, but we had a good conversation about his and our travels. he and his wife and dog were on vacation in their RV, headed for Albania before going north again.
In the morning, we boarded the bus at the campground entrance, and rode to Plitvička jezera, or Plitvice Lakes National Park. The park is a heavily protected area of 16 terraced lakes, connected by waterfalls, and eventually emptying into a limestone canyon. A hiking path connects the lakes, although at one point it is necessary to take a boat across one of the two larger lakes to continue. At the top, a bus returns you to the bottom where you hike the last half mile back to your starting point. The entire route consists of five miles of relatively easy hiking, broken up by the boat and bus trips. If you’re into water and waterfalls, the scenery is pretty spectacular. Rather than try to describe it, I’ll just let the photos do the talking, with a little commentary here and there.
Much of the five mile walk is along these plank walkways. Yes, the water is that clear.
Veliki Slap on the right, the highest waterfall in the park at around 260 feet.
Did I mention the water is very clear?
We’re not big selfie people, so here it is.
This duck swam up to the boardwalk at one point. I count ten baby ducks behind her.
The bear is the image of the National Park, and the area. We were told there are bears in the area. Nobody seemed too concerned about them though; there were no signs warning about bears in the park, and no warnings in our campground about bears or keeping food locked away.
In the end, the park is the walking trail between falls as far as visitors are concerned. There are no off-shoots, other sites (as if this wasn’t enough!), or other activities, save for the snack bars and gift shops. The brochure and map we were given about the park had a long list of things you couldn’t/shouldn’t do in the park, and while we hiked along, I couldn’t help but think about this. For some reason, my thoughts took the form of a Dr. Seuss book…
You can see falls
You can see lakes
You might see bears
Or ducks, or snakes
You cannot swim
You cannot touch
You cannot camp
You can’t do much
Stay on the path
Do not get lost
Don’t feed the bears
At any cost
Don’t miss the bus
It’s a long walk
But most of all
Don’t miss this park!