Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Plitvice National Park

The land of waterfalls, hundreds of waterfalls, everywhere you look waterfalls. This park truly has breathtaking natural splendor in the form of pristine lakes with cascading waterfalls connecting them. The falls are nothing short of spectacular, along with the talents of the engineering department. The wide flung lakes and falls would be impossible to see if you just walked on natural paths around the lakes. A distant view of a handful of waterfalls would be all that you could see. However, snaking paths across lakes, around brush, through forests as well as up and down the cascading lakes allow you spectacular views.
We had no idea what we were getting into. We knew there were lakes and waterfalls but then…we had seen lakes and waterfalls before. We arrived at the hotel mid afternoon and decided to spend a few hours roaming in the park. We hiked down the hill – all stairs – to a boat dock where we were taken out to the center of the lake…and the waterfalls!! Stepping off the boat you were greeted with some small cascades surrounding the dock. As we walked along the ramp leading up the lakes, we saw water falling everywhere, sparkling lights dancing, fireflies flitting around, absolutely stunning beauty. I have a few photos posted here but I’m planning, eventually, on putting up an album of waterfall pictures, with one disclaimer…who knows which waterfall was where! I’ll just post them J )
As I said, they have created a maze of boardwalks that allow the visitors to have prime views of the  waterfalls, falls that undoubtedly change over the year as the water levels raise and lower by the seasons. We traveled up the north side of the middle lakes, Gradinski, Galovac and Okrugljak Jezero with a number of smaller lakes (jezero) in between. Every place where a lake joins, there are falls – and always more than one. I will admit, the majority of these falls are “small” by Yosemite and Niagra standards, however, they are unique, a grand collection.
The lakes are absolutely pristine with distinctive colors that can range from azure to green, other times greys and blues. The colors vary by the minerals and organisms that can be found in the water as well as the angle of the sunlight coming in. And clear – all of the lakes and streams are clear as glass, giving you a view of the fish and lake bottom. 

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