This week’s blog picks back up on Menno and my little road trip last May as we head to the Plitvice lakes in Croatia. If you missed the first two installments from the Dolomites and Slovenia just click on the links to catch up afterwards.
So after a wonderful morning hiking up to the lookout point at Lake Bled, we jumped in the car and headed for Croatia. We decided to take a cross country route instead of going via Zagreb as we weren’t really under any time constraints and the scenery is usually nicer on the smaller roads than the motorway.
We arrived in the village of Jezerce, just a couple of kilometers from the Plitvice Lakes around 3pm in the afternoon, so we checked in to our B&B, and since the sun was still shining, we changed in to our hiking gear and headed over to the national park.
Since we had 2 nights booked in the area, we made a strategic plan on how best to explore this very large national park, with the help of the owner of our B&B.
We’d head so many negative reviews that the park can get super busy with tourists, but as we arrived at 3pm, it seemed that the crowds were leaving as we arrived. So for day 1 (or what was left of it), we headed in to the park and to the area known as the “upper lakes”. We took the little boat across the large lake, and headed up the wooden walkways in to the park.
Our first impressions really were as wonderful as the national geographic images we’d seen of the area, and excitedly we started snapping away making pictures.
We were so engrossed in our beautiful surrondings, we didn’t see that dark storm clouds approaching. But with a massive clash of thunder, the heavens opened!
At first we found it quite amusing, and Menno walked ahead as I trundled along singing “if you like pina coladas, or getting caught in the rain”, but after about 30 minutes of turrential rain and massive hail stones, we realised that it wasn’t going to stop any time soon. Soaked through to the skin by this point, we power walked our way to the bus pick-up at the far end of the park.
Getting back to our B&B, we peeled off all of our wet clothing and hung it out to dry, hoping it would be ok for the next day.
The next morning we woke up early to clear blue skies, so we put on our slighlty damp hiking boots and headed back in to the park, this time to explore the lower lakes.
We were some of the first to arrive in the park, but after a couple of hours swarms of tourists filled the narrow walk ways, so we decided to head back to our B&B for a little lunch break and return again a bit later in the day.
We absolutely loved visiting these stunning lakes and would recommend it to anyone who was thinking of a trip to Croatia. If you only have limited time, I would personally just visit the upper lakes, but if you can, plan 2 days to explore the area. Just make sure you get there early, or go in to the park after around 3pm in the afternoon if you want to avoid the massive crowds.
Stop by again next week for the final installment from our road trip in Pula and Rovinj on the northern coast of Croatia.