We’d heard rumours of crystal clear waters, waterfalls and lush landscapes in the middle of nowhere.
We wanted to test the rumours and find the Plitvice National Lakes to see if they truly were as spectacular as we had heard.
Our journey pulled us through the mountains and meadows, three hours away from the civilisation of Zadar. This country is made for civilised driving, every half an hour or so, there are laybys with the cleanest portaloos in that I’ve ever seen. When the views from the layby are like this, there really is no excuse not to stop!
When we reached the lakes and parked the car in the ‘official car park’ where there were bear signs tied to the trees. I didn’t know there were bears here. For the whole walk, I was dying to see a bear and at every rustle of the bushes I would whip my head around to see if I could spot one. To no avail.
We walked the short trek to the little ferry port, buying our tickets on the way in.
We boarded our boat peering over the edge at the green waters beneath us. Fish swarmed around the boat waiting for a tourist to drop in a tasty snack. They followed the boat as though carrying it on a pillow of them until we reached the other side. The crowds dispersed as everyone disappeared on their different routes around the park.
The Gentleman was feeling horrendous, so we stopped for a bit of a rest before our epic journey.
I wouldn’t have minded if we’d got lost in the park, just the two of us. We could have lived here quite happily, swimming in the lagoons and making friends with the animals. Speaking of which, they were rather charming;
This fella pointed us in the direction of a path that no one else was on for a good 10-20 minutes. We found a lovely bench looking overlooking one of the lakes and stopped for our mid-morning snack.
This young one asked if he could try some, he decided he didn’t like it, and soon wandered off when a group of tourists came past, snapping each and every leaf in sight.
Each turn of the path lead to an even more beautiful sight than the previous. As if this country couldn’t get anymore beautiful, we literally had stumbled into heaven on earth.
The temptation to strip off and jump into the clear, cool waters was immense. We hadn’t seen any signs stating that we couldn’t swim, but no one was and we didn’t want to get into trouble. Our rebellious sides obviously weren’t strong that day! Reading up after, I discovered that you’re actually not supposed to swim in the waters, so it’s perhaps a good job that we didn’t!
We had realised that we’d been walking for a good few hours and stopped on the way back to the car, for refreshments before continuing back to Zadar for the night.
The drive back to Zadar was just as beautiful, but we were so exhausted that we stayed in and cooked to prepare for a big drive down to Dubrovnik in the morning.