Thursday, January 11, 2007
lake bled, plitvice
Lake Bled reminded me a bit of Lake Maggiore in Italy. Beautiful scenery, grandiose old hotels by the shore, and small villages around the lake. The lake is indeed beautiful, even in the winter.
Our next stop was the Plitvice Natural Park (Plitvicka Jezera) in Croatia, so we drove off in mid morning in order to get there by lunchtime. A few remarks about the road scenery: Slovenia is indeed a very beautiful country, I wish we could've visited a few more places, so we'll definitely go back another time.
Before reaching the Croatian border, we stopped by a lovely small castle called Otocec (Grad Otocec), where A. was subjected to some means of torture ;)
The road from Zagreb to Plitvice (off the motorway) which crosses the countryside gives a glimpse of post war Croatia. Most houses still looked destroyed and abandoned, a huge contrast to what we would see later in the cities.
We arrived in Plitvice with the rain, and immediately set off to find some lunch (at the hotel Jezero where we stayed, since all the surrounding restaurants were closed for the season) and to visit the first part of the Park from gate 1. There are 4 entrance gates to the park, gate 1 giving access to the lowest part and gate 2 to the beginning of the upper area. You have the possibility to walk around the whole park (there are buses and also a small ferry to help you around), but it would definitely take a full day or more, so we decided to split our visit. The afternoon was cloudy and rainy, not the best conditions to visit the park, but even so I was so amazed by what I saw that I consider it to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.
From gate 1 you can visit the great waterfall, the tallest one in Croatia (Veliki Slap), and the lower lakes.There are 16 lakes in total, all interconnected by a series of waterfalls, and their color is this amazing turquoise mixture of blue and green. Due to the changing formation of the travertine, the waterfalls are also in constant change. It took us around 3 hours to visit the lower lakes, and it was so peaceful and quiet that we stayed there until closing time