Today is going to be pretty relaxed. No riding, just some chilling and a walk around the Plitvice lakes.
The alarm clock wakes us early enough to have a nice breakfast and some coffee before getting on the bus that takes tourists from the camp site to the Entrance of the NP. It’s a free service. The bus leaves at 9AM and picks you back up at 5PM. Perfect!
Upon arriving at the NP entrance we are greeted with a short but brisk rain shower. Together with some other tourists we seek shelter in the cabin at the bus stop. The rain seems to pass and between the last few drops we make for the ticket office. For such a big “tourist trap” the price is not too extreme: 110KN, about 15EUR pp. There are a couple of options, depending on how far you like to walk. We opt for the medium length tour that includes a ferry crossing and a bus ride back to the entrance.
Weather isn’t great so the big crowds have stayed away today. The first part of the walk we keep it dry and are able to enjoy the hundreds of water falls coming from the mountains and between the different lakes.
Supposedly, at peak season 20000 tourists a day pass over the footpaths and many wooden bridges over the lakes. But today it’s agreeably calm.
The lakes are naturally formed reservoirs that continuously grown and shrink and change with the deposits from the calcium-rich water.
On our walk we pass a guided tour group where the guide is just explaining why the waters are so clear and blue. Apparently the trees and plants that grow so densely on the shores of the lakes firmly keep the soil locked between their roots, preventing sand and dirt from flowing into the lake.
Traffic on the foot paths is one way and in many places the path takes you over wooden constructions as there’s no alternative on the shore.
And the views are more than spectacular.
Around 11 we’ve finished the first part of the walk. Not a second too soon as it starts poring down again. We decide to wait it out with a hot chocolate and then hop on the ferry across and of the larger lakes.
But when we get off the boat the downpoor hits us again in full force. As there’s nowhere to take shelter we decide to just walk on. Drenched and cold the pace is picked up dramatically from before and we don’t stop often (enough) to enjoy the surroundings. But then again, after a few 100 the waterfalls all start to look alike a bit.
Wet to our underwear we arrive at the next restaurant. After a cheeseburger and a big cappuccino we feel reinvigorated. But we decide to call it a day and hop on the bus that will take us back to the NP entrance.
On our way out we pass the spot were the “signature pics” from the magazines are usually taken. Judging by the number of colourful rain coats and umbrellas down there traffic has picked up since this morning and there are some jams to be expected.
Our free bus back to the camp site leaves at 5, but we don’t really feel like hanging around for another 2 hours so we try our luck at the bus stop. The first taxi bus that stops only wants to take long distance passengers to Zagreb so we strike out. But the next bus agrees to drop us off at the camp site entrance.
By the time we get there the sun is piercing through the clouds again and we can hang up our clothes to dry while we hit the showers.
We end the day with a delicious beef stroganoff and a litre bottle of Croatian wine and some Slivovitz in the restaurant. I feel we deserved that after today.