The drive up to Plitvice is ~2.5 hours. I was cruising up the freeway doing 140 (km/hr), and the weather was perfect! I was thinking how easy the trip was going and how happy I was to be on the road again.
Until, the freeway suddenly...just...CLOSED.
Apparently, there were severely high winds and it's not safe to drive on E65 in these conditions. The problem was, my SIM Card was broken and I had no way of looking up directions. I DID have an old-school GPS, but it kept re-routing me onto the freeway.
I drove up to the tollbooth and asked for directions. She rattled off a series of directions in her limited Croatian-English and I barely caught anything except: “You must take the OLD road”.
But how is one to know where the old road is…?
Drove around, back and forth in the middle of the Croatian countryside. And I realized:
1. There are far worse places to get lost than Croatia! I was near some gorgeous lakes, with red and orange trees and big mountains in the background. Croatia is beautiful! I decided to stop and take some pics.
2. It is well past my pizza time. Croatia is near Italy and they are proud of their pizza. I must stop and fill the tank.
Stopping for pizza was helpful, as they tried pointing me in the right direction. But, I still got lost again. Finally stopped at a tollbooth for a second time and asked them to type directions into my phone.
I finally found the old road. Arrived at my AirBnB around 8pm. The trip was supposed to take ~2.5 hours. Instead it took ~7 hours. Oh well, I made it!
Plitvice Lakes National Park is pretty big. It is a series of 16 lakes that are connected by a wooden hiking trail and a series of waterfalls. It’s not the type of thing where you hike for a while to get to the ONE waterfall. There are several different hiking trails with MANY small waterfalls and lakes. I chose the H route, which takes ~4-6 hours to get through. This is the start of the H route---as you can see the lakes are crystal clear!
BTW, Plitvice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can see why it is protected---it's wondrous.
And, it was a beautiful fall day for a hike.
Unfortunately, I think going in the afternoon was a mistake. It seemed like every awesome waterfall had the sun right behind it, which killed my photography game.
Maybe it would have been better to go in the am? But I had worked until 5am the night before and then woke up around 10ish. (This job is getting in the way of my sightseeing) :] That being said, here are the best of the shots I took:
Plitvice Lakes are gorgeous. It was a breath of fresh air to be in the woods during foliage season, especially after all the urban living the past 8 months. Plitvice is no Iguazu Falls, (the best waterfalls I've ever seen) but it is a beautiful experience!
Next up, in Pt 2 --- Krka National Park! Stay tuned...