After almost four weeks on the road we come to our last and final stop before rolling home again: the Plitvice Lakes National Park. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Croatia well known for it's series of lakes connected through cascades. During main season we really would not do this but now is a good time and the weather turns out again to be beautiful. The Plitvice Lakes National Park was also used in the 1960s for some of the Karl May movies. Especially Winnetou - Treasure of the Silver Lake was produced here.
As we take the route along the coast from Pag and then up through the mountains it takes us quite some time. The landscape is beautiful and very similar to Switzerland, Austria or Southern Germany. Very different from what we have seen so far in Croatia. In Plitzvice we choose the Camp Korana for the next couple of nights. This was recommended to us by various people. We are a bit skeptical about bit sites after this experience in Zaton. However, while this is also a big one, it turns out to be constructed in a way that everybody has enough space around. At least outside the main season. We are presently surprised and find a nice spot away from the crowds.
This is the map with the different lakes and routes.
The Big Waterfall. Unfortunately we can't get down as it is flooded.
We walk along a few smaller lakes.
They are all connected via cascades.
View of Kozak, the biggest of the lakes with the ferry.
The water is super clear today. You even see the fish underneath the duck.
At the other end more lakes cascades into Kozak.
With this light it looks like an enchanted forest.
We follow track 10 upstream.
Passing by many small and bigger waterfalls.
We have perfect light and really enjoy the walk.
No wonder they used this park for some of the Winnetou western movies.
12 - 12
Today we get up really early. We want to be in the park before the crowd. After a good breakfast we take our bikes and cycle the few kilometers to the next entrance. We arrive shortly after 9 am which is quite good for us. As we buy the tickets we are told that some parts can't be accessed because of flooding. Too bad as it includes the big waterfall. We can't get down to the bottom which for sure would have been a fantastic view. Never mind, there are other things to see. The weather today is fantastic with blue skies and no wind. Just perfect for hiking in the park.
The park has many different routes and we first start to follow track 1 along a small set of lakes connected with cascades up to Kozak, the biggest of the lakes. Here an electric ferry takes us across the lake to the other end and we get off at P2. From here a set of different paths lead us along a series of lakes in a beautiful setting. Here we follow track 10 upstream from Gradinkso all the way up to lake Orkuglja. The closer we get to the upper lakes the more people arrive. This is because there is a little train that you can take to get up to the last lake and then walk down again. Many tourists do this but as we are early it's still quite ok.
Lake Proscansko Jezero. Unfortunately we can't walk around it.
Still, a good spot to take a break.
We take track 11 back to the pier of the ferry.
They enjoy the warm and sunny day as well.
Sign that shows the different lakes cascading into each other.
In the afternoon there are more tourist coming.
Water flowing everywhere.
Back at the Big Waterfall but now with the sun. Very different view.
Our last evening camping on this trip. We really enjoyed every minute of it.
9 - 9
As we want to do some more hiking we ask if it is possible to walk around the lake Proscansko Jezero. In our guide book this is suggested with the remark that we should check in the park about the status of the tracks. We learn that one side has been closed down completely years ago but we can walk to the end on the eastern side which we do. A nice but unspectacular walk. We use one of the nice spots to get some rest and something to eat.
As we walk back we use track 11 to get down to the pier again. Initially we thought we could walk back along the lake Kozjak but track 8 is also partially flooded. So we take the boat back across the lake and the same track 1 back to the entrance. It amazes us how different the scenery looks this afternoon. In the morning the sun was shinning right onto the little lakes and the big waterfall. Now they are all covered in shade and don't have this amazing feeling anymore. Very interesting.
After walking around 20 km we cycle back to the camp site. Today we deserve a cold beer and a good dinner. This was a fantastic day. Unfortunately our last day. Tomorrow we will drive back home.
The lower part of Slunj with its waterfalls and mills.
River Slunjcica flows through the town.
The little museum that also serves food and drinks.
Streams of water everywhere.
Used in the old days to drive the mills.
One of the waterfalls into the Korana river.
This is how the old mills where driven.
A totem in the garden of the museum.
It was used in the movie Winnetou - Treasure of the Silver Lake.
An old mill as part of the museum.
Nicely decorated chairs in the museum.
11 - 11
The next morning we pack our stuff together for one last time and hit the road. As we start rolling Karin is still reading through our guide book and notices that along our way there is the little town of Slunj. The lower and old part of Slunj is famous for its little waterfalls and old but well preserved mills dating back to the 18th century. At Slunj the river Slunjcica flows through town joining the river Korana via a little waterfall. We walk through the little streats, across some of the bridges and visit the little museum that tells the story of this place. In the garden of the museum we come across a totem from a film scene from the Karl May western of Winnetou - Treasure of Silver Lake. As mentioned before many of the scenes have been filmed in the Plitvice Lake National Park. Here in Slunj the sets of the Indian village and the saloon have been captured. Today is quite hot again and in the middle of all these small waterfalls also very humid. Michael is sweating a lot and so we decide to go for lunch in one of the nice restaurants here before finally making our way back home.
These four weeks have been fantastic and we have seen many different places, did quite some hiking and biking and found enough time to relax and recover from the busy working life. We had no problems with our Bulli and really enjoy this type of traveling. Back to work now but this was certainly not the last of this type of trips.