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On the third day in Croatia, we found a great way to beat the heat. First we drove for 2 hours (aaaah, air-conditioning!) through twisty, windy, wiggly mountain roads until we reached Plitvice Lakes National Park. John and Simone had been there years before and raved about it, and they told us it was easy hiking, gorgeous scenery and above all COOL temps under all the trees. Sounded perfect, and so it proved. The only drawback was that everyone in Croatia had the same idea to escape the heat...the paths were literally lined with tourists and hikers. Still, you didn't notice them so much...there were other things to draw the eye.

Plitvice is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest in Croatia. It's been on the UNESCO World Heritage register since 1979 and gets more than a million visitors annually. The paths, both stone paved and wooden slat were extremely well-maintained. There were restaurants at either end of the trails and toilets. You could choose several trails of various lengths. We choose the shortest (with consideration for the littles), which was still a full day of walking, which included a boat trip across one of the longer lakes and a bus ride from the end that took us nearly all the way back to the entrance.

Sammy and Jake walked the entire way/day. Jacob didn't want to ride in his mom's backpack at all. He motored through the park; they were both hiking champions. :) It was a fantastic place! I found out after we got home that an acquaintance of mine from Sweden, another American married to a Swede, was there the SAME day sightseeing with her family. We didn't run into each other, sadly, but how funny would that have been??

Sadly, you are not allowed to swim, or even dip your feet in, though I did see one man fill his hat with water and pour it over his head. And yes, the water really IS that color.

Photo credits: Copyright 2015 Anders Ek, Elizabeth Slaughter-Ek

More great photos of Croatia & Plitvice that Martin took
mood: happy
music: Dire Straits—Water of Love


That blue is AMAZING. What makes it that color?

According to Wikipedia: The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity and kind of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.


What a beautiful spot - can't believe the 2 littles could do all that walking/hiking - but then, Simone keeps them fit! Yea- for more photos! Love, Lizardmom

They never complained at all, that I heard. Simone had Jacob in the backpack for maybe 15 minutes, if that. She got a bit tired of going at his pace, but they were real troopers! Much more than me, haha!

making a mental note of that place. seems definitely worth visiting!

Well worth a visit, for sure. It was gorgeous, and we only saw a fraction of it.

Gorgeous place. Serious bummer that you're not allowed to soak tired feet, but I suppose they're trying to maintain the pristine quality of the water...which from the looks of things is well worth maintaining. Lovely shots.

Someone has since informed me that SOMEWHERE you have the possibility to swim, but we saw no sign of it. Granted, there are 16 lakes (or more) and we only saw a fraction of the park, but it was pretty heavily trafficked and I saw nothing to indicate there was swimming anywhere.

From Megsie

What a beautiful park! That water is enticingly beautiful. I don't know if I could go there because I would totally want to jump in! Better to see it in pictures so there is no danger.

Re: From Megsie

And worse when it's so hot out, which is was. Torture to walk along and not even be able to sit down and stick your feet in! Too many people watching :D

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