Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Plitvice Lakes - a (possibly) turquoise gem of Europe

On my recent trip to Croatia, I managed to head to Plitvice Lakes National Park for a few hours. I got a coach from Split to Plitvice which took about 4.5 - 5 hours. Plitvice Lakes has been on my bucket list for a while now, ever since seeing a picture like the one below whilst scrolling through Pinterest's endless amazing travel images.The beautiful turquiose water and the lakes flowing down one to the next looked like Paradise. I wasn't quite sure however, whether Photoshop had a part to play in these amazing images.

This image can be found here
After walking from my hotel I bought an entrance ticket and jumped on the free shuttle bus up to the upper lakes. It had been raining heavily in the morning and the weather forecast threatened a storm, but amazingly the sun came out just for the few hours I was there.
The upper lakes are a series of lakes and waterfalls that flow downwards, and it is an easy 1-2 hours journey back down to the start via boardwalks and dirt track. Thank goodness the rain had stopped and most of the track had dried otherwise it just would not have been possible to see anything.

The lakes and waterfalls were absolutely beautiful, although none of them matched the brilliant turquoise which I had seen so much. After walking back down to the bottom I got on the boat shuttle across the lake which drops you at a picnic spot. The boat ride was packed, but still managed to be serene, cutting through the still water with waterfalls splashing down into the edge of the lake.

By this time, it was too late to go to the "Big" waterfall which also happens to be where the first (and most popular) image was taken. So unfortunately, I can't really confirm nor deny whether those lakes are genuinely turquoise. The parts that I saw were lovely, despite the water colour being, well, the colour you would expect from a normal clean body of water. I'll just have to go back and check for myself whether the other lakes really are turquoise!

Despite not seeing the part that I desperately wanted to see, I have no regrets about visiting even just the part I saw. The park truly is beautiful and I would recommend a visit if you are travelling around that end of Croatia. Just make sure you try to go on a sunny day!

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