Let me paint a quick picture for you. We caught a bus from Rovinj to Karlovac...I know this means nothing to you but it was about a three hour trek.....have I mentioned my motion sickness on buses? Once in Karlovac we changed buses at the jankiest bus station I have ever been in. We could not get out fast enough. Up until this point our buses/drivers/bus stations have been very tolerable and it was only down hill from here. Ok, a few more hours in the back of a hot bus and we were dropped off at the entrance of this massive national park. The equivalent would be getting dropped off at Yellowstone on the side of a two lane highway. At this point we haven't really eaten anything substantial, we are hot, and I am green from sitting in the back of a bus!
Ok, so we buy our ticket to the park and roll on through the main gate to check out the map of this place. It's peek tourist time and the place is crawling with day hikers. Looking, looking, really just want to get to the hotel and cool off, looking, looking, we are at entrance one.....looking, looking, hotel at entrance two...huh?
Our hotel was at Entrance 2. Surely there is a shuttle right?!?!? I went to ask a park guide and he told me if we walked about 15 minutes we would hit the shuttle station and that would take us to Entrance 2. 15 minutes? We can do that! We are in fantastic shape! We have rolled our suitcases all over Eastern Europe we can walk a measly 15 minutes.
So what the guide didn't tell us was that the walk was actually on the park trail! Up hill! With our luggage! Mr. R refused to roll his suitcase and carried it but I couldn't carry mine that far. I rolled my suitcase up a dirt and rock path while international tourists looked at us confused. And a big BS! to the park guide. It took us about thirty minutes just to reach the station where we crammed onto a crowded tram....still with the luggage....where we were dropped off about another half mile from our hotel. At this point we are soaked in our own sweat, and a little from the people next to us on the tram, and we are exhausted.
Our hotel was retro and it was not intentional. No AC! Pretty sure all of the carpet, curtains, and linens were the originals from 1971. This would be a perfect hotel to film a period piece. All the way down to the staff uniforms. Thank goodness there was a TV though. Doesn't that all sound horrible? It really gets so much better but I wanted every to visualize us rolling our suitcases through a nature trail.
Once we got checked in we realized it was too hot, and we were too exhausted, to get any big hiking in so we settled for lunch and a nap. We decided the best way to tackle this park was to start early before it got too hot and too crowded. From all of our excursions I took the most pictures here in Plitvice. It was so unbelievably beautiful. The water was so clear. Blues seemed bluer, greens greener! Just amazing!
Plitvice is a series of 16 terrace lakes that is literally plunked down in the middle of a forest. There are trails that run around, above, over and even under all of these amazing lakes and waterfalls.
We started at the upper lakes and worked our way down. The upper lakes were so serene. In this giant space there were moments when it was just us. Very cool!
|Still feeling strong!|
|Looking way down at the trails.|
|View from our room.|
Ok, and I know no one really cares what we ate for every meal but I had to share this monster dinner we shared after our hike. We made a pretty big dent in it too.
|Dinner for two!|
Plitvice is a place that is not hard to say goodbye to. Mr.R was ready for some civilization and a grocery store and I was finally ready to get back onto a bus and head to the coast.
|Saying goodbye to Plitvice.|