Across the border & Plitvice Lakes

Published: July 7th 2019
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Over the border to lakes and mountains

Lake ProšćanskoLake ProšćanskoLake Prošćansko

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Vicky left for her flight home whilst we were still dozing on Monday morning, once up we cleared up the apartment & left to get the bus across the border to Zagreb in Croatia. It was only a 20min walk but my suitcase it not designed for being dragged along streets so my shoulders & back were very glad when we got to the bus stop! The bus was 15min late but plenty of space so we took over two rows so we both got a window seat. It was a rather boring drive with the highlights being a deer Chavaunne spotted & several hooded crows. It felt a bit like the hokey cokey at the border crossing getting in & out of the bus both to leave Slovenia & to enter Croatia, but they let us in & before much longer the bus dropped us in Zagreb. We decided to be lazy & got a taxi over to the hire car place where we picked up our car - amusingly substantially bigger than the one we had in Slovenia even though we'd asked for a smaller one! Both our cases fitted nicely in the boot with space left over for

Plitvice Lakes National Park
shopping. I got the short straw & drove us out of Zagreb to Karlovac where we stopped to buy our food for the rest of the holiday - we managed to guess most of the veggies right but got one of them wrong making the lady on the till go back to get the correct label, oops! As the supermarket didn't do sandwiches we headed around the corner to Orca pizzeria & had a good sized lunch there.
Chavaunne then drove us down to Gabovac whilst I tried not to doze off! It didn't take us long to find our apartment & check in - it felt huge after the small places we'd stayed in for most of Slovenia! We had our supper (tortellini) on the covered decking (the family lived upstairs) & we were glad of the cover as the heavens opened! After supper the rain stopped so we went for a short walk up the road to see if there was anything interesting nearby but it didn't seem like there was & as the rain was starting again we headed back to the apartment & ended up watching TV & trying to learn some Croatian from the subtitles
Lake Kaluđerovac... I think?Lake Kaluđerovac... I think?Lake Kaluđerovac... I think?

Plitvice Lakes National Park
of NCIS!

The next morning it was still looking grey & drizzly with lots of low cloud, but being British we're used to that so we packed up the car & set off down the road to Plitvice Lakes National Park. We decided to get the panoramic train to the end of the Upper Lakes then walk back down to the Great Waterfall combining bits of several of the waymarked trails. The "panoramic train" was a huge disappointment being neither a train (it was a bus) nor having a good view of the lakes, although I'll grant that it did have lovely big windows so you'd see the view if there was one.....

Getting off the "train" we were with loads of other people for the first stretch which was rather frustrating, but we turned aside to go up a short stretch of K trail. This was a smaller path that gave us some good views looking down on the Upper Lakes, the low cloud made it wonderfully atmospheric! We came down & rejoined the main trail on the west side of the Upper Lakes which was thankfully quieter. The boardwalks took us around and over lots of beautiful little waterfalls
Another Lower Lakes waterfallAnother Lower Lakes waterfallAnother Lower Lakes waterfall

Plitvice Lakes National Park
between the lakes. We then found the small trail that lead along the west edge of Lake Kozjak - this is a much smaller, muddier & much less well used route. In one place the path was flooded out for a stretch so we had to wade along it! There were also more rustic boardwalks of three planks lengthwise, with about a planks gap between them - I loved these!

When we reached the end of the lake & the P3 ferry stop suddenly we were amongst the crowds again. But having come this far we bought ice-creams then stoically went the flow of people through the Lower Lakes to the Great Waterfall - Veliki Slap. The lakes & waterfalls were again beautiful, but we both agreed we'd seen better waterfalls than Veliki Slap - although we may be biased by the push & shove of all the tour groups there! As it was now very hot & sunny we opted to get the boat back across Lake Kozjak before returning to our car & heading west towards our next apartment in Krasno Polje.

Annoyingly our plan to go through the hills was foiled by a road closure
Rakija & cakes!Rakija & cakes!Rakija & cakes!

At Krasno Polje apartment
so we had to detour a fair way to get back on route. Annoyingly we also saw in passing that the main road to Kuterevo was closed which was where we were planning to head back to this evening to see the bears (time permitting). The road became increasingly more interesting as we got into the foothills of the Velebit mountain range though. We checked into our house (we did get a whole detached house to ourselves!) - my favourite of the holiday (although the cottage on Velika Planina had the best location!) - & not only because our lovely host left some Rakija* & cakes for us! (*the local fruit brandy). Due to the road closure we wouldn't have much time at the bear refuge tonight so we decided to go first thing in the morning instead. We finished of the tortellini for supper & opted for more Croatian lessons courtesy of NCIS! We learnt mrtav (dead), bu (boo!), probni (probie), bravo (good job - although not convinced this is actually Croatian!), zalim (sorry), volim (love) as in te volim (I love you) & that's on top of molim (please) & hvala (please) which we'd already looked up!

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Upper Lakes in the mistUpper Lakes in the mist
Upper Lakes in the mist

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Waterfalls into Lake OkrugljakWaterfalls into Lake Okrugljak
Waterfalls into Lake Okrugljak

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Waterfall between lakesWaterfall between lakes
Waterfall between lakes

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Upper LakesUpper Lakes
Upper Lakes

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Mali PrštavacMali Prštavac
Mali Prštavac

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Another waterfallAnother waterfall
Another waterfall

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Fun boardwalk by Lake KozjakFun boardwalk by Lake Kozjak
Fun boardwalk by Lake Kozjak

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Lake MilanovacLake Milanovac
Lake Milanovac

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Velika SlapVelika Slap
Velika Slap

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Waterfall into Lake GavanovacWaterfall into Lake Gavanovac
Waterfall into Lake Gavanovac

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Waterfall near Lake GavanovacWaterfall near Lake Gavanovac
Waterfall near Lake Gavanovac

Plitvice Lakes National Park

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