With the clouds clearing, a picnic packed and the bus dropping us off in a forest we were all looking forward to a day at the lakes. Woolly says – Hmmm lakes equal water, not good with my allergy! I do however like looking at lakes and love the Lake District in Britain with it’s miles of walks and peace and quiet, the two thousand tourists queuing at the ticket desk suggested that this set of lakes might be a bit different! Leaving Zoe and myself to pay (something you don’t do in the Lake District) the small furry one disappeared from sight through the hoards that were surrounding us. Woolly says – well why wait in a queue I have servants to do that! Having battled my way through the masses I sat and waited at the first photographic point, I couldn’t wait to see the girls faces and it was worth it as neither seemed able to utter a word! Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Register
in 1979. Founded in 1949 the protected area extends over 296 square kilometres (73,350 acres) and is best known for its 18 lakes. Considering the first view we were in for a treat. Looking down towards what is known as the Big Waterfall the water in the lakes below us looked aquamarine, it was stunning. Woolly says – I started the descent jumping down each step as I went, as I reached the first watery vista I stopped to watch the fish swimming beneath my paws before trotting over the small wooden bridge..... without bumping into the troll or the three billy goats, I did however bump into quite a few people. Undeterred I followed the pathway round to the bottom of the falls and sat admiring the power coming from them.....well until I felt the spray at which point I moved rather quickly. His face was a picture as the water dropped onto his fur and as he scuttled away we waited to take some pictures. Woolly says – It’s not funny, it might make me clean! Having taken our fill we followed the boardwalk round the
first of the lakes, small waterfalls seemed to spring from everywhere and the sound of water whooshing along would have been melodic if it weren’t for the very large and very loud group of Japanese. Jo and I appeared to have lost Zoe and given the numbers and the fact that she was carrying the picnic I sat down to wait, as Jo perched on the narrow path trying to allow the steady stream of human traffic to pass in both directions. Having just glimpsed the daughter I turned to let Jo know that she wasn’t far back....well only a hundred people or so as I saw Jo nearly pushed into the fish filled lake, as she struggled to stay upright and on dry land she grabbed onto a passing women as the man who had shoved her shouted at her about standing still, well I wasn’t going to let that go and having tusked his ankles I asked if he would prefer us to lose our picnic just because he couldn’t move a few inches to the right, having glared at me he moved on and as Jo apologised to the lady who had become her saviour I was
glad to see Zoe had re-joined us. Feeling a bit shaken but at least dry we followed the sheep like crowds past beautiful pools, falls and trees, anyone stopping to try and take a picture was nearly trampled underfoot. Woolly says – it was getting dangerous and as Jo held onto me I felt sad that I had all this beauty around me but I wasn’t able to enjoy or appreciate it. Zoe looked uncomfortable, hot and bothered, Jo was trying not to get trampled as she snapped pictures as and when she could and I feared for the safety of myself and the food! It seemed like a good time to stop and have something to eat...easier said than done. On we trekked, of mile after mile being pushed and shoved, spying a bench up ahead I bolted towards it and the three of us sat as people continued passing but now stepping on the our toes and paws and only inches from my trunk, knowing that we didn’t want to eat as peoples faces leered at us we moved on again, finding ourselves at a three way junction with a bench that
was tucked away from the crowds we sank down in relief. Our lunch helped to revive us but the crowds seem to increase, it wasn’t quite what we had planned for a quiet day! Woolly says – having considered the information board we struck off towards what appeared to be the lesser trodden track, wonderful only an odd passing human to dodge. I became fascinated at the clarity of the water with trees under the surface and fish seemingly everywhere, dragon flies as big as my head staged battles in front of my tusks as we enjoyed the stroll along the lapping lakeside. The lakes pier arrived all to soon and having rested and snacked we braced ourselves in the mission to get from pier one to pier two a mere two minute journey across the glassy water. Two minutes and a hundred people was a tight squeeze and as we attempted to get onto pier two eager punters were walking through us as we tried to get off so they could get on, I sighed in separation at the queue for pier three. Nothing for it but to wait in
the heaving crowds, I wondered if rush hour New York could possibly be this busy! Woolly says – as we finally piled onto the lake boat, I tried to repress my laughter at the name of the boat, ‘Slag’, Jo gave me one of her teacher looks and pointed me towards the view instead. Climbing onto the third pier we shuffled through the people catching a glimpse of a lovely family of baby ducklings before heading back into the forest walk, this time at least we seemed to be the only ones going in our direction and as we climbed higher the views across the lakes became ever more spectacular. Rounding the corner we stood for a while admiring the splendour before us, such an amazing place but such a shame that we had to share it with so many others!
We haven't labelled the pictures....well it's fairly obvious what things are, rather proud of them though given every photo I take is on my old phone camera!
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