I love cities, but there is a wealth of natural beauty in northern Croatia at Plitvice Lakes National Park. Waterfalls, gorges, rock faces and caves, lakes and ponds of all sizes in vistas large and small make for an exhilarating trek. You can spend the day exploring it all or take one of the shorter paths for an afternoon. Our tour group arrived in late afternoon so we took one of the short hikes of between two and three hours. The paths are mostly flat but sometimes narrow and often smack up against the coursing rivers and splashy low waterfalls. The water is clear enough to see the hundreds, even thousands of trout and submerged tree trunks even as minerals color the water in gorgeous blues and greens.
We were supposed to get a group photo at one of the waterfalls but with all the other visitors doing the same thing, we’d probably still be there waiting our turn to get that snap. It would’ve been a nice memento but the one shot I really wish I’d gotten? – the solitary heron gliding soundlessly a few feet above the lake as the sun dropped behind the trees and we waited for a boat to take us to the last bit of our park walk.
The photos don’t do the place justice. Parts of Plitvice (Plit-VEET-sa) reminded me of some parkland in the northeastern U.S. but this place was on a different scale. Squeezing a broad panorama into a postcard sized picture shrinks the view unfairly. You should go and see for yourself why UNESCO has this amazing pocket of Croatia on its list!
One other note on the photos. As I mentioned in my latest blog post, I used Photoshop to remove some of the haze that made so many of the photos kind of uninspiring. It also made the fishies easier to see in the water. Adjusting the brightness and contrast helped bring out colors without, I hope, making the images look ‘faked’. One online comment pointed out that Photoshop can simply show what a place looks like if the photo was taken on a nicer day. That was my goal. You’ll have to judge for yourself how successful I’ve been.
Enjoy the slide show!!