Plitvicka Jezera National Park

We had a long day of travel from Dubrovnick to northern Croatia. A we travelled north, the scenery changed from the harsh Dalmation coastline with its rugged limestone mountain ranges and stunted trees to one which was more temperate with grassland and forest.

In the late afternoon, we arrived at Plitvicka where we stayed at a large older style hotel. This place had been used as an HQ by the Serbian army and totally destroyed by them when they were pushed back by NATO and Croatian forces in the homelands war. It was rebuilt in the mid 1990’s. It had quite a rustic style. We had a very nice meal of roast lamb in a restaurant down the road. It was vey much like t a Croatian version of ‘Hunters Lodgev  which many Victorians will remember from the 1970’s. The lamb was cooked in an enormous pit of hot coals and it tasted delicious.

The highlight of this area is the Plitvicka Jezera National Park. This is situated in a beautiful valley with a mixed forest – mainly of birch and fir trees. A chain of a dozen or so lakes has developed with the water flowing over waterfalls of 10 metres or so to the lower lake. The water is rich in calcium from the local limestone. As it encounters an obstacle (fallen log, mass of vegetation etc) it deposits calcium dioxide and begins to develop a crust which creates another dam that backs up the water. Some of these break from time to time and new ones form to keep the process rejuvenated.

This is a real photographer’s paradise. Every turn provides another view of beautiful clear water, tinged with green, moving through yet another pristine section of landscape.