Sunday, August 2, 2009

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Roman and I spent another day touring some lakes, this time in central Croatia. Plitvice Lakes is a UNESCO world heritage national park that contains a series of lakes at different elevations with waterfalls cascading in between the lakes. The area is best known for being the setting for the movie Vinetou.

The lakes all contained blue-green, clear water. The water was so transparent that one could see the lake floor, with branches and tree trunks lying there. This reminded of China’s Jiuzhaigou lakes, which is very similar.

The highlight of my visit were the views of the lower elevation lakes and waterfalls from the mountains. There is no other place in the world that has this magical setting.

One intriguing story that occurred is that Roman and I wanted to take a night bus to Split. However, the bus never came and we were forced to sleep on picnic benches. As bad as it may sound, at least we got a clear sky with numerous stars. It was quite a shock to be woken up by the park ranger!

The next morning, we got on a bus to Split, but several of us had to stand in the narrow corridor in the bus. It baffles me how tourists are paying first-world prices for goods and services in Croatia and yet receive such unreliability and tardiness from the tourist industry people there.

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