Slovenian and Croatian 9/13/2007-10/7/2007

Steamboat SpringsDenver BostonMilan, ItZabreb, CroatiaSamabor, CroatiaLjubljana, SloveniaBled, SloveniaBohjni, SlJulian Alps, SLBohjni, SlIzola, SlOpitja, CroatiaPlitvice, CrStarigrad-Palenica, CrZadar, CrZagreb/Samabor, CrMilanBostonDenverSteamboat Springs

 

Journal Part VIII:

9/27/2007: Plitviche, Croatia: Drove inland to Plitviche Jezera and the Plitviche National Park today. A combination of modern tragedy and ancient natural beauty. We travelled off the normal freeway through small towns and country side. Evidence of the Homland was with the Serbs was visiable in every town and many small farm houses along the way. Bullet riddles stucco building, abandon houses and fallowed fields. The guide book warns visitors not to walk in the unplowed fields due to land mine danger.

An abandoned cemetery on the way to Plitviche

 

We arrived in the park in the late afternoon. And checked in to the Bellview Hotel. Just the views from the hotel excited us for the next days exploration of the park. When the war broke out in 1991 the Serbs entered Croatia though this national park. The first fatality of the war was a park ranger. The Serbs destroyed and or occupied all of the buildings in the park, but fortunately lest the natural wonders alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mo on the maze of trails through the park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/28/2007: Plitviche, Croatia: The park is 19.5 hectares and with in this area there are 16 lakes and dozens of cascading waterfalls. Since most of the inland water in Croatia runs underground it has the tendency to pick up minerals and deposit them in wonderful sculpted formations. In this case they have formed travertine pools and waterfalls that flow from one lake to the next. The effect is terraced lakes with crystal clear water flowing over the edge of each pool like overfilled bath tubs. The vegetation around the ponds is lush and green and the lakes are full of healthy fat trout (no fishing allowed).

Rather than take the tour bus we hiked from the hotel up through the park on wooden pathways to the highest lake and then followed trails through the woods back down to the lowest lake. It was truly a magical trip and worth the visit and the effort. We finished by hopping a boat across the lowest lake back to the park entrance and a short walk from the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few waterfall pictures, but just can do them justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World class fungus in the woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left Plitvicha for the coast. Again travelled through towns still healing from the war. Bullet ridden stucco walls and abandoned fields and homes were the hallmark of interior Croatia. Still very beautiful country. As we crested the top of the final pass before descending to the lime stone coast of the Adriatic we came upon a small roadside memorial. In the states we are used to seeing roadside crosses marking the site of some unfortunate accident, but this was more formal and clearly there to honor those lost in battle.

The most striking thing about the memorial was that six of the eight young men on the memorial headstone died the same day, August 4th, 1995. Their photos were imbedded in the granite headstone and looked like they could have placed there September 28th, 2007.

Memorial headstone above Adriatic Coast.

 

Finally hit the coast of Croatia at Korlobag and then headed south to Starigrad-Paklenica. Got some great lodging at a small family owned motel called the Rajna. Had a fantastic fish dinner served up by the receptionist/cook/waitress and owner of the lodging. Would recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a non-touristy, laid back, inexpensive lodge with a great cook.

 

 

 

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