I’m not the biggest nature person, but when I read about this park I knew I had to see it. Located in the center of Croatia, Plitvice was a two-and-a-half bus ride from Zagreb. We read in our Lonely Planet Guide that there was a campsite at the park, but beware! The campsite must have shut down sometime after 2006, so we stayed on the bus some 17 kilometers west of the park to Borje camping. If you have a car, this is the ideal place to stay when visiting Plitvice Lakes Park. Situated at the foot of a mountain range, the campground is serene. But it is 17 kilometers to the park and we were backpacking without a car. So we tried this:
We weren’t sure what the hitchhiking rules were in Croatia, but we figured what we were doing was pretty obvious. Hitchhiking is hard. It took us an hour before an Italian couple picked us up and brought us to the park. It was worth the wait though. After paying twenty dollars for a two-day visit, we explored the beauty of the Upper Lakes of Plitvice.
The lakes have apparently been around since the last ice age and are ever changing. The calcium carbonate that is found in the water encrusts plants in the lake system and these plants create ‘travertine barriers’ which then form various lakes and waterfalls. The landscape continuously changes as these travertine barriers breakdown and reform. Pretty pretty.