Sunday, July 3, 2011

Plitvice National Park

WOW, what a vacation we had! Can't even believe we actually got to see this most amazing place! AND I got the exact same pictures of the falls that I took offline to make my post earlier, how cool is that?! I've heard people say it's like the Grand Canyon in the US but with vegetation and boy were they right. It is a HUGE area with lots of vegetation and the most beautiful water I've seen since our cruise to Greece!

We started at the bottom, the lower lakes, with the largest waterfall and walked our way up to the top lake where the River feeds the lakes. It was a total of about 9km walking, we took the B and C walking paths. Basically the easy part since we had the three kids. The letters go all the way up to G and that's a lot more walking, hiking, etc. And I'm sure the views from those paths are even more incredible but the kids really enjoyed looking at the fish and walking right next to the lakes the entire way.

About half way up the lakes there is a nice little rest area that had food, drinks, places to rest or run around for the kids, bathrooms, gift shop, etc. The best part is the whole time you are there, it's not a timed thing. You can take however long you want to make it through the Park. Right at the rest stop is where you can get on a water ferry and take it across the lake. You can walk as well but what fun is that. The ferry is part of the ticket to get into the park so you don't have to pay for it. When we got on the ferry, Benjamin missed his footing and almost fell between the boat and the dock, scared the CRAP out of me, but he was ok. Got a little scratch on his hand but that was it. I felt horrible as a parent not keeping a better eye on him and all the looks and stuff that we got but oh well. It happens.

On the other side of the lake you can choose to go right to the "train" or you can walk more, we chose to walk more! Went walked through to see more waterfalls and wonderful sights. There were thousands of waterfalls connecting the lakes. Along this path was one where the mist from the waterfalls actually got us a little wet. That was nice. I have never seen so many waterfalls in my life.

At the end of the lakes there's another small rest area with a snack bar and the "train" that picks you up and takes you back to the lower lakes. It's a long and windy road back down but well worth it. Saved my legs from having to trek all the way back!

When we got off at the Parking 1 area we still had a ways to walk back but it was up top this time. We got to look out over the lakes from the top and that in itself was awesome! They are the most beautiful color and seeing all the people walking along the pathways next to the falls was really neat to see. The pictures I got were just amazing. For some reason they aren't wanting to load on here but I have them all on my FB page. Well, not all of them, but 80% of them anyways.

To anyone thinking about taking this little vacation, I highly recommend it! It was the most fun we have had on a vacation since, well, our last one I guess! We love getting out and the walking was a great workout. There really is something fun for everyone at this National Park. The little ones like the water and fish and the bigger ones like the walking and the falls. A GREAT VACATION for sure!

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