Thursday, July 1, 2010
Plitvice Lakes National Park
View from our room. This area is heavily forested.
We woke up early to get our hike through the waterfalls done before the heat of the day set in.
After checking out and loading up the car, we headed down to the park entrance and boarded one of the trams that takes visitors into the park.
Plitvice (PLEET-veet-seeh) Lakes National Park is considered a natural wonder of Europe. It is a landscape of heavily forested hills, waterfalls (over 90), lakes with the clearest water, planked walkways, and vibrant lakebed colors. The area is rich with wildlife including: deer, wolves, wildcats, lynx, wild boar, voles, otters, and more than 160 species of birds. The lakes are full of trout and klen (chub). Plitvice is home to about 50 brown bears, which are heavily protected, due to the fact that they are now extremely endangered in Europe.
We rode the tram to the bottom of the canyon and walked up to the top, which took a few hours of casual hiking. Many, many pictures were taken. So many so, that I will just post a stream of pictures without much commentary. I think the pictures say it all...and the real thing is 100 times better!
This was one of several signs posted at the entrance to the park. All were very clear: Keep dog on leash, no swimming, etc. This one confused us: No Dancing? No stepping on litter? Hmmm?
First view of waterfalls
Brandon, the boy of many poses
This duck came right up to us. I guess he was hoping for some food.
At one of the larger lakes, visitors must cross to the other side via electric boats.
We finished the hike with an ice cream.
We finished the hike around 1pm, had lunch in the park, then headed out. Our next destination is the Karst region of Slovenia, just over the border - about a 3 hour drive.
After a very beautiful drive over some narrow and curvy mountain roads, we crossed the border into Slovenia, back into the EU. We had to stop at a border check in a sleepy little mountain town. The guard checked our passports, ran them through the computer and gave us a new stamp.
We arrived at Tourist Farm Hudicevec around dinner time. It is located halfway between Skocjan and Postojna. They offer very clean and modern rooms on a working farm just off the highway for a very inexpensive price.
We checked in and relaxed for awhile while Brandon played at the playground. The farm has a playground with two trampolines, a soccer field, swings, slide, seesaw, and more. He had a great time.
We had dinner in Postojna. We had difficulty finding a place that looked interesting to us and almost headed to the supermarket, then I spotted a Cinese restaurant.
Tomorrow we will check out a castle and the Postojna Caves before heading to Bled.