We take the bus to Zagreb and stop for the coffee. This is what they do here. We’re only passing through but we’ll be back. Now we’re headed towards Plitvice Lakes, one of Croatia’s many enchanted national treasures. Staying overnight at the Falling Lakes Hostel in Korenica, we take their very reasonably priced shuttle to the lakes early in the morning.
It is raining steadily, and it shows no sign of letting up. All day I am forced to engage with the irony of the situation. No one wants to get soaked, but the only reason these bountiful lakes are here is the rain. This is our only full day at the park and we want to make the most of it, so we buy some ponchos and suck it up.
Starting at the second entrance, we walk the upper lakes. We enter here because it’s where we’re dropped off, but in retrospect it would have been better to start with the lower lakes and avoid getting our feet wet until the end. There is no getting out of it, we take the ferry over and get soaked immediately. This place oozes water. Walking the path up to the highest lakes, they are entrancing in the fog. Despite the rain, there are people everywhere. I can only imagine this place in the Summer.
The sheer number of bodies of water is incredible. After a while you start to wonder if you have seen this lake or that lake before, but no there are just so many of them. The cohesion of the national park is quite impressive. Waters blue and green shimmer even in the overcast weather.
Though we aim to walk the long path to the lower lakes, we underestimate how long it is. When we get lost, we decide to take the catamaran over to the other side and gaze at the largest waterfall, hike a bit more, and retreat to somewhere dry. It takes a while, and we enjoy all we encounter, but it’s cold and wet and uncomfortable. This day at the park is not for the faint of heart.
The waterfalls are particularly alluring, with many gushing out of the land. Here water is simply in-containable. Its power is remarkable. I’m reminded that water carves valleys and canyons. At the waterfall simply dubbed “the large waterfall,” the force is almost unbearable. I try to look up at the water, but my eyes get covered with it.
As we complain about the rain, we can’t avoid the inevitable. It’s why we get to enjoy these beautiful, awe-inspiring lakes. In the moment we may bitch and moan, but its unavoidable. You can’t look away from the power of Plitvice Lakes.