While in Croatia, one of the highlights
of trip was visiting two different national parks Plitvice and Paklenica.
Both were very scenic and had great hiking. Croatia has a small population,
and most of that is clustered around small villages, so the parks were
not crowded and amazingly pleasant. The climate at the end of October
was very warm and dry (in the 60's & 70's) and the fall colors made
the trip quite memorable.
Although we made Croatia a road trip
vacation, both parks are easily accessible from the larger cities of
Zagreb and Zadar either by bus or as a one-day excursion from one of
the local tourist agencies. Of course, as this is Croatia, you Alaska
bushwackers should be forewarned to stay on the trails. Even though
these areas should be land-mine free, it is generally not a good idea
to wander off.
P L I T V I C E
Plitvice consists of 16 lakes connected by
a series of waterfalls. The area is so visually stunning it was
turned into an Unesco World Heritage site in 1979. This is one
of the larger falls connecting Galovac lake with the lower lakes
This is a filtered view of two of the lower
lakes connected by a series of smaller waterfalls. The lower lakes
feature the unique mosses and calcium carbonate that make the
falls of this area unique.
Sitting in the sun on a lovely fall day at
Plitvice Dale asked, "I wonder what people in Alaska are
doing right now?"
Fall colors in the park...
The lakes are both spring lake water fed,
which can make each individual lake color change or shift. Depending
upon the lake, its mineral composition, and the location &
intensity of the sun, colors change constantly from turquoise
to bright green or deep blue or gray.
Here is a view of the back of one of the falls surrounded
by autumn colors. A series of footbridges & trails connect
the lakes and provide for good walking & exploring.
Here's a picture of me that looks really dorky
Now here's a photogenic person....
Isn't this a good picture of fish?
A single waterfall, one of the many joining
Colors of the forest make hiking spectacular.
Here are fall colors mixed with the turquoise
waters of one of the lower lakes.
P A K L E N I C A
The stark peaks of the Velebit
Massif mountains rise straight from the Adriatic Sea. This park
features some of the best hiking in Croatia. You can hike the
valley as a day trip, or stay in mountain huts for a multi-day
Limestone karsts and cliffs climb from two
deep gorges in the park. The towering walls of the gorges made
for difficult photos, but the area was still quite stunning.
Here's Dale looking up at some
of the unique rock colors and formations.
Me on the hike up to Manita Pec Cave system
Because of the amazing
rock formation, the area attracts climbers, which adds entertainment
to the hikes