Friday, October 24, 2014

A Day in the Plitvice Lakes, National Park

The second day at Plitvice, we started at entrance two, then got the shuttle bus up to entrance four.  At the entrance was some food you could buy - looked interesting, but we didn't indulge having been the supermarket on the way to stock up on a picnic lunch.

The start of entrance four - crystal clear lake water, and stunning reflections...

The only bird I ever saw the whole of the walk.  I had been hoping to see more bird life around, but they were avoiding me that day..

I had my Gorilla pod and my ND10 filter and did my best despite the number of tourists around us! The board walks moved when people walked on them, so I could never be sure if my images would turn out or not...

We started walking. Waterfall after waterfall. Just when you thought you could not see anything more beautiful, we would round a corner and another spot would take our breath away.  

The waterfalls came from everywhere - through trees - it was amazing.

We did catch up with this Yellow and Black lizard who waved at me as he went past... This is apparently a Fire Salamander who lives in Central Europe, and likes hilly areas and deciduous forests. They can apparently live for 50 years.

Spring was definitely on its way...

Oh look - another waterfall....

These little mayflies were everywhere and they feed the trout in the lakes..

Tourists like us taking photos..

The many trout in the crystal clear waters..

We slowly made our way down to the boats.  By 2pm – it was cold, raining, and we were hungry and thirsty.  We were ready to call it a day,but caught the boat to Entrance 3  but stopped in the café for a hot chocolate and had our lunch we had packed – cheese and bread.  The sun then came out again, and we found some more energy somewhere within  us.  We decided to keep  going back to the big waterfall at entrance 1, then get the shuttle back to the carpark at entrance two.  Rachel, Anne and Steven took the high road above the cliffs, but I decided to keep going around the lake edges as the last little bit looked steep for my balance.

My path was really pretty, and for a time I walked with a ranger.  We saw a water snake, and she told me the insects we kept seeing only appear in spring, and were between a caterpillar and butterfly, and fed the fish in the lakes.  She also told me that the route I was taking would take longer than the others, so I decided to walk a bit faster.  I needn’t have – I arrived first!

I heard this and wondered what it was so stuck around for ages until I finally saw it.  Being deaf is pain sometimes as I cannot tell direction, nor ascertain what it is until I see it.  He was loud though!

I would have loved to explore down there but that part of the lakes was closed.

One of my favourite images using the ND 10 Filter..

Finally at the bottom by the Big Waterfall, we awaited our turn on the seats...

By the time everyone else arrived, we had 15 minutes to get to the shuttle.  I tried to hurry everyone up, but it was useless so I gave up!  We finally got to Station 1 shuttle station 15 minutes too late, so we had to walk the last bit to our entrance which took another hour or so.  It was worth it though - look at the views...

I think Anne sums up very nicely what we were all feeling.  Energised from being outdoors all day, inspired by the absolute beauty around us, and happy from being in such good company and having such wonderful photo opportunities.

I came across this beetle while walking back to the carpark. - I can't identify it but it looked pretty.

By the time we got to the car we had been walking 11.5 hours!  I couldn’t believe it.  It was a very pretty walk though and well worth it. My foot was sore, but not overly so.

We went straight to the restaurant, with one detour – where I stopped to photograph a house with bullet holes in it.  The house stands empty – it was obviously badly damaged in the war.  The restaurant was not much further – and was lovely – wasn't expensive either.  I had the special of BBQ’d veal which just melted in your mouth.  It was so big too, I couldn't eat it all, even though I wanted to just for the taste!

Back to the apartment where we uploaded the photos to our computers then hit the sack!

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