TRAVEL: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

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After a failed travel attempt a few years back, Croatia skyrocketed to the top of my list of must-visit places.  My initial desire to visit was largely driven by photos of these lakes which are regularly featured in travel articles.  The photos are unreal – the are is just so gorgeous with the lush greenery, and the multi-hued lakes.  And you know what?  They are just as beautiful in person, maybe even more so.

The national park consists of more than 70,000 acres of protected land.  There are several paths you can take to walk through the lakes – we chose one of the shorter routes which is said to feature all the highlights.  Beware – these lakes can get quite crowded, so you’ll want to try and get there early in the morning, or late in the afternoon to avoid the worst of it.  Otherwise you’ll get an excellent test in patience as you are forced to walk behind a large tour group walking at a snail’s pace.

The most amazing thing about the lakes (and really all the Croatian waters) is how clear they are.  I tend to avoid most bodies of water because I hate when I can’t see what’s swimming with me, but I wanted to dive right into these.  When the light would hit the water just right, these lakes would gleam in these gorgeous shades of blue.

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See! So clear it almost looks fake.

It was a warm day and the water looked so nice and inviting.  Unfortunately, there is no swimming allowed.  Apparently they do allow the locals to swim one day every August.  We were so jealous until we saw this vile creature slithering across the water, and I quickly decided I would never want to swim in these lakes.

Plitvice 7Now, just sit back and enjoy the beauty:

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Twins! This guy totally got the red and navy memo.

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Grab one of the ferries to get over to another portion of the lakes.

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