A unique and spectacular park in the heart of Croatia, Plitvice Lakes encompasses 16 lakes on various levels and myriad waterfalls. It is the most visited national park in Croatia, and it is obvious why, but in November we were almost alone. We approached from the highest lake, and in heavy fog we could hardly see the Big Falls. (That’s their name!) But as we walked down boardwalks that wind around lakes and over falls everywhere, we descended below the fog. At the level of the lowest lake, we took a launch across the foggy lake and climbed many stairs to the park headquarters and a lovely restaurant for lunch.
It is wonderful to see natural beauty like this valued and maintained, even while open to the public. Croatians love their country and take good care of it. Driving through the countryside, we never saw ramshackle buildings or garbage strewn around. Roads are good, connecting contemporary development with ancient castles, walled towns (where no cars are allowed, nor would they fit), little farmsteads and spectacular beauty from the Dalmatian coast to the mountains and thriving cities.
“Nature is a part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery, man ceases to be man.” – Henry Beston, writer and naturalist