A couple of days ago it didn’t look like I would be able to visit the huge natural park of 16 lakes known at Lake Plitvice.   The park is over an hour to the north and buses run only twice out there and both of them are in the afternoon.

The girl in reception said if I could find a couple of people to go as well we could rent a taxi van for the day.   Well I didn’t really know anybody here so asked her if she could push the trip, you know, using her awesome salesperson qualities…

I went to breakfast yesterday and came back to a cheery “guess what you’re doing tomorrow?”   She managed to wrangle my 5 fellow Canadians (all girls from Saskatchewan) and 3 Brit guys to go on the trip.

I’m assuming it wasn’t much of a “wrangle” as going to the Plitvice lakes isn’t a hard sell.   It’s a huge national park with lots of greenery and even more water.

So, at 9 this morning we all loaded into a van to leave for our hour and a half ride up to the lake.

It took awhile to remember the names but here we go… in the van with me were Mieka, Cady, Kelly, Zoe, Jamie, Will, Joe and Sean.

We got off at the park, which while busy, wasn’t overrun by tourists as it’s still the low season.   The weather was once again beautiful.   We slathered on the sunscreen as our hike today would last about 4 hours.

After the huge day of hiking around the Lake Bled area a couple days ago in Slovenia I knew what to expect and was ready for a long, tiring day.   I also stocked up on water with 3 bottles as I learned my lesson from hiking the Calanques in Marseilles last month.

The people who designed the hiking trails at Plitvice know my pain.   Not only did they have several concession stands along the way, they also had a couple small ferries and a miniature train to help you on your travels.

Between those and stopping several times to take photos it didn’t seem like alot of walking after all.   Nice.

After walking all the way to a huge waterfall and seeing a nice, big rainbow beside it we walked down along the river bed to find a quiet shady spot to have our lunches.

We hopped over a fence (shhh!) and sat along the river under a tree munching on our sandwiches and we watched the tourists walk by.

It was hard for us to actually get up and continue our hike out of the park as it really was a nice spot to just plant ourselves.

We eventually did finish the hike and hopped the miniature train back to the starting point where we called our driver to bring us home.

I feel bad for the driver as we all slept on the way back.   Well, not too bad, as he did make 1400 kuna which is about 185 euros for the drive.   At one point I woke up and couldn’t resist the chance to take a video of all the sleeping beauties:

Back at the hostel we all kind of separated as some of them went off to the beach and some went into town. Me – I was happy to just veg out in the hostel for a couple of hours to relax.   No need to do everything everyday every minute.

At 8pm the hostel barbecued some sausages and burgers which they made from scratch on an old school bbq complete with wood and brickettes.   After the smoke cleared we had ourselves a pretty sweet dinner.   Eventually most of the hostel ended up in the courtyard as our circle of chairs grew and grew.

Some tunes, drinks and alot of conversation followed and before I knew it, it was 1am.   Everyone else was still in party mode but I was tired and quickly fading.

I headed into bed listening to the sounds of chatter and music right outside my window.   Despite that though I was out pretty quick which worked out just fine as tomorrow is an early start again..

Euro Trip 2013, Plitvice, Zadar, Croatia, Trip Journal
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