Plitvice National Park seemed to be the perfect stop for a post Sail Croatia wind down. Halfway from Split to Zagreb meant it wasn’t too much travel, and it was about as far from a bar as we could get! Getting off the boat it was touch and go as to if Mark was going to be able to handle a bus trip, but we braved it and thankfully made it intact!
We stayed at an amazing guest house near entrance two to the Plitvice National Park. Lying on a real bed after a week sleeping in the hull of a boat was like heaven. We spent the first afternoon napping, waking up only to scoff down a salami sandwich we made with ingredients from the supermarket and a cider. Salami sandwiches became a running theme of our time here. Be warned that if you’re expecting restaurants in the Jezerce area you’re sure to be disappointed! We didn’t have a car so had to make do with the provisions that we could pick up at the supermarket.
After our first night we woke early to get to the park early, only to be greeted with a forecast of thunderstorms and flooding. Begrudgingly we decided not to go back to bed but to put on some rain coats and brave the weather. After all, its not like waterfalls stop working in the rain! Thankfully the weather forecasts were wrong and we had not a drop of rain all day.
On the recommendation of our host we opted for track H as we had only one day in the park and wanted to tick off all the highlights. Arriving at the park we purchased tickets and boarded the bus that took us up to the top of the park to start our walk.
The scenery was every bit as impressive as we could have hoped! Thankfully we’d also made it to the track before the tour groups so had some space to ourselves. The walk was well marked and track H goes down the hill, but still recovering from Sail Croatia we struggled. For anyone who hasn’t been bed bound for a couple of days or drinking for a week straight, this would be a walk in the park.
The reviews we read online prior to visiting the park had is worried sick that the food we were going to have to buy from the on site restaurant was going to be extortionately priced. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Half a chicken, hot chips, bread, a bottle of water and a coffee for under €10, not bad at all! Fortified after our meal we pushed on for the second half of the track. By this point the hordes had arrived and we encountered some of the absolute rudest people we’ve met on the entire trip. They’d walk two abreast down a narrow – two way – pathway at snails pace, walk into every photo you try to take and snarl at you if you asked to get past.
Track H’s final destination is Veleki Slap, the largest waterfall in the park and often touted as the most beautiful. After trudging slowly for 30 minutes behind a tour group of 70(!?!?) we arrived, and were very disappointed! After the entire park being full of picturesque waterfalls coming through the foliage and landing in brightly coloured lakes we had high expectations. But what we got was just another waterfall – we’ve definitely got more impressive in New Zealand! To add insult to injury we also got much better views of Veleki Slap when we were leaving the park.
After a pit stop at the ATM in Hotel Bellevue (this is the only ATM in the area so make sure you bring cash with you!) we headed home for another evening of Salami Sandwiches and Cider.
Whilst it didn’t rain, the weather still wasn’t ideal for taking photos, and combined with our energy levels we didn’t quite capture the magic of the park as well as we had hoped! Oh well, means we’ll have to go back and try the Krka park too!