croatia | plitvice lakes...not the caribbean

Added on by Elizabeth Brunsman.

Water falling.

We've been traveling south through Croatia since my last post, with a very quick stop in Zagreb.  (Will be heading back to that beautiful city towards the middle of the trip, so hopefully some photos and watercolors.)  It seems the train system barely exists in most of Croatia though, so we've been taking a few long bus rides recently.  You really learn to tolerate semi-sleeping in abstract shapes between two seats.  :)

Rowboat rendering at Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia.

Rowboat rendering at Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia.

Anyway..........

Croatia has been quite full of surprises and we're barely halfway through it.  I admit I didn't know much about Croatia beforehand, except perhaps for a very minimal understanding of it's part in World War II and then it's declaration of Independence that was finalized in 1998. It's a stunning, untapped country, and to prove it to you....our first major stop was at Plitvice Lakes National Park smack dab in the middle of the country.  IT.  IS.  GORGEOUS.  (Even in the rain.) Plitvice is quite close to the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is one of the oldest parks in SE Europe.  Who knew??

{Also, Croatian wine is awesome.  Another gem, but perhaps for a later blog post.)

Plitvice Lakes (sounds like "plit-vitz-eh") are a series of 16 clear turquoise lakes created by rivers and runoff in the mountains of Croatia.  They step their way down the mountains (yay for gravity) and cascade between themselves.  Over time (lots of time), the chalky limestone sediments built up and created these travertine barriers that have slowed the gushing of water....but still allow for gushing of water.  WATERFALLS!!!    

Phew...there's a lot of science happening right there for an artist to explain...  Science briefly aside, these lakes give some absolutely stunning imagery.  Close your eyes.  Picture the clearest turquoise pool/aqua velva/blue raspberry koolaide water you've every seen and then hyper saturate that color 110%.  Then look down into that water and it'll seem like you're looking forever to the bottom.  Plus fish.  Pretty spectacular stuff.  Not to be confused with Caribbean or Hawaiian waterfalls though.  We're still in Croatia.

The only way I can truly explain what these Croatian gems were like is to just share some of my best "artsy" amateur photography.  The color will speak for itself.

We picked up a rowboat for an hour to explore one of the lakes (watercolor rendering above). I convinced myself they were built in the early 1870s, though I realize that's completely unfounded. Don't they feel very French Impressionist, anyone?

My husband was exceptional at rowing.  For me....the struggle was real. 

Capable rower.

Capable rower.

Not nearly as capable.

Not nearly as capable.

Heading south.  Until next time....cheers!