Extract from Julian’s Journeys

“Wow, what an amazing place this is” said the New Zealand girl next to me, as she looked down at the patchwork of powder blue pools and small lakes that stretched out before us. My wife and I, who were standing next to her, smiled at each other and nodded in silent agreement. Close by, a waterfall in the shadow of the beech and pine trees poured over the escarpment between two of the lakes that are found in the Plitvice National Park.

This eight-kilometre string of sixteen lakes, hemmed in by densely forested hills, presents some of the most picturesque scenery in Croatia, with waters rushing down from the upper lakes via a series of cataracts and waterfalls to the Lower lakes, which then flow into the Korana gorge.

Earlier we had paid our entry fee and received our tickets, which are of the souvenir type with a useful map on the back. The rain had stopped, though the sky appeared grey for as far as we could see. We walked down the path to the lakeside, through the leafy forest, and found ourselves at Boat Landing 1 on Lake Kozjak.

The autumnal browns, reds and oranges of the trees were mirrored in the lake as the sun began to shine for the first time. We started to follow our route by the side of the lake, which was looking so blue under the increasingly cloudless sky. At just past nine ‘o’ clock in the morning, there were few other people around as we followed the shoreline of Lake Kozjak towards the next lakes, Burgeti and Gradinsko.