Plitvicka National Park

Today’s plan was a visit to Plitvicka National Park, one of the most Instagrammed places in the world. Helpfully, the campsite ran a shuttle bus for the 19k journey rather than pack up and take one of our camper vans.

We were up and ready in plenty of time when we noticed Ken walking in a strange way. His back had gone and he was unable to stand upright or walk more than a couple of paces. He was confined to the campsite, heroically declined company and we set off with Jacky.

We’d reserved entry tickets, Kim had read that, at busy times entry is declined and we didn’t want to risk being turned away. It was 9:15 and this is the scene that greeted us.

Luckily Jacky read the ticket booth signs so Kim joined the shorter queue and an hour later we finally gained entry.

The park is famous for 16 terraced lakes, joined by 400 waterfalls that drop 500m down a limestone gorge. It was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The lakes are surrounded by boardwalks and hiking trails. Small electric boats ferry you up and down the largest lake and a bus service runs from one end of the park to the other – all for 100 khn per person (less than £12!)

We took advantage of the bus to get us to the bottom of the park and John was transfixed by the ability of a bus with two large trailers to negotiate very narrow winding roads. Talk about bendy bus

If you google images of the park, they are absolutely stunning and often heavily photoshopped. The water was crystal clear with light reflected in brilliant blues and greens. Our photos can’t capture the panoramic scenes adequately and stunning views lose their impact due to a lack of perspective but here’s a selection.

By the time the shuttle bus collected us at 3:30, we’d walked over 6 miles around the park, climbed 45 flights of steps, taken the ferry and bus between all their stops and felt that we’d made the most of the day. We were ready to head back. It was hot and tiring work avoiding coach parties on narrow boardwalks!

Tomorrow we head back into Italy, via Slovenia. Our wait at Border Control is rumoured to be lengthy….