Saturday, August 30, 2008

Unesco World Heritage Park

Day: 339
Time: Most of the morning

We were treated with one of the most grand displays of nature I have ever been fortunate enough to see. The Plitvička Lakes National Park is a series of lakes tucked into the mountains in central Croatia. The lakes lie in valley of limestone cliffs and are separated by natural limestone dams. The water has, over time, created waterfalls, spouting rocks, hanging gardens and caves throughout the park. Plitvička was listed as a Unesco Heritage sight in 1979. This was during the first round of Unesco Heritage Sight listings. The park service has a series of tours and paths that lead around the park and tours can take anywhere between 2 and 8 hours depending on how many little nooks and crannies you care to check out. We ended up making a hybrid tour and checking out certain areas more in depth than others. We were glad we did our homework yesterday since the information booth told us to get there early before the tour buses showed up. We rose early and were in the park by the time it opened. In fact we had to wait at the ticket booth until the attendant showed up. Our first couple of hours in the park were spent in solitude. We didn’t see anybody until two hours into our visit. We were able to stroll the kilometers of boardwalks taking pictures, and exploring the little side trips. We timed it perfectly and arrived at the boat dock in time for the first boat of the day. In our tour we ended up walking a couple of hours, taking a boat the length of the biggest lake, walking a couple of more hours, and then finally boarding a motorized train for a ride back to the entrance. About two hours after the first tour buses were scheduled to arrive the trails and boardwalks filled with all humanity and we quickly made an exit for a bite to eat.
We headed on back to our room and spent the afternoon watching the international news coverage of the American Presidential Campaign. We were able to get a lot of coverage on BBC and CNN Europe.
Happy B-day to my sis. I was able to talk her for a little while. It was weird to hear our cell phone ring all the way over here, but it was cool to have a familiar voice on the other end.
Vote early, vote often, vote the environment

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