Thursday, June 23, 2011

Running in Croatia #1: spectacular Plitvice water falls

I concluded my last post mentioning that my ability to keep you posted about our trip through the Balkans might be impacted by network connectivity. Not only the wifi connections we had in our first two stays were not as fast as the one we have at home, but work also came in the way and I had to spend a few hours in the evenings to work on last minute and special projects. With that, here is a quick and short one to mention a wonderful run I had in the Plitvice National Park in Croatia on Monday.
Because of the limited network bandwidth, I am not able to upload the 150 pictures I took from my run in this amazing park made of a dozen of lakes at different elevations and hundreds of natural falls in between with crystal clear water. Here is a web site where you'll find some information about the park as well as a photo gallery you can enjoy while I'm able to upload my pictures on Picasa.
For the runners, this park represent more than 20 miles of trails. The first miles are very busy with thousands of tourists at least in the high season but, as you progress toward the upper lakes and let the tourists take the boat, you'll find pristine and quiet trails with amazing views of the falls and lakes with emerald and turquoise colors.
The park ticket has a very convenient map on the back side which is enough to navigate the maze of trails around the lakes in addition to signs showing the handful of recommended circuits. The longest one, K, didn't appear long enough for me so I decided to go around the last lake at the end and top of the park. Like for the other lakes, I decided to run anti-clockwise: because this trail is not open to the public, the trail was not maintained but good enough for a good hike. Later in the evening, the owner of the apartment we had rented nearby, a ranger working in the park, told me that bears lived in this area, so be careful if you too want to explore this remote lake. By the way, you'd want to know that, after you circled around half the lake, you'll get on a road (asphalt) which will get you back to the civilization (in other words, don't try to look for a trail on the other side of the lake, I did spend quite some time and at least an extra mile to figure that out as it wasn't clear on the map). Overall, I ended up covering 19.5 miles and taking 150 pictures, quite a tour (you can check about 100 of them in my Picasa album)!

For non-runners, the park offers many options to hike from one to ten miles to enjoy these amazing natural water falls. Make sure not to miss this wonder if you visit Croatia!


Anonymous said...

Quelle merveille, en effet!
Nous sommes ravis pour vous...

Anonymous said...

Greetings! I am from the Cupertino/Sunnyvale area also and will be working at Stanford for some of the summer. Occasionally, I was hoping I could run back from Stanford back to Cupertino/Sunnyvale. However I don't particularly want to go on El Camino (Busy street) the whole way and Foothill is not for pedestrians. Do you know of any bike path or trail or that sort of thing that would take me most of the way there? Thanks!

Greg said...

Great pics. So Beautiful there. I notice water bottle and running gear in the last photo with family... my question is did you go running while they walk around the park? I assume yes, so you must have seen much more than they did. I can see it now... you get back to the family and you tell them, "I got great photos of the rest of the park... time to go." We sure missed you at Western States this year. Greg

Unknown said...

There are certain National Park around the world which you can comfortably call destination hotels. They are amongst the best Luxury Hotels in the world, and you could base your entire holiday around them many people do. Sometimes these hotels are in remote areas where there is not much to do but chill out but the experience of staying there will be more than enough to make your holiday. Thanks.