If heaven was a gigantic rainforest, this is it

rainforestI am not the type to get all flustered about a rainforest and what not, but gee bloody whiz! This place was like the enchanted gardens of Nazareth or something. I don’t even know what or where Nazareth is, but it sounds something like the gods created which is exactly how I felt when I walked into this place.
Plitvice National Park in Croatia is the oldest national park in Europe. This originally wasn’t on our Euro Road trip agenda, however, when meeting up with my cousin on Hvar Island (also in Croatia), she highly recommended a stop by and I am certainly glad we did just that.
Arriving late at night we couldn’t find anywhere suitable to pull over and rest until morning. Eventually scoping out what looked to resemble something like a car park we pulled in to catch up on some dearly needed beauty sleep. It was in the early hours of the morning that we were rudely awoken by a park ranger telling us through broken English that there is “NO CAMPING HERE” and we must pay a fine of 500Kuna ($96).
Myself and Cameron
We all get up and peak through the car curtains to see if this guy is legit. We have heard there are scam artists out there who dress up in uniform to fine people and it is usually quite hard to tell the difference between the real deal or not. Still half asleep, Cameron wrestles his way to the front seat from the bed in the back, starts the car whilst looking at the ranger, puzzled and confused whilst saying, “well I am sorry but we can’t understand you are saying so I am just going to drive off”.
Haha, we giggle like school kids in the back at his remark to which the ranger replies, “well if you leave I will call the police and they will issue you a 1000kuna fine”. We are stumped on what to do as it is too early in the morning to decide whether to pay the ranger or to move on. If we move on we would be taking the risk of getting caught by the cops and the ranger did look like the real deal with his decked out ranger vehicle. So we payed the man and moved on to another hidden spot for a few extra cheeky hours of sleep before we trekked the gods garden.

A cute little ducky
Walking into the national park it seemed somewhat quiet for usually having 1.2million tourists visit each year, although the park is ridiculously enormous covering over 75,000 acres, so why wouldn’t it be. You could spend a few days here and only discover a fraction of the park. It has 16 lakes renowned for their distinctive colours and famous for them cascading into each other over a span of 8Km’s. The water is so still and clear you can visibly see fallen over trees, fish and even the paddling of ducks legs as they cruise around.
Only spending a full day in the park due to our tight schedule, I feel fortunate I got to visit.  This really is the most naturally beautiful and unpolluted national park I have been privileged to visit. The rangers fake or not, do a really great job to keep this park in pristine condition. If you are cruising through or find yourself in Croatia, check out it out. Plitvice, one of the world’s greatest national parks.

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