Sunday, November 27, 2011

Plitvice Lakes National Park

We left Zadar and headed inland about 2 hours to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.  The park is well known for its terraced lakes, clear water and numerous waterfalls and was Croatia’s first national park as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

We arrived mid-afternoon in June so we had plenty of daylight left to make our way through the park.  The boardwalk paths make their way over beautiful blue green water that is so clear you can see hundreds of fish.  Since we arrived later in the day we were able to miss most of the crowds and did not feel rushed along.

This first photo is the view as you begin the decent down to the lakes and the main trail.

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This last photo is another view from up above as we made our way back to the park exit.  We enjoyed our time here and I was super excited to shoot some waterfalls.  It was a long walk through and our girls were real troopers and made it the whole way without any issues. 

We stayed nearby the park in small but very nice room at the Apartments Plitvicer Seen.  It was modern and the owner was nice.  We ate breakfast out by the pool before we headed north to Austria.  Since I am such a dork I was excited to get a stamp in my passport before we left Croatia and back into Slovenia!  Since the countries who have joined the EU have open borders the border crossing stations sit vacant so we never have to show our passports as we travel between those countries. 

We drove straight through Slovenia and into Austria to we could visit the Lipzzaner Stud Farm in Piber.  This is the where the famous stallions from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna are born.  I may have been more excited to visit here than the girls!  We arrived about 90 minutes before they closed for the day and were able to wander around.  We walked through a small museum and watched the horses being brought in from the fields for the night. 

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This mare was very friendly and I spent a lot of time rubbing her nose and she became a willing subject for my photos. 

The next day we drove to Graz so JG could visit the Landeszeughaus.  He needed some manly time after hanging out with the Gibson girls for the entire vacation and really enjoyed his time walking through 4 floors of this Styrian Armoury.  The entire place was nothing but old weapons and suits of armor.  Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any photos while we were in there.   If you are interested in seeing some photos though just click on the hyperlink above and it will take you directly to the website for more information.

This finally wraps up our trip through Slovenia, Croatia and a quick stop in Austria.  It was really a vacation of a lifetime for me.  I loved every single place we visited and the drive along the Adriatic Sea was breathtaking.  I was happy to be home again but sad to have our amazing vacation come to an end.

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