After Budapest, I took a one hour flight to Zagreb, Croatia, the capital of the country. From Zagreb it is a mere two hour bus to Plitvice Lakes National Park, which Lonely Planet describes as the number one thing to do in Croatia. With such lofty praise, I had to go see it.

View from halfway down the hill from the parking lot.

View from halfway down the hill from the parking lot.

You may notice the beautiful blue water. It was just as beautiful in person. I so wanted to go in it, but it had a steep fine if you tried to do so, and also would damage the ecosystem. This is because the way the waterfalls, etc. are formed is very reliant on the fact that the pH of the water is just above 8.0. With this slightly alkaline water, the algae calcifies over time resulting in tufa deposits which are the barriers between one lake to another. If too many humans go in the water, the oil from our skin — in particular the sunscreen — would alter the pH of the water. So rather than allow the 1.2 million Plitvice visitors each year swim in the water, it is strictly forbidden.

The lavender plant in the foreground is significant: lavender is one of their chief exports and has been grown here en masse through Roman times.

The lavender plant in the foreground is significant: lavender is one of their chief exports and has been grown here en masse through Roman times.

Okay, no more explanations. Just pictures:

The first waterfall we saw. There were PLENTY more to come.

The first waterfall we saw. There were PLENTY more to come.

Same waterfall, different view.

Same waterfall, different view.

Panoramic of the lower lake

Panoramic of the lower lake

A dolomite cave.

A dolomite cave.

Aside one of the lower lakes.

Aside one of the lower lakes.

More lakes. You should be getting it by now.

More lakes. You should be getting it by now.

Obligatory creepy picture.

Obligatory creepy picture.

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