The unbearable beauty of being

Thursday 2011/04/21

Before leaving on this journey I was most looking forward to seeing and experiencing all the wonderful sights of our beautiful country, but what excited me even more was all the exploring of the unknown. Today I got to enjoy both. After seeing our most famous National park, Plitvicka jezera, I went off to a more remote spot between Rakovica and the canyon of river Korana.

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I don't think I need to add much to everything that has already been written about the amazing beauty of Plitvicka jezera. We all know how uniquely gorgeous they are. And no matter how good a writer, nothing could really do justice to the portrayal of such beauty. Whenever I come to Plitvice, I am left speechless. Whether they are covered in snow, or frozen under ice, filled with colonies of tourists or are just waking up with sprouting buds in early spring, Plitvice are increadibly beautiful in every season.

We received a very warm welcome from the marketing director Vlatka Ruzic. We put up our „Welcome arch“ where we had our photos taken with one of many numerous groups of tourists. We carried on hiking on a route through Donja jezera, with three of their supervisors who work in one of the most amazing offices in the world. It is very easy to notice just how much they really enjoy their work. I did stop and think how they could perhaps think of offering something more interactive to tourists, but seriously, Plitvice are completely breathtaking and utterly enchanting just on their own.

A few kilometres along the way, we turned right at Rakovica towards Baraceve spilje caves. After traffic packed highway from Plitvice to Slunj we finally found ourselves in lovely, peaceful and quite tame surroundings. Hilly meadows, cultivated fields, peace and quiet only ever disturbed by some mellow bird sounds and buzzing bees. This intoxicating natural high from spring in its early bloom was suddenly changed by a completely different atmosphere. Over Kordunski Ljeskovac and Koranski Lug towards Rastoke I was surrounded with mine fields and small scattered houses of abandoned villages, taken over by nature's hands so much so one can hardly see notice them from all the overgrown greenery. If there wasn't for the road, the nature would have covered all tracks of time, which people aren't as easily going to forget.

I am back on the road, carrying on through all the beautifully perked up countryside, towards Slunj and Rastoke. The clouds seem to have cleared and the sky is bright blue again, I am enjoying my ride and all the lovely sights. Taking a look over the canyon of river Korana I must say I'm feeling gutted I couldn't go rowing due to low water level. I' going to have to leave this one until the next time.

I got to Rastoke sooner than I expected. I was met by the lovely director of the Slunj Tourist board, Ivancica Cindric. Later on, at the beach near Rastoke, I actually passed under a row of batons of Slunj's very own majorettes, accompanied by songs and melodies of KUD Korana. This was a very unique and brilliant welcome indeed.

Many thanks to Maca, Karolina and Marijana for coming over all the way from Zagreb. I'm off to bed now. I have got a loooong day ahead of me tomorrow. I'm off to Zavizan.