First we had been a bit disappointed about Croatia, but then we got to the Plitvice Lakes!
The Plitvice Lakes is definitely one of the major and best sites I have seen on my travels! The Plitvice Lakes alone are worth a trip to Croatia!
We left Zadar early in the morning and went on the direct route to the lakes. On our way we've passed some beautiful sceneries. But what we've also seen were quite many houses which still had bullet holes in their walls from the war 15 years ago.
We arrived at lunch time, which is actually the worst time to visit the Plitvice Lakes, as hordes of tourist buses arrive at the same time. But we gave it a go and went for it.
We didn't regret it!
It was drizzling and I can't remember the last time I shot so many photos in that kind of weather! Usually one or two of such waterfalls attract many tourists. But here you have dozens and each one is a highlight for itself!
There are nice little wooden paths through the park and sometimes they cross right across small waterfalls/rapids. The paths are nicely embedded in the nature and that way, it doesn't feel as crowded as it really is. We walked almost every path and it took us about 5 hours, but it only felt like 2 hours as we stopped so many times to take photos & film the unique scenery.
The Plitvice Lakes aren't that far away form the Slovenian border and my recommendation is to do a trip to Slovenia instead of spending too much time in Croatia but head for a day or two to the Plitvice lakes. Why Slovenia and not Croatia? You get more for your money! I know that I'm very critical on my travels and that others will definitely see it different. We've stayed most of the times in private accommodations and they were quite expensive but shabby.
The same with the food... we tried a lot of different places, up to the best of the town and each time it wasn't what we would have got for our money elsewhere in Europe. The scenery, the culture and the people in Croatia are great, but the accommodations, cafes, restaurants etc. have a complete lack of atmosphere and standard. We experienced the complete difference from the moment when we arrived in Slovenia again.
Ljubljana where we are right now, has got it all! Many great cafes, restaurants and the accommodations are much more what we had expected of Croatia.... ok... we've been to one place in Croatia I would recommend to stop for a night (if it's a Friday or Saturday).
Karlovac seems like an old and very typical town, influenced heavily by the fomerly Soviet Union. A place where you wouldn't stay to long. It also got many houses with bullet holes from the war and a hotel which is now a burned down ruin.
Then you start to wander around town and you suddenly experience the place from a completely different side! The roads of the town centre have no traffic and everywhere you'll find cafes with many young people inside and outside. Imagine a town with empty streets.... but bars and cafes full of people!
We've been to 2 places and we both completely fell in love with the town and the folks of Kalovac!