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Plitvička Jazera 1 October 2011

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To the Lakes

After an outstanding breakfast at Villa Kapitanoviç, we hit the road again, and without incident wound our way over the mountains and out onto the rolling green uplands of the Baltic Peninsula. The first leg of the trip, on a magnificent toll road that makes one wonder about US infrastructure, took us up over steep mountains and through half a dozen tunnels, one of them over two kilometers long. At Karlovac, a smoky industrial city, we turned onto what is called here a "first class road," winding through farmland and forest to Hrvatska's first and most precious national Park, the Plitvice Lakes, Plitvička Jazera. Say "pleat-veetsa."

Along the way, we needed to get gas and get cash, both favorite traveler's challenges. Gas is pretty easy: you fill it up, then pay nearly $7/gallon.

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. Photos: Rochelle Elkan</p>

highway scenes: Rijeka to Karlovac. Photos: Rochelle Elkan

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We found our Bancomat in Slunj --  j at the end is like the y in boy -- where we had our daily cappuccino in the bright red cafe, then crossed the street and got a lesson in Croatian supermarketing. Each item of produce has a number, bananas 12, mandarins 24, red peppers 82. Put your item on a scale, push the correct button, and out comes a bar code label that goes on the produce is read when you check out. Of course I didn't know this and had to be shown.

When we left the store, a group of young men in the cafe next door were singing some emotional song in four part harmony with beautifully blended voices.

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We arrived at Plitvička, got our room, and went down the hill to the lakes. Just a little tease for now; more to come tomorrow:

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