2.7.14

Croatia: Plitvice National Park & A War Museum

Plitvička Jezera, August 2013

"Look! There's so many houses with bullet holes in its walls!"

My eyes widened and gasped as I looked out of the bus window. I was on my way to Plitvice National Park and was passing by the town of Turanj. I've already been warned that I would see a lot of ruins of war during my road trip in the Balkans. But not until I saw it myself that I felt my heart sank.


one of the ruins


countless bullet holes in the wall


Croatian War of Independence Museum

Turanj is a historic outpost south of the Austro-Hungarian fortress of Karlovac which was established in 1582 and became particularly important during the Croatian Homeland War in 1991-1995. The bus stopped for a while to allow us to have a quick visit at the Croatian military museum. There's a ruin military base which is still clearly showing signs of combat damage from the war, just like many other houses in that area. Along with an aircraft wreck, they also display a collection of armoured vehicles used by Croatian army during the war.



wreckage of a MiG-21bis



I walked around this small open air museum with indescribable feelings. Perhaps I was just being oversensitive but it felt like I was thrown into the wartime, hearing all the screams in terror and sound of barrage of bullets and bombs exploding. I got goosebumps all over my body because of the weird vibe so I decided to continue the journey. It's just so sad to think that people who live in that area have to witness this everyday thus remind them over and over again about what happened during the war.


Plitvice National Park

After about 2 hours, my bus was finally entering the protected area of Plitvice National Park that extends over 295 square kilometres, making it the largest national park in Croatia. It's also known as the oldest national park in the country which was proclaimed in 1949. It was already noon so before the trekking, I went for a lunch in one of the restaurants to taste some local cuisine. One of them was 'Chicken Under the Bell', I'll write about it in another blog post though :)


people are queueing to see one of the waterfalls


the path

On the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979, Plitvice Lakes are considered one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in the world. In total, there are 16 remarkable cascade lakes which are connected by 92 waterfalls. I can't stress enough how magnificent the views that I got to see. So gorgeous that my pictures don't do it justice. I'm sure this place will be a haven for nature lovers. There are about 1267 different species of plants, 321 species of butterflies, 161 species of birds and a lot more. Visitors also get to choose some activities including walking, trekking, electrical boat, train riding, cycling, skiing and rowing.


electric boat ride
T-shirts by @TravelingID

streams

so pristine

Ticket prices vary between 55 Kuna to 180 Kuna, depends on the season. The one-day ticket includes electric boat rides on Lake Kozjak and panoramic train rides, visitor insurance and VAT. If you ask me if it's worth it? Without a doubt, YES! It would be insane to travel to Croatia without a visit to Plitvice National Park. I even bracing myself against the scorching hot weather to do a 3 hours trekking (shortest route but it's a big deal for a polar bear like me :p).


crystal clear water

Plitvice National Park

In the end my beautiful day was ended abruptly by a sudden storm, heavy rain and hail that made me soaking wet. Plus a rather haunted night staying in one of the hotels in the national park area. All in all, I had such a marvellous experience in Plitvice National Park though. I'd really love to revisit and to explore another routes which I believe nothing less than beautiful.

31 comments:

  1. I am overwhelmed reading this post and seeing all the beautiful pictures. I'll go to Croatia someday! Thanks for sharing Deb :*

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Sweetie :*
      I really hope you will visit Croatia soon. It's a beautiful country :)

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  2. and now Croatia is way more modern and hips than the Serbia, we all know who is the loser during the Yugoslavia war. Great to welcome Croatia in EU.

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    Replies
    1. yes, that's true. Croatia is one of the hidden gem in EU :)

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  3. walaupun negara perang, tp dibalik itu ada pemandangan yg istimewa..

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  4. Amazing stuff - nearly 20 years on and some buildings are still shells. Quite startling to be honest. thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. yeah, it's actually kinda sad to see those ruins :(

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  5. kata temenku co2 croasia cakep2 yeee, dia kesana waktu itu liputan dan dia betah ngak mau balik :-?
    Btw aku terkesima ama tembok yg berlubang2 kena peluru, kalo di indonesia pasti dah di ancurin atau malah vandalisme nya muncul dari tangan2 jahil :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sepanjang road trip di Balkan, banyak banget liat reruntuhan atau rumah yg rusak gara2 perang. Sedih lho bayangin gimana perasaan para penghuni pas perang berlangsung :((

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  6. Wahhh... bagus bgt jd pengen suatu saat kesana. Mau tanya Deb, mata uangnya Croatia itu Kuna ya namanya? Emgnya dia ga termasuk EU ya? Kl kesana beli mata uangnya dimana n kira2 berapa rupiah kursnya?

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    Replies
    1. baru tahun lalu masuk EU. Mata uang di banyak tempat bisa pake euro dan kembaliannya dikasih Kuna :)

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  7. Mungkin kalau saya berkunjung ke musium seperti itu sangat mengerikan membayangkan kesedihan, suara tangis, teriakan, kesakitan pada masa itu.

    Yang paling menarik ya plitvice national park itu, layaknya surga dunia. Ingin saya mengunjungi danau danau yang indah dan tenang.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. aku sering tuh kalo berkunjung ke tempat kaya gini langsung berasa mendengar atau ngeliat kejadiannya. Jadi berasa sedih banget :(

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    2. Wow....berarti Mbak Debbzie punya kelebihan Six sense. Apakah benar?

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    3. hasil foto auraku warna ungu kebiruan n menurut si expert, itu tanda anak indigo. Tapi aku selalu menyangkal atau ignore kalo merasa "something". Pingin hidup normal aja :)

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  8. When I went to war memorials, museums & the likes, I always got chills down my spine. They reminded me so much of the dark past of our life & can be kinda scary.. That's why I don't like spending too much time in such places. But the national park looks absolutely stunning! I'd love to visit it someday. All the greens & fresh air must be nice! :))

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Halida.....Plitvice is so soooo beautiful. I really wish you will visit it one day :D

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  9. Yes, it is sooo beautiful! A bit different than what we have here in Indonesia. Anyway, kakak udah eksplor Zagreb nggak? Udah ditulis?

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  10. Yes, it is sooo beautiful! A bit different than what we have here in Indonesia. Anyway, kakak eksplor Zagreb nggak? Udah ditulis?

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    Replies
    1. ke Zagreb juga tapi belum sempat nulis ceritanya *failed blogger* >.<

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  11. sesedih apapun, tapi kalo dtg k tempat ato negara bekas perang, aku selalu suka, dan betah untuk berlama2. Kayak balik ke masa silam, ngebayangin suasana, perasaan orang-orangnya, tp sbnrnya, itu bikin aku jd lbh menghargai negara sendiri, dan bersyukur tinggal di tempat yg 'terbilang' aman ;).

    nyesel pas k eropa lalu, cuma singgah ke Serbia... di sanapun ada museum perang juga... next traveling, pgn bgt ngedatangin lagi negara2 ini..

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    1. aku juga suka, Fan. cuma seringnya jadi overwhelmed gitu kepengaruh suasana sedihnya :(

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  12. lebih suka pemandangan alamnya deb. Meski begitu, bekas2 peninggalan perangnya ga langsung dihancurin begitu ya.

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    1. ho oh, masih banyak banget peninggalan perang disana Sedih deh liat puing2 gitu :(

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  13. Great post! I've always wanted to go to Plitvice, and your story makes me want to go even more!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you ! Plitvice is indeed very beautiful. I hope you will visit it soon :)

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  14. baru tau nih ada tempat kayak ginian, kayaknya seru klo di kunjungi, ngiler liat air nya bening begitu pingin nyebur :D
    klo sudah bosan muterin indonesia ini bakal jadi tujuan pertama

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    1. recommended bangetttt. Beneran kalo ada kesempatan mesti kesini. Cantikkk :)

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  15. Plitvice, straight to my bucket list!

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    Replies
    1. definitely worth to visit, Ogi :D

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