Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
The calm pools are crystal clear, revealing schools of small fish among the submerged tree branches. The light rain dots the surface of the water.
Water flows over crevices just as it has for the ages. Trickles become rushing flows moving from level to level. We start the day early at the upper end of the park. Hidden in the trees, the cuckoos welcome us to their home.
As we move to the lower levels, children start appearing and then continual lines of people walking toward us. Pausing on the narrow paths, we take turns moving single file.
We arrive at the tallest falls. Crowds have taken over all the rocks, wanting to be surrounded by the mist. It can’t be helped but it looks like we will be taking the children home with us in our photos.
We chose wisely starting at the top of the lakes, allowing us to have the majority of the park to ourselves up until these last few moments. On reflection, it is a privilege that we can all share this precious place.
As I climb the stairs, I pause. The crowds have momentarily disappeared. I have the falls to myself. I track leaves as they float from the lake and over the falls disappearing in the mist below.
The moment passes, people have once again returned and I hustle to catch my tour group farther up the path.