Pranav & I dutifully sought out rain ponchos before heading into the Plitvice Lakes National Park—after shelling out a 120 kn. entry fee and scoring a prime spot on the tram ride to the trailhead, we weren't about to get rained out. Ironically, the rain subsided soon after we had suited up.
I had done no research at all in coming to this place, and as such had little to no expectation for what I was about to witness. But there was something about the magnetism of the place that inexplicably pulled me deeper into the woods, and within minutes my pace had slowed almost to a standstill.
Chlorophyll greens & carved limestone set the stage for lakes linked by waterfalls—some cascading over cliffs and foliage, some disappearing into a sinkhole and emerging again at some other point, as if Lewis Carroll had been allowed to write rivers instead of stories. The air was fuller and fresher in the trees, and I weaved through them along the footpaths and bridges and found the smell of home: of water and dirt and forest and wind.
The lakes themselves were crystal-clear to ten feet and beyond, and seemed as though they hadn't seen ripples for hundreds of years. Curious fish bobbed near the banks, gaping at us in amazement over the world outside their own small lake.
It was an odd moment, in my imagination. Between the fish and the park visitors, we each wanted a piece of what the other had.