By Ruth Clinton
Water Innovation Officer
Water Reflection – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
In September 2019 I was lucky enough to get to visit the Plitvice lakes National Park in Croatia. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site it is nestled in the mountainous region of Croatia, between the Mala Kapela mountain range in the west and northwest, and the Lička Plješivica mountain range to the southeast. It is about a 2-hour drive from Zadar which boasts a tremendously scenic route from the coast, through picturesque valleys right up on to a mountainous plateau.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park area is part of the Dinarides karst region, one of the most impressive karst landscapes in the world, marked by specific geological, geomorphological and hydrological properties . The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. The formation of these lakes was made possible with the building of the tufa, or travertine, barriers, and the lake system is believed to have been formed 12,000 to 15,000 years ago.
Another element of its beauty is the vibrant blue of the water. The type of algae that blooms in the waters of Plitvice releases gases as it grows and decomposes, and when those gases react with the water it shows as a stunning shade of azure. The exact blue is always changing though, as the mineral and gases react to the sunlight, which is why in some photos the water seems dark or really bright. 
It is probably one of the most exceptionally beautiful and geologically interesting places I have ever been and definitely one for the bucket list when travel restrictions lift.