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Offbeat Traveler: Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia

On June 25, Croatia celebrates the 20th anniversary of its independence from Yugoslavia. You could commemorate this occasion by visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park, the country's first national park and one of its most breathtaking. The UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its waterfalls, uniquely colored lakes (grey, blue and green) and caves. The tumult and unrest the anniversary recalls seems in contrast with the splendor and stillness of Plitvice Lakes, but Croatia's first national park played an important role in the country's independence movement. On Easter Sunday in 1991, Josip Jovic was killed in Plivice, marking the first death of a Croatian police officer in Croatia's struggle for independence. Twenty years later, the upheaval is a far-off memory, but the park's stark and unique beauty remains. -- Jason La
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