A 2-DAY TRIP IN CROATIA

The idea was to go hiking, preferably somewhere in Istria or Slovenia. In the end, however, we ended up on my favourite mountain Učka again. Ivan hasn't visited it since he was a kid, while I wanted to enjoy its many beauties. 

Even though we were expecting fewer degrees and a break from the 33 Celsius we have on the coast at this time of year, it was so warm that all we needed was a pair of shorts and a tee.

ucka

We parked on Poklon, near the mountain lodge, and proceeded uphill on foot.

There are 4 sections overall when you’re walking from Poklon to the top, each divided with an asphalt road. 

The first one feels the slowest, as it has a longer and easier path, surrounded by wonderful tall trees. The second one is the most demanding, as it rocky and steep. 

The third and fourth offer breathtaking scenes and a complete relax, with a lot of greenery and the melodious chirping of birds.

portrait ucka
funny pose with clouds.jpg
ucka sign



Once on top, you can see the whole Istrian peninsula on clear days. However, we visited when the air was thick with moisture and the giant clouds started looming above our heads.

Don’t visit only the watching tower when you get there, but proceed further on, as you will have a beautiful view and setting to take a break before going back down.


I fiercely wanted a coffee and an apple strudel in Dopolavoro, while Ivan filled his belly with an asparagus soup.


Since visiting Učka didn’t take us long, we also squeezed in some time to visit friends in Rijeka in the evening and had left to our Airbnb just in time before the storm.

The Airbnb was a cute, spotlessly clean one in Rubeši (near Kastav) with a balcony that was perfect for a morning coffee.

yoga pose on mountain.jpg

The next day was still a bit rainy while we were driving towards our next destination - Zeleni vir and Vražji prolaz near Skrad.

I was fairly optimistic that the rain would cease and it did.

Following a narrow winding road downhill, we ended up surrounded by magnificent nature that looked like it came out from one of the Lord of the Rings movies.

That place used to be underwater and it feels a bit surreal to imagine we were walking there. You could smell the sweet blossoming elder flowers and enjoy the calming murmuring of the water.

zeleni vir.jpg


I could’ve stayed there for days.

The path was muddy and slippery from the rain and I was not too happy about the unsafe-looking handrails and stairs. That is why we hadn’t proceeded on a 3-hour route, but turned back as the road got too steep and started looking dangerous.


There is also something curious and unexpected hidden in the cave of Muževa hiža - two boats. It is still an unresolved mystery how they got there, since they are supposed to be dated from the 1900s.

Breathing the crisp cool air and walking among green plants was truly a detox for the mind. We are surely going back there at some point, but there are many other places we need to visit first.


SOME USEFUL INFO 

  • The entrance to Vražji prolaz/Zeleni vir was 25 kunas (3.5 euros) per person. 

  • Going back to Istria, we ate a supple lunch at Bistro Tron in Delnice. We sat outside and were totally full for 10 euros per person. I was satisfied that I could spot some vegetarian dishes and ate a nice plate of green pasta with mushrooms.

zeleni vir nature.jpg
green leafy plants.jpg
A triton we accidentally spotted while walking in Zeleni vir.

A triton we accidentally spotted while walking in Zeleni vir.

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taking photos.jpg
zeleni vir waterfall.jpg

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Finding Vivian Maier's privacy

Have you seen the documentary about Vivian Maier?
If you haven’t, you should.

A strict nanny, but also a photographer whose works haven’t seen the light until a few years ago, Vivian Maier made thousands upon thousand of photographs during her lifetime.

Those works have been found and revealed by John Maloof who accidentally bought a huge box of negatives on an auction and found out they were really, really good. He was curious and wanted to know more about the artists herself - who WAS this Vivian Maier?

He tried Google - nothing came up. Strange, isn’t it? He had all this amazing work from a completely unknown photographer and decided to scan the negatives and try reaching for Vivian’s family and friends because Vivian herself passed back in 2009.
There came a surprise - she did not have any family left and not many friends either. The people who remember her most are the kids she used to babysit and they've got both joyful and dark stories to tell about her.

(Photo source HERE)

Deciding to create a documentary about Vivian’s life, even though he’s never met her, Maloof sets out on a mission to connect the bits and pieces of her life.
He was granted access to her storage unit and found a massive pile of Vivian’s stuff like letters, her hats and coats, newspaper articles, undeveloped film, tickets, flyers etc. from the 70s and the 80s.

I won’t be writing a movie review here, but I’ll rather focus on the matter of privacy.

Wikipedia describes privacy as the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes.

 

With phone and computer hackings, privacy has surpassed being a right and it is now a privilege. Who does have that sort of privilege?
I assume that only a small percentage of people have the freedom to keep their documents private without leaving a trace.


Vivian was a very private, reclusive person. She needed a lock in her room and didn’t allow anybody to come in. She was also a pack rat and her room was the reflection of a typical hoarder: chaotic, with stuff all over the place and so many stacks of newspapers that you could barely walk.

Now that she’s gone, the author of the movie revealed all this information about her to us, the viewers. He revealed the things that she kept in secrecy and didn’t tell anyone about.

There have recently been committed privacy crimes in terms of leaking nude photos of celebrities. Is this much different?
That internet leak of photos was meant to harm and embarrass.
John was fascinated by the splendid works of a photographer the art world knew nothing about. He made sure to have the works exhibited and promoted, therefore promoting the name of Vivian Maier herself.

Would she have approved? And how much does it matter, now that she’s not among the living?

 

(Photo source HERE)

(Photo source HERE)

From one standpoint, it’s unethical to disrupt someone’s privacy, but from another stance, now we’re given the opportunity to enjoy her work. The Egyptians surely didn’t want anybody rumbling around their pyramids, yet hoards of tourists visit them every day. Many works of art were hidden for decades and, once found, presented to the audience in museums or galleries.

Dedicating yourself to archive and exhibit in public places so many works made by an unknown artist, like Maloof has done, could be a long and nerve-wracking but, in the end, extremely valuable act. We can learn so much not only about the artist, but also about a certain period of time by looking at paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works that emerged from it.

What is the point of creation if you keep it all to yourself? Have those photos actually been created for the eyes of others as well as Vivian’s?

I think I’ve come to an unanswerable question. I find her photographs splendid and I’m glad I can take a sneak peak into Vivian’s world and way of seeing things. 

The best thing to do is watch the movie and judge by yourself. And pssst, rumour has it that the documentary could be nominated for the Oscars!

Let me know in the comments below what you think!
Was it wrong to publicly display all Vivian’s things? Is art meant to be enjoyed by the public?