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.
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.
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.
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.
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.