Guide to Croatia

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Climbing, hiking and mountain biking on Velebit mountain range in Croatia

This impressive, 150 km long mountain range stratches parallel to the Adriatic coast.It has been classified as World Biosphere Reserve( at this point only one in Croatia)according to UNESCO classification system. Nature Park Velebit is magnificent in its size and diversity. Total area is close to 2000 sguare km and shelters unique wildlife. Some of Croatian endemic and rare plants have there habitat on Velebits cliffs and its meadows.
Velebit can be divided and described using different aproches, geographicaly it has 3 parts- Northern Velebit, Middle velebit, Sothern Velebit, using landscape as a description tool there are two faces - rocky one on the coastal side and forested one facing continental inland, etc.
Two national parks are located in Northern and Southern Velebit respectively. Altghough they are really exceptional and beautiful there are so many other sithes in same areas which are unjustly neglected.
Very special geological structure can be seen in the most southern area of Velebit- Tulove grede. They are situated above Obrovac and Zrmanja river valley ( great place for canoeing, rafting and boat tours).
Purpose of this introduction is to give general directions in terms of size and importance. Naturally, knowing that we are discussing mountain range best aprocah is one without car or organized tourist groups. It is amazing and rewarding to go and see National Parks and well advertised spots, but most valuable treasures are always slightly hidden.
Slopes, cosy and inviting places, caves, wild canyons and strange karst formations, streams, springs and desaperaing rivers are in fact there to be seen by people who are willing to venture in less known.
In weeks to come I would like to describe different sections of the mountain range and give some hints about when and where to go, places to stay and visit and so on...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Remodeling of old burg in Varazdin in XVI ct

At that time Varazdin was a main fortress in defence against Turks and their efforts to penetrate Styria and Central Europe. Orders were issued by Emperor Ferdinand and Styrian Parliament for uninterupted flow of financial support. Restoration and strenghtening of the Schlossberg castle in Graz and fortification in Varazdin was almost simultanious.
Domenico dell' Alto, architect and builder was brought from Como and Lugano. Ivan Ungnad, captain of Styria and the Lord of the castle invited him. Restoration of the castle in Renaissance style was going on through next 20 years. Structure was completley transformed with addition of 3 massive round towers and water ditches. South wall was opened with arcades and north and west wing got windows. In the eastern round tower Renaissance chapel was built. Fortification was rectangular in shape and followed the plan of previous ground work.
This was the last major restoration of the castle.

Tajerske sestrice - Lighthouse on Kornati Archipelago

/sestrice stands for sisters/
Lighthouse is located in the south of the Kornati archipelago. Two small islands, 15 nautical miles far from Zadar protrude on the west. Building complex is situated in the middle of the century old pine woods on Sestrica Vela ( Big Sister ). These woods are ornithological paradise. Diverse birds rest here following their migration course.
Covered bridge connects lightmans building with the tower. Tower is 47 meters tall structure striped in red and white. Lightmans building is utilitarian space of noticable size. Whole complex is encircled with number of terraces. From there one can catch glimpse of cliffs on Dugi Otok ( Long Island ) in different lights and shades.
Please visit Kornati Archipelago National Park Photo Gallery

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Diving locations - Kornati, Croatia

Mrtovac is islet located only couple of minutes / by boat / from island Levrnaka.It is pleasure to dive down the vertical "wall" eventualy going 70 m deep. Formations of different kind of fish can be spotted as well as small caves on the bottom, habitats of red corals. Red corals have white tentacles and position themselves on the cave ceiling.

Balun is placed between two islands - Mana and Borovik. For decades it's been recognized as favorite diving spot on Kornati.In the waters arround southern tip of the island biggest colonies of Gorgonia ventalina ( soft coral with fan like shape) can be found. Nature of Gorgonias is that they all orient themselves in same direction and creates an amazing picture. Big Dusky groupers, spiny lobsters and jastog (type of big crawfish ) live on the rocky bottom and in crevices. Nearby are remanants of sunken wooden ship.

Lavsa is known for impressive underwater colony of Gorgonia. They start spreading on some 30m depth and cover that part of island "wall" .

Plicina Lumbarda /Shoal Lumbarda /is located 1,5 miles south from island Kurba vela. It si somehow positioned in the middle of the sea and caused many shipwrecks. Some of the wrecks are ancient and date 2000 B.C. and arround them amphorae remannats can be found. There are some medieval and some XIX ct. underwater artefacts, too.

Sedlo / Saddle / is small stony island in shape of half moon SW from island Kurba Vela. Big underwater plateau formed itself in the waters of the southern tip of the island.Vertical "wall" and its curves sometimes create ceiling where enormous activities of sea creatures can be observed.

Vodenjak is islet in Southern Kornati.Good anchorage is on the west side of the island. SW side steeply crashes into the sea some 50 m down. That vertical structure is another one of Gorgonia habitats in vicinity. Water is so clean, transparent and pristine that can trick a diver and condition as such calls for extra caution.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Something about guide to Croatia

Dont know much about blogging but I have some thoughts to share so here I am.
This blog will be source of information for everyone who want to visit Croatia. I hope that information and tips that I will provide on this blog will be useful.They are not only about tourism....that info is suppose to give people more general picture about possibilities of creating parallel life there and benefits of the same. It can be rewarding to know financial logistics behind previous statement. At the same time it gives a chance to people of different proffesions and callings to look into it as a new frontier(not in the terms of Wild West) for their work/job, carrier changes. Croatia is very much Mediterranean-Austro Hungarian-Central European country. Already this historical and regional mix offers to be a very interesting play ground. Best part is that we all need one-playground that is-either to create peacefull life or bring something what is well known to you but may be brand new there. I was thinking how fun it would be to try to cover enormous diversity in as many different subjects as possible. So far my expirience is that really unexpected topics end up mingling and inteconnecting.