Guide to Croatia

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Part III about Velebit

Seaboard side of the mountain slopes down in many different steps with as many different appearances.
On the altitude range between 500-1000m some of the loveliest and sincerely beautiful fields and meadows can be found.
I'm familiar with Konjsko, Javorovac, and Stap. They are like touches of softness in the middle of all these rocks and peeks. They do carry a memory of times long gone and pristine nature. Catch is that if one clings to that romantic vision it is easy to forget that what nature really offers there is a modest pasture(miles and miles of it) and gentle cover of soil over rocks.
For people who survived in these harsh condition for generations only potatoes , cabbage, barley , rye , and maybe something else here and there where resilient enough to " make it".
Another survivor is LICKA BUSA. Smallest cow to exist. That lovely animal with short horns and doe like head is really tiny. But it could feed itself, climb, ruminate and rest in condition devastating for other bovine breeds. Numbers of these indigenous cattle today are dangerously low. There are some dozen of them in Lika proper and its been years since I saw any on the Velebit. It seems funny to start romancing about the cow ( but bear in mind how smart, useful and good looking they are....when old Greeks complimented goddess Hera with cow like eyes they had in mind something really beautiful not "the stupid cow" from commonly exchanged pleasantries)
Talking about endangered domestic animals in Croatia is a serious issue and has to be addressed properly. I cannot do it now...unfortunately.
Going back to these same fields, pastures, meadows and valleys there is such an abundance and diversity in the world of vegetation.
Do not forget that endemic plant DEGENIA VELEBITICA grows only and only on Velebit.
There is this great book Forenbacher wrote about flora on Velebit.Although it is printed in Croatian it has numerous excellent photos and glossary with all plants named in Latin of course.For anybody who is seriously and less seriously curious about the subject this book is a must.
To make a connection with the previous article and Baske Ostarije(because-there is one).
One can make a nice scenic drive from Baske Ostarije to let's say Konjsko and hike down the sea side of the mountain to Porat.Or it can be more ambitious -all walking tour-. Porat is a gem. My paternal great grandmother is from there and it makes it even more dear to me(that part is personal).However it is a tiny fisherman village
located in natural bay, hiding behind the cape used to catch tuna and situated comfortably under the mountain.It is amazing how you can physically feel this "under" part.
I would strongly recommend any route from Baske Ostarije in direction of either Cesarica,Porat , and/or even Devcic draga. They all have some enchanting stuff to offer and you will not be sorry.


Post a Comment