Guide to Croatia

Monday, April 24, 2006

Premuzic Path II

My last description of the Premuzic path starts with a serious error. Path does not begin with Veliki Alan. For me it does because that is the section I know and am really familiar with. It is some 50 km long in whole and its northern part is as unknown to me as it is to next person. I sincerely apologize for confusion it caused. Somehow we all limit things around us according to our reality, and is a shrinking global village but so far knowledge is not expanding with same vigor or proportion.
In its full glory Premuzic path was conceived in 1930's. It took 3 years to "complete" it and path was named after Ante Premuzic. Name is rightful and justified.It takes you from Veliki Zavizan to Veliki Alan. Only place I visited and revisited there is Botanical garden-Velebit. It is not real part of the path but close enough to its start. Location of the garden is Modric dolac( Modric is local family name and dolac stands for valley). Surrounding peaks are high and impressive with dazzling view at the coast and islands from Vucjak.
Botanical garden itself belongs to so called "open type". Some plants or groups of plants are properly marked(unfortunately-not enough of them), there is a spring / taste of the spring water on Velebit is experience for itself, I actually believe or at least my palate does that some of them are more sweet or more "herbal" than others
....nothing else to do about it but to taste yourself/and wooden shack or cottage intended for people who are willing to stay for a longer period of time and observe.
I never did it. I stayed in Krasno. Word "krasan, krasno" describes something beautiful. In short with its location, unbelievable woods, mountain road and everything it is a place of amazing serenity and loveliness.
Back to the Botanical garden Velebit. Selection of this particular spot for botanical garden is not random and has scientific leverage. Climate and surroundings on average make it possible for enormous diversity of floral communities from all over the mountain chain to be represented. When Fran Kusan/university prof./ worked on this project with his colleagues in late 60's plan was reasonable, clear and logical. Unfortunately with passage of time and lack of money and/or interest and primarily with death of prof. Kusan idea was somewhat neglected.
Botanical expedition on Velebit started early in XIX ct. Kitaibel(Hungarian botanist), Saxon king Friedrich August are probably between the first and most important visitors who left their notes about floral abundance. Before WWII Arpad Degen published his masterpiece "Flora Velebitica" and in early 1990's Forenbacher "Velebit i njegov biljni svijet"/ Velebit and its flora/ with excellent selection of photographies.
Somebody who is more serious and into more detailed research will find more details in studies and publications from University of Agriculture-Zagreb, University of Forestry-Zagreb and other individual studies and sources.


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