Day 23, Wednesday September 27, 2017
Today we drove south of Senj to explore some of the little towns along the coast. This little fellow thinks that the middle of the road is the best place to take a nap, as do many of the cats that live around here.First stop is Sveti Juraz where we look for the ruins of a medieval church in a graveyard. We find it by accident when we were returning to our car. Seems that these attractions are not well marked in small towns.While we were looking for the cemetery we find a path up to the top of this hill and climb up there to see what the cross at the top is about. We get to the top but are still none the wiser about why this cross is here but We have great views of the town.
This little chapel has a little shrine with a statue and flowers inside.
There are lots of wild flowers here; these little pink ones are everywhere and there are several different aromatic herbs growing wild too, thyme, rosemary and some others I didn’t know the names of.
The next stop was a ‘lets get out of here’ visit. Lukovo supposedly has a pretty pebble beach and great views of the rocky islands off shore. The road to this town was the narrowest, windiest road we have ever driven on. It is really only wide enough for one car but it is a two way road and the corners are so tight that it is impossible to tell if there is another car approaching. It was pretty scary, and then when we get to the town, the roads are still very narrow, just barely wide enough for our car! We make our way down to the harbour but there are no street signs or any way to find the beach so we make our way back to the highway which is high above the town. We never made it to the beach that looks like a lake in this photo.
Starigrad was the next town but the road looks even narrower and has potholes so we decide not to even attempt it. We did make it to Jablanac, and headed to the beach for a late picnic lunch. The beach was cement! but the sun was shining and we enjoyed sitting and relaxing, watching people swim in the ocean and the boats going in and out. This photo is for my friend Pat. I told her I would dip my toe into the ocean for her today. The water was a bit cool but not too bad, and it was beautifully clear and clean.
We walked about looking for an alpine hut that is supposed to be the lowest altitude alpine hut in the world. After climbing 122 steps up to the hut we discover that it is no longer an alpine hut but that it is now a private home. The owner kindly let us come into her yard to take a couple photos. The hut is the white building with a red roof on the right hand side of the photo below. Seems nothing today is as we thought it was going to be!Here is the view from the ‘alpine hut’ and you can see the cement beach along the left side of the photo.While we were walking through the town I peered into an abandoned building and saw all this. There are so many buildings in Croatia that are abandoned and empty, often falling into ruin. I wonder why? Perhaps so many young people are leaving the smaller towns and heading to the cities to find work? Sometimes we are so busy looking at the big things that we miss the little ones. This plant growing by the steps down to the beach was covered with white snails.So, any guesses as to what this is?Our last stop for the day was the pretty little town of Stinica. The new ferry port to the neighbouring islands is located here. You can just make out many stone walls in this photo. These walls are all over the hillsides, sometimes on very steep mountain sides and I wonder who built them and why? Perhaps they are terraces for gardening but the ground is so very rocky everywhere it doesn’t seem likely. Sometimes they are on such steep hillsides that it would seem impossible to grow anything. I guess it remains a mystery for now.
In spite of everything not going exactly like we expected today we still enjoyed our drive and the scenery. Oh, and the funny little cubicles were changing rooms at the beach.