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srijeda, 3. kolovoza 2016.

Ivica Kostelić And 8 International Alpine Skiers In Croatia Doing Nothing In The Middle Of Nowhere (+Videos)

Croatian World Cup champion alpine skier and Olympic medalist Ivica Kostelić, invited a bunch of World Cup alpine skiers to hang out at his summer vacation retreat for 6 days, and then a bunch of stuff happened.

Well, all the shootings, stabbings and crimes news and the related non-celeb fashion and selfie images is boring the hell out of me, so it's time for another wacky yet interesting quick post. Also and firstly, no matter what the reader may wrongly think, this is NOT in any way any sort of "tourism" post because I simply don't do tourism posts, it's always just about information for the benefit of the reader. However, this recent topic was definitely amusing and interesting enough to throw in because it shows much more rare summer footage of Croatian World Cup skier Ivica Kostelić, but also a bunch of other international accomplished alpine skiers who joined him for a week long adventure on the Croatian Dalmatian coast. What's so interesting about that? Because one actually hardly ever sees any skiers or even any winter sports athletes doing things in the summer season period. (to put that in perspective, it would be like a vegan inviting fellow vegans to a surf and turf smorgasbord, or a surfer inviting other surfers to a 6 day trip climbing in the Himalayas in January, so that's pretty rare)

Basically, World Champion FIS alpine and 4 time Olympic medalist skier Ivica Kostelić invited a group of former and current international ski racers to his family holiday home on the southern Croatian island of Mljet. The group included Slovenian World Cup alpine skiers Mitja Dragšič and Mitja Valenčič, Italian alpine ski racers Christof Innerhofer, Cristian Deville and Manfred Mölgg, resident of Canada Jeffrey Frisch as well as Swedish alpine skiers Petter Robertsson and Magnus Andersson, and former American alpine skier Warner Nickerson, who posted the below videos on his Youtube channel so we can see what all happened. The series of video clips documents their recently finished 6-day holiday at the Kostelić summer retreat on Mljet.

(Just like a few of the other islands along the Croatian coast that I've touched upon already, Mljet also has a long and interesting history. Here's a very brief refresher.....before even the Croatian tribes arrived in and liberated ancient Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum in the 6-7th century from north of the Danube and Transcarpathia, Mljet in the 3rd century BCE was associated with the ancient Illyrian tribes, Greek sailors passing by included the island in the story about Calypso and Odysseus of Greek mythology, Roman authority over the island began in 167 BCE, the Roman Emperor Augustus waged wars against Illyrian pirates there around 40 BCE, Appian in his De rebus Illyricus written in 35 BCE called the island Melitus, Pliny the Elder called it Melita, with the fall of the Roman Empire in the west after the Gothic invasions from the 3rd to 6th century, the island fell under the control of the German military leader and first King of Italy Odoacer and his "comes domesticorum" Pierius, following this it fell under the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire control, soon after liberating the mainlands during the time of Emperor Heraclius then began the Croatian habitation of the island, subsequent intermittent battles with the Roman Byzantine armies ensued. During the times of the medieval Croatian Kingdom, King Michael Krešimir II (reign 949-969) and King Stephen Držislav (reign 969–997) and their powerful Bans/Viceroys Pribina and Godemir, Croatian navy ships were known to have frequently sailed past and even porting at Mljet, as they were in conflict with the fleets of Saracens and Muslim Arabs attempting to cross and invade for slaves from the Italian peninsula of Gargano in 968-969, Croatian King Stjepan I in 1050 made a land grant along the coast that extended the boundaries of Dubrovnik to Zaton, but Mljet remained in the Croatian Kingdom. Later still, Dubrovnik nobles while defending against 13-14th century Serb attacks were administering the island mainly from a growing colonial Venetian presence in the Adriatic (but they paid tribute to the common Croato-Hungarian state during the reigns of Croatian Bans/Viceroys and other aristocratic high officer nobles...Frankopan, Hrvatinić, Kačić, Lacković, Kurjaković, Karlović, Gusić, Šubić, Zrinski et al), then the Abbots of St. Mary administered it, the Venetian Republic then temporarily controlled it for a time, with the final fall of the Dubrovnik Republic came the arrival of Napoleon's army, then decades of Austrian rule, then once again part of the Croatian Triune Kingdom. (ie; the free royal and historical Croatian lands in the 19th century united, even if still administratively a part of the larger Austro-Hungarian Empire), and finally again in the 20th-21st century today returned back in an independent and free Croatia. Today only about 1100 people permanently live on the island of Mljet all year round, but many visitors come in the summer for nature retreats, vacations and exploring since most of the island also makes up the protected Mljet National Park. That's the basic gist of it)

Back to the topic of the videos, the camera follows them around while they rough it at and around Croatia's largest most southeastern island of Mljet and then slowly make their way to Dubrovnik. During the 6 days they don't visit any towns or cities, no popular or people filled locations or beaches, there's no highway travelling, they don't stay at any hotels or eat at any restaurants or fast food joints, (except the ending few minutes from their last night in Dubrovnik when the trip is over), no cafes or those grilled meats and ice cream stands along the way, no fancy yachts or cruise ships, it's just cliff jumping, hiking, climbing, biking, swimming, kayaking, sea cave exploring, bumping into a few people here and there in the boonies, back and forth skiers banter, philosophizing, sunburns and hijinx, stuff like that.

The one part of them jumping cliffs actually reminded me of a couple summers I spent in Larder Lake Ontario when I was 14 and 15 yrs old, jumping and diving from cliffs about the same heights, and I also dived some pretty high cliffs around Rijeka when I was 11 and 12 years old too. I have to agree that cliff diving and jumping actually is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it. Anyway, just very rare views of the skiers/winter athletes in the summer basically in the middle of nowhere in Croatia doing absolutely nothing related to skiing or winter. Enough intro, the videos are below...


The videos were posted by alpine skier Warner Nickerson on his Youtube channel.

(For those unfamiliar the last few minutes is from parts of the annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival)

...and for those who don't know who Ivica Kostelić is, below is the more regularly seen video footage from over the years.

Location of Croatia's most southerly and easterly and 8th largest island of Mljet visited in the videos. (in Croatian pronounced like 'Mlyet')

Previous related posts: ivica-kostelic-getting-married-bears-speaking-croatian













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