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četvrtak, 16. veljače 2017.

Photos Of The Day: Trekking Snowy Plitvice Lakes & Velebit Mountain (+Video)

Snowshoeing the paths of Velebit Mountain. Youtube screenshot.

There's more exciting and important topics going on right now, (supposedly a celeb somewhere did a selfie and tweeted something or said something in her new dress somewhere, it was all over the news this week), but this cool footage is rare so I decided it was interesting enough to throw in here also. (Rare not because it doesn't happen, there's just less winter images/videos around compared to summer views) Because like I mentioned before, I've come across many instances over the years where the people didn't even know that it snows in Croatia. (Imagine that, what did they think we ski and snowboard on or make snowmen with?) That would probably be because people see the summer time images and video footage floating around or they read an article about some celeb vacationing on the coast, and so then think it's always like that 365 days a year, just swimming, suntanning and galavanting from packed outdoor cafes to the festivals and just wearing shorts all the time rubbing suntan lotion on each others backs all day long, then sipping beers and wines on the boat deck eating fresh lobster. Nothing could be further from the truth, there really are different seasons in Croatia believe it or not. Actually, and this has happened a number times since starting this blog I noticed, I live in Canada and it snowed in Croatia earlier and even later than around here. I kid you not, even the capital city of Zagreb has a more northerly latitude than the city of Montreal. (That's why I started doing posts like Photos Of The Day November Snowfall every once in a while and throw in some of the Non-Summer images now and then to prove it)

Anyway, the below footage came out just a few days ago. In the 1st video the footage is of Croatian mountaineer and runner Ante Tonči Fabris and his dog Mishka Nanishka (or just Miška ), hiking the trails and cliffs on Velebit Mountain just above the historic coastal town of Senj and Nehaj Fortress built in 1568. It's not my particular favorite pastime or hobby these days, I've done similar before but I prefer skiing instead, however it is some cool rare video footage though. (see Photos Of Day 50th FIS World Cup Skiing Zagreb from last month for more cool pics) The part where they stop and look around, it sure is very different from the summer views with no ships, yachts or sailboats off in the distance which is usually the case in summer. Interestingly the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (Croatian: Hrvatska gorska služba spašavanja, HGSS) also do a lot of their training on this very Velebit mountain range and surrounding area, as well as literally save tourists who get lost or fall.

This time his snowy adventure took place on the Velebit Mountains range, parts of which make up the Velebit National Park and Paklenica National Park, the Velebit mountain range forms a part of the Dinaric Alps located along the Adriatic coast and also contains a number of deep caves, Cerovačke špilje and the "Lukina jama" cave (1431 meters deep) are popular with tourists because they extend for many kilometers underground and include caves formerly inhabited by the enormous ice age cave bears until 24,000 years ago. Both National Parks are also home to populations of bears, wolves, lynx, deers, martens, hares, bats, falcons, owls and many other animals. (The imposing nature of the main Velebit Mountain has made it something of a national symbol in Croatian folklore for centuries, there is a patriotic folk song "Vila Velebita" from the 19th century about a legendary supernatural fairy being (vila) that inhabits the rocks and mountaineous area of the Velebit range, a legend says she even played a part in helping defeat the centuries of Ottoman Muslim jihads and their Serb allies towards Central Europe and Croatia from Sanjak Smederevo, with just the sound of her wings able to make rocks rain onto the invaders. There are also folk tales about other various nature spirits and beings btw, such as witches, mermaids, underworld and water dwelling beings, unexplained orb phenomena etc)

Here after a fresh snowfall he treks along the Premužić track, which is partly very dangerous for inexperienced climbers, the 15 kilometer snowshoe walk on Velebit began from the Zavižan mountain lodge rest area to the shelter stop and then all the way back down again. The truth must be told that it even snows along the coast, if the reader plans on being in the area this time of year, then just leave the suntanning lotion and shorts behind and pack your touque and boots.

*(There's plenty of summer season videos and images of the Velebit and Plitvica Lakes parks to check out like I said, also here's some interesting related information about the bears-wolves-lynx-conservation efforts including in and around this Velebit mountain range area)

Will they slip and fall down the high cliffs against the snowy rocks below? You'll have to watch to find out.

Plitvice Lakes after a fresh snowfall. Youtube screenshot.

This 2nd video is him and his dog Mishka again walking among the frozen waterfalls and fresh snow at Plitvička Lakes National Park, which includes 16 lakes with numerous waterfalls connecting them all. Another not often seen view from the more popular usual summer images of the nature park. I was there a few times before but during the summer, when it's very different looking. Mainly trekking along the frozen upper falls and a run around Kozjak lake, the tranquil sereness on fresh snow is in sharp contrast from the warmer weather when thousands of people visit daily to walk the same paths and waterfall trails. (see also for more about the lakes and nature park)

Will they slip and fall down into the frigid icy water below? You'll have to watch to find out.

Here's good contrast examples of what the above locations usually look like in the summer, ie: when it's not snowing.








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