#216: Carpe Diem (English version)

As the weekend approaches my household members start hiding and they get quieter and quieter. If they “play dead”, they may not have to participate in the activities I have planned for the weekend. Of course, it’s a joke. There is no running away. Wherever I go, I try to provide enough activity for them, without killing them, and at the same time provide myself with some kind of relief valve for my hyperactivity. This weekend I imagined four important things and in my mind allowed everything to be changed but we all succeeded and even added something. Let this travel blog today give you an idea for the weekend, because that is its only goal.

Improvised curling session at Hahlić with the crowd you rarely see.

1. Hiking Hahlić

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been arranging this with Elvir from Kvarner Trails to lead us on a hike, through trails that not everyone goes. And it all came together. Weather forecast was great, we can, he can (although his wife couldn’t, but hopefully another time). We set a meeting at Dražice and Elvir took us to the place where usually the refreshment stop of Hahlići Trails race is and from there we would make a beautiful circle in which Elvir’s son is picking up a serious pace. Kiddo rocked! The apple does not seem to fall far from the tree. I participated in that race several times and although I gave myself time to stop and take a look, I finally had the opportunity to really enjoy these meadows with amazing views of the Kvarner Bay, Učka, the islands of Krk and Cres, the view reaches all the way to Northern Velebit. But I let the photos speak for themselves. I would just like to add that at one point on one of the hahlić where we stopped, and where the horses come to drink, a phenomenal meeting took place with Danijela and Dejan from the Zov Planine blog. I have no idea how I figured them out, but they came down to us (and the horses) to the hahlić, where we toasted with brandy, talked a bit and continued on our way richer for another wonderful and very spontaneous gathering. After three hours of pleasant walking through Hahlić (Elvir tells me it’s more correct), we were rewarded with lunch in Putniku at Grobnik and I’ll tell you that this is the right way to finish hiking in the Grobnik Alps. We thanked our hosts and promised for more hiking in the near future!

2. Cross country skiing in Ravna Gora

About a week ago Maja drew my attention to an event announced on Facebook from Poonkt, two young ladies – Antonija and Lana who decided to organize a cross-country skiing under the stars. Unfortunately, due to pandemic situation, the event was canceled. I couldn’t help but ask if they would show us a bit of “how it works”. Both Maja, Matej and I run and ski, but we never tried to connect it. After lunch, we headed to our accommodation with a friend Anita in Apartments Belvedere in Fužine, a place where I have been going for the last 10 years and where I feel at home. I love Anita and her family, I love their house and I love Fužine. That’s all I have to say on the subject, and I could do a lot more. After we settled in and rested for half an hour, we changed for our new daily adventure and headed towards Ravna Gora. It was about 20 minutes by highway and we easily found Poonkt where we rented equipment, and Antonija and Lana took us to their local XC ski trail. The trail could have been better, as they say, because there was no fresh snow, but for the first experience and test drive it was quite good for us. We didn’t want to bother them much because it was already dusk so we threw ourselves into testing our abilities. I’ll say it’s not like anything I’ve tried and it will take me a while to adopt to that movement, but I managed to put 2km in the books. New experience! That’s all I wanted! 🙂 Dana ran around us, which I wouldn’t have allowed otherwise because the trail needs to be taken care of for skiers. We agreed that there would be no more activities today. Thank you Lana and Atonija for your patience and will!

3. Running around Lake Bajer

Lake Bajer is a beautiful artificial lake that is filled with water from yet another artificial lake, Lake Lepenica, and is located at the foot of Fužine. I have been coming here for years and I consider it one of the phenomenal places for mental relaxation through activity. At 7 am on Sunday I went out with Dana for our running routine and we descend through the Dr. Franjo Rački Street to the lake where we head west across the dam for the run around Bajer. It is -1C outside, and the lake is frozen in its lower part, and the upper part where ducks and two swans nest is surprisingly unfrozen. The circle is about 6 kilometers, maybe a bit more, and when I add the departure from the apartment, then it turns out just eight kilometers. Already on the first ascent, just below the viaduct, the Gorski Kotar gen awakens in me, the cold air in which there was no moisture at all, telling me that the T-shirt is just unnecessary. I just love running without a shirt on. Shirtless. Some have asked me what are the benefits, is it some kind of BS, “you’ll catch a cold”, all sorts of things, but honestly it’s the most natural thing to me and the only benefit is actually just this feeling great. I wear arm-warmers and that’s actually what matters most to me (that kinda scratches “the crazy” diagnosis). The rest of the body enjoys the benefits of this temperature. There was no one there at 7am for the show off, and Dana doesn’t care what I wear, as long as we run! Who hasn’t done the Lake Bajer circle, I sincerely recommend it. It’s not demanding, it’s easy at any time of the year, and despite the fact that it has a highway viaduct above, it’s very easy to get used to it being there and it’s possible to get away from it. One should look at what is beautiful and focus on it. One day, I hope soon, I will run around Lake Lepenica which looks like some postcards from some Canadian wilderness.

4. Dip at Bribirska obala (Bribir waterfront)

After the morning run, Anita calls me to say that she and her husband Mimi are coming soon to Fužine for a coffee. We are just finishing the packing and we are ready for a walk with Anita on Ličko polje (not Lika valley, but Lič valley). Ličko polje is a wonderful place for walking and meditation / prayer / reflection, but also talking to friends. We let the dogs run across the meadows, and we take a leisurely walk with a coffee-to-go towards the sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Snow. Sunny and cold morning with a light wind but it always blows there because the valley is surrounded by hills. And I look at those hills thinking that I haven’t run there yet, and I see some trails. It’s time for new trails. After a pleasant conversation and catching up with Anita because we rarely see each other, we return to the apartment, put things in the car, hug Anita and head towards Novi Vinodolski. My mom and her husband have a house there, so we decided to go check it and check out the sea. We walk along the Bribir waterfront and come to a small beach with a beautiful view to Southern part of the Island of Krk and lower towards South to Zavižan and Senj. Beautiful sunny day, air temperature around 12 degrees C, and the sea is at 9.5C. Compared to the 5C on Lake Jarun from a week ago, this seems like a warm bath. And for that, people asked me why I was doing it and that I was going to endanger my health … and again, all sorts of things. Honestly, whenever I was given the opportunity, regardless of the time of year or my age I did not miss (or at least very rarely) entering the sea. I adore the sea as I adore all other forms in which nature manifests. For the last almost a year I have been showering in cold water and I have taught my body how to more easily endure the discomfort of the cold which allows me to enjoy those colder days more. It is beautiful in the sea but I am not without respect and after five minutes I went out even though I could still enjoy it. And no one around me. I’m alone in the sea. Only cormorants and fish. My son and I found a compromise solution for him to get into the knee-deep water instead of taking a plunge. Quite ok for him. His time is coming for sure and I appreciate the interest. The day is halfway, and we have already run, walked twice, swam, … we order a great pizza from the famous pizzeria Nava in Novi, which is delivered to our doorstep. We feast on the sunny stairs in the garden with pizza and beer (Matej still doing cola… and this is a rare occasion as well), close the house and go for a walk along the sea and coffee in Crikvenica. We need to go to Zagreb.

Everyone is the creator of their own happiness. Depending on the possibilities, we choose what we can, but we can also choose how we look at the things we can and are offered. I choose to be positive and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, while focusing on those good things rather than what I might possibly criticize. In this article I am not advertising anyone but giving you ideas, and you can always do as you see fit. Everything we did was paid for because it is the right way. I will never pay for socializing with people, nor do I think that human honesty and socializing can be paid for. Friendship is priceless and I am grateful to everyone who enriched our lives this weekend with their presence. I am a hyperactive person. I had to come to terms with it, but so did the people around me. Sometimes it’s hard for me among people who don’t share my passions and see life as “ordinary”. For me, life is just fantastic. A training ground for new skills, new things and knowledge, new experiences, meeting new people from whom I can learn. I can choose whether to be a participant in it or an observer from the “comfort” of the sofa. No sofa is so comfortable for me that I would rather be in it than in nature. This time I discovered some beautiful grassy sofas on the slopes of Hahlić. They are the only ones dear to me. Carpe diem

You can find this article in Croatian as well.

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