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I am currently working on securing partners for the first ever photo tour that will take me all along the XYZone coast including Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro. Times and detail will be posted later but I want to do it before the winter and landscapes are barren but after the tourists are away. I was on Island Rab and Labin earlier this year and there were to many tourists that a nature landscape shot is not possible as there are people and boats everywhere. September would be ideal climate-wise and get the dramatic skies and colors needed for this project.

adriatic tour map

This is tentatively the route going south from Koper (Slovenia) to Ulcinj (Montenegro) and coming back a similar way to get different times of day at the same locations where needed. viamichelin estimates this trip as 16 hours full driving each way but i want break it down to 7-10 days round trip to maxims the time in locations, dawns, sunsets and high noons that will provide something special and lasting imagery of some of the most pristine coastline in the world.

Those interested in sponsoring part of the expenses, accommodation, fuel etc we can work out some advertisement agreement. for those interested in meeting up for photo walks etc, are also encouraged to leave a comment below and we can meet up if our calenders agree.

Rab Rocks!

Now either way you want to interpret that title you’d be correct, it is both rocky in landscape and as a meaning for this place. Otok Rab, like it’s neighboring island Krk it has both it’s vast rocky slopes and forested areas as well as a small salt water wetland I tried unsuccessfully to shoot some wildlife birds in.

many of the roads take you through much of the different parts of the natural wonders from the ferry boat at …. to the town of Rab or farther to Lopar however you will not fully see much of this island’s gems unless you really get on a bike, quad or some walking boats and explore the trails and sheep trails that cover the island.

I took part of one day to go as far as i could by car to Dumići and then by foot along the shore viewing the islands of Šailovac, Sredjak and Maman and the unique rock strata complete with wall information plaques. it is not easy walk as there is not conventional path but if you are determand and courtus to walk past what apears to be private porches with people and kids playing and get by a couple who were fully enjozing the rights one has when zoućve stacked a few rocks ontop of eachother – FKK.

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The clear water, red earth and rocks provide a stunning veiw

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One of the islands and boats

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One of the manz rewading shots that come off the beaten trail.

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and another

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Some of the rocks

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The salt wetlands

I then reunited with my transport and headed to Lopar, mostlz consisting of a camping and private appartments this town is pristenly situated on a peninsula, i stayed around the turist spots and took these pictures.

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Some of the little islands and bits of rock on this part of the island look like broken cake. The moutain in the background is part of the Velebit national park on the mainland.

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The old walls in the town of Rab by night

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one of the old streets

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A courtyard art gallery in Rab oldtown

Well all was not complete on my visit without taking a quad trip up some of the trails and hinterland. I went with some friends and took the small trek, we really should have taken the longer one and gone up to the hilltop legendary Ćkaminak restaurant, we will next time. we made our way through a small hamlet and on to gravel paths to vast open plains and wilderness. while two of my companions were driving off one other friend mentioned how perfectly quite it was up there, nothing to hear just vast nature to glance at. Our time to return the quads came way too fast and we had to leave this natural sanctuary for the ruckus “real world”, at least long enough to post this blog.

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the open plain and sheep fold in the background

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Home on the range

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This blogger with camera aboard preparing to tear up the dunes and earth behind, did not take enough pics of this part of the trip as we were having to much fun driving around on a time limit. Next time we are getting all day, surly worth it and a great way to see more of the island then by conventional roads and get the photos and experiances other turists don’t ever see.

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Arguably one of the brightest contributions since Tesla, turning the photo magazine world to a slower sensible speed, just enough to look and enjoy the things that make our world what we run outside to photograph in the first place,  we lose that joy somewhere along the way in the rush to download from our cameras and up to the internet to one of the many online clubs and forums before the other guy does. While PDF magazines are nothing new this teams collection, diversity and quality is quite astounding.

Over the years I have seen the quality and dedication of other Croatia photographers and fellow members on Deviant Art, but this is really taking it farther and providing a platform that DA does not for local and international talent.

Not only am I euphoric for this as a Croatian brainchild and free service from a photographic standpoint to the worldwide photographic print community, but in being a member of other photo clubs and magazines online and the recent closer of JPG magazine in New York that I had an account with that could not get financing in these hard times makes this project starting it’s second years a great accomplishment. I also see it as wonderful proof of what I’ve been saying these last ten years I’ve loved and lived in this country. Croatia’s national treasure is its people! Those that want to get out of the box of the narrow confines of yesteryears and create dreams into reality can make them just as much or maybe better then western counterparts, ideas translated into actions are the green renewable energy of the future, they run this world already and now we are getting the light BULB turned on here as well with this new example of this team’s dedication and initiative.
I have only read one magazine (#9) as of writing this but have downloaded all the other PDFs and will give them a great looking at as soon as I can, and probably more then once. See, download, participate, BULB today!

Veprinac Views

This little hilltop hamlet situated 500 meters above sea level overlooks the Kvarner bay as a neat little gem. Unlike the much larger and populated town of Kastav this is almost bare and deserted other then a few touristic looking signs and shops around the St. Mark church and the rest of the town quaint old houses of locals who still live in the village. I could see it being much more of a tourist spot then it currently is and old stone buildings laying in ruin just waiting to be renovated into a agro-tourist (home cooking) style restaurant one day.

grad-veprinac A  view from the road

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St. Mark church at the top of the hill.

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One of the local houses made out of rocks to match the look of the old walls.

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View of the bay and Rijeka city from the church of St. Mark courtyard.

Grobnik – Battlefield Earth

This hinterland of the Kvarner is the highlands of Rijeka. This foreboding and captivating area is the birthplace of warriors. I have friends who have served in the Croatian war of Independence (91-95) and said the bravest and ruthless fighters were from this area. Their ancestors are said to have fought and won both the Mongols in 1242 and Turks. the hilltop tow of Grobnik provides and perfect sanctuary and height advantage to the battle planes below and Platak mountain range keeping enemy from a fast retreat on the other side. Here are some pics I took on a recent visit to the top of Grad (town) Grobnik.

grobnik-1The castle tower and view of the valley once battle field earth that is now populated with towns of Cavle and Drazice.

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wind-blog

Since this is a longer article and many pics I have made it into a Adobe (TM) book. This is just a sample copy, if you would like to reprint or reproduce any text or images in this book just leave a comment and I will contact you.

Enjoy!

wind-small (click to download PDF)

I got to say that the web really has not hit this part of the world yet, at least not much more then in theory. If you live around here you know what I mean, like getting a visit card from someone with a @vip.hr at the end of their name. similarly you go to a website and it is just a stagnant page or just one provided by T-com and amounts to nothing but a place to post their address and phone number.

Web searching is where it gets nerve wrecking! I’ve been at it for hours and finding virtually nothing important. Slovenia is notably net savvy, yet still very few things are posted other then Tourist or government news sites in English, Croatia is all just tourism.

The problem is twofold, firstly, people here use the net to email, Google movie trailers and hang out in chatrooms or online gaming rather then as an instant library that I and many others use the web for. Secondly there is a giant language gap when it comes to academic material and since those that can read the local languages know where to find it  in dusty libraries don’t bother to put it on the web and those that can’t read it never get a chance as no one uploads or translates it. A humongous intellectual link is missing and then we wonder why no one knows more about this area? They simply can’t find it and give up and study Roman or Austrian events that are well documented in many languages. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog and post pictures of this region, to provide a view other then just tourist shots, I have not had much time either, so the tangle continues.

It will be another generation at least, the older generation don’t care and the young are still to busy playing online games, perhaps one day…

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