Adventurous driving and hiking

We had decided last night over dinner to skip the big tourist attractions like Pula and Rovinj. The plan is to visit Motovun and to do a walk in the Učka national park. Since the weather at breakfast is very cloudy, we decide to the nature hike last in the hope that it will clear up.

We set out around nine, it takes us more than an hour to reach Motovun. It’s not that far if you count the kilometres, but the roads are small and windy. Arne’s GPS sends us over a backroad that is barely large enough for one car and has extremely steep inclines. These inclines are done in ridged concrete, since asphalt wouldn’t give enough traction. Luckily we don’t encounter any other cars and we make it safely to the Učka tunnel. A slow drive through steep hills brings us to Motovun. At the bottom of the hill there’s a parking attendant who tells you which parking to use, it looks like this is quite a popular spot in high season. We get a spot on the best parking and walk to the old town, which is surrounded by medieval walls. The view from the walls is spectacular, except the mountain tops are hidden from view by clouds and we can see from here that’s not going to improve soon. We walk around the ramparts, have a light pasta lunch (this is truffle country) and head back down.

The drive to the national park is not as adventurous, since we’re now taking the official route. Some of the indications are completely unreadable, so we’re not actually sure the road we’re taking up the mountain is open for public. We don’t encounter anyone to tell us otherwise so we slowly drive up to about 1300 m. the weather is actually better here, since we’re above most of the clouds. We set of in the rain to follow the Plas educational trail. It follows the ridge of the mountain, looking out over a high steep cliff towards the country below. It rains, then rains harder, there is some thunder and lightning and we get some melting hail stones as well. However the forest is beautiful and smells great due to the rains. Eventually it stops raining and we have an opportunity to take some pictures. We can actually see our hotel from this hillside, also the Kvarner bay and across to Rijeka. The Velebit mountains are hidden from view by the clouds.

Back at the car we decide to risk it and drive all the way to the weather station at the top of the hill. A short walk brings us to the stone tower with a panorama platform on top, from where you can see both the Kvarner bay area and the Istria peninsula. To get back down to the water we ignore the GPS and stick with the biggest roads (meaning a small driving line in each direction). The GPS keeps insisting on shortcuts, but we have learned our lesson and follow the road signs. Dinner at the hotel, early to bed.

Today’s statistics: 10.865 steps, 7,67 km, 86 floors


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