It was time for us to finally start exploring Rijeka – Lana’s hometown but also a place Filip spent four years going to highschool. It’s always a weird feeling to explore a place you know well, or at least you think you know it well. It’s hard to be a stranger, a tourist in your own city. But believe it or not, it’s very useful to be a stranger just for a day. Also Lana and Filip were not alone this time, a good friend, Nika was here too! It’s been a long time since we traveled together.
We started our exploration in a village called Sveti Kuzam. It’s the same village from the last stop on our journeys. Slowly rolling towards Rijeka we did a couple of stops to investigate some interesting buildings and views. On one of such stops we stumbled upon an abandoned ex Yugoslavian army barracks. We immediately went into exploring it!
Barracks were much bigger then we thought and we found some pretty amazing sceneries. Zulu was also excited by the amount of new smells!
Filip decided it’s a good idea to explore a bunker that was built way up in the mountain so he went on climbing the hill, but Nika, Lana and Zulu decided it’s far more better to stay at the bottom of the hill.
After some time of climbing the rough terrain and some close calls, Filip realized there’s no way down anymore! Only up! Hill was too steep!
On the other side of the hill lays Rijeka, chunk of civilization that was only way out of this situation so Filip decided to climb the hill to the top and find a way out there. After couple of calls, Lana, Nika and Zulu jumped into Žućko and headed to Rijeka to pick up Filip the explorer.
Climbing to the top was not easy, but it was definitely worth it! Wherever you look, a different scenery. Behind your back – mountains; in front of you – sea.
Filip finally managed to reach the civilization again and after Nika and Lana came to the meeting point, we decided to take a rest at the planetarium on top of the hill. It was already getting dark and Nika had some other duties to perform so Lana and Filip decided to call it for the night and continue exploring Rijeka some other day. After all, it was a long day.
Early morning, perfect time for exploring Rijeka.
Best thing to do in the early morning is to visit the beaches.
In the southern part of Rijeka, there’s a neighborhood called Pećine. In Croatian, Pećine means Caves. That’s because under this part of the city there are a lot of known and unknown caves, a lot of them under the sea. There are a lot of springs in the sea making the water less salty then it’s supposed to be. Despite being near the industrial center, especially container terminal, water is remarkably clear and pure. Maybe because of the springs?
Many residents of the city came here in summer for a quick swim. Dozens of hidden beaches, laying beneath the steep rocks of the city provides the perfect hideout of Rijeka’s fast moving pace.
We spent a lot of time there. A lot more then we planned to. It was unusually calm for a city. In between the ruins of some long forgotten beach buildings we found our playground.
Between all the gravel, sea and ruins, we even managed to do a little photoshoot with Zulu!
Morning was already gone, and we were getting back to Žućko to explore the Rijeka’s core!
Downtown, we parked near the sea, with old Yugoslavian navy warship called Galeb (Seagull) in the background. There’s an interesting history behind that ship, it was even sunk and raised again! But we’ll let you investigate the story yourself!
While exploring, Filip is always that guy that tends to push the boundaries and explore the most remote places and always rush from A to B while Lana often tends to take it easy and enjoy. Of course, we sometimes change our jobs, but that’s the explanation between this photo, we weren’t trying to be cute, rush B!
Despite Rijeka being a big city, we explored it’s center relatively quickly. Big cities are often overwhelming with the amount of people, buildings, cars and other stuff that you often can’t see everything you wish to. Besides that, we managed to capture a few nice buildings and sites around center.
”Mrtvi kanal” or Death channel in English, used to be a border between Yugoslavia and Italy in the past. In some way, Rijeka had it’s own Berlin wall, dividing the city in half.
Near the coastline, on the Death channel, there’s also a theater, Croatian National Theater Ivan the Noble Zajc.
Walking on the main street called Korzo is a must in Rijeka, that’s the place to see and to be seen.
Up the hill, amidst the streets of the old town, there is a Cathedral of St.Vid. A marvelous round building with a cannon ball in it’s wall. Why? We’ll let you to find out yourself, it’s an interesting story tho!
Back to the shore, awesome new stuff to see. Rijeka has, imagine this, a floating hotel in a ship! Actual hotel in a ship. How awesome is that? First line by the sea, watching the sunsets and swinging on the waves.
We didn’t have much time left, so we decided to conquer the hill called Trsat and take it’s castle by storm to enjoy the last bits of this adventurous day. After all, what’s the better thing then watch your newly conquered territories from the castle! In ancient days, on this very spot, Romans used to watch the city beneath it, now it’s us!
Trsat is, apart of being one of many Rijeka’s neighborhoods, a Christian sanctuary that was, back in 2002, visited by pope John Paul II. To commemorate that event end for the needs of the sanctuary this buildings was built. It’s one of the finest examples of Croatian contemporary religious buildings.
That was it for this trip. There’s a lot more of Rijeka left undiscovered, for now at least. We’ll definitely be back, soon, but for now, we have much more adventures to experience and places to see, feelings to feel.
From Rijeka with love,
Žućko, Filip, Lana & Friends.