Day 12- Rijeka
Rijeka is the 3rd largest city in Croatia after Zagreb and Split(not many tourists visit this city). Our morning here started with breakfast at Harat's. It is a cosy Irish Pub located 600m from the apartment. The breakfast served (toast and omelettes) was delicious and we even decided to visit the place again.
We spent the day at leisure wandering around the city central market and shopping district.
For lunch, we stopped at a asian wok restaurant Wok'ability.Though it's a very small store,the menu was extensive and the taste was good.(We ordered one rice and one noodles dish with devil's sauce along with Pivo,our standard here by now!)
Cost for 2: 80-100 kuna
After the lunch, we headed towards the bus stop in order to go to Trsat Castle.(Bought a 2 way ticket at the nearby Kiosk).The buses for the castle are very frequent and it would take about 30 mins to reach.After you deboard the bus,you need to walk for about 500m in order to reach the castle.Once you climb the stairs,you will be able to see the panoramic view of the city as well as the port.The courtyard of the castle has been turned into a open air cafe and bar where we enjoyed the view along with our drinks.
While heading back to our apartment,we went into a betting shop to bet on liverpool (win by 3-1) in the liverpool-PSG match that was to take place that night.(Just 500/- for fun).For this match,we skipped going to Opatija which is just 10kms from Rijeka.(I wanted to visit Opatija during the sunset and walk along the promenade,maybe next time!)
Story: For the match, we had to find a bar which would screen it and so, first we went to Harat's and then some more but none of them had the channel that was screening the match.So, we thought it was our luck and went back to Harat's to have dinner. The server there enquired us about our status and we iterated our story. Seeing us dejected he offered us to screen the match through Wifi. We were so elated with his offer and settled there to watch the match excitedly.(Guess what,Liverpool won by exactly 2-1 and the next day we even went to collect our winning's!).What a night that was!
Day 13- Rijeka - Risnjak National Park
Any of my trip is not complete without at least going on a single hike and so our next plan was to head towards Risnjak National Park.We decided to travel by renting a car for the rest of the journey and arranged with the travel agency to drop the car off at Zagreb Airport on the last day of the trip.After completing all the required formalities, we started towards Crni Lug village, the base point of Risnjak National Park. It is at a distance of 60 kms from Rijeka and would take one about an hour to reach.
By the time we reached the base camp it was around 3pm. There's a restaurant located here along with lodging.But instead of staying here or in the Crni Lug village,we decided to stay at the mountain top.There is no way of booking this place,apart from informing the person at the souvenir shop located at the base.(She/he can make the call and inform the hosts).Please do check the availability before you head up! So,after having a fulfilling lunch of grilled chicken and omelette, at around 4 pm we started the hike to the top.
Entrance Fee: 45 Kuna /head
There are several trekking paths,some more difficult than the other and some more in distance than the other(As can be seen from the map).We took the standard 3 hr route to reach the mountain hut which is situated below the peak of Veliki Risnjak at 1418 m above sea-level.
Distance: 8 kms
Speciality: Maybe it was because it's a weekday,there was not even a single soul accompanying us on the entire journey!This is the most secluded hike I have ever done.
Caution: It is better to start hiking early in the day if you are not staying in the mountain hut so that you would have sufficient time to hike both ways and also spend sufficient time on the top and reach down before nightfall.
There's a sign with white and red paint circles through the entire path which guides us through the forest.
We reached 15 mins before our designated time(i.e took 2.45mins to make the climb) and reached the mountain stay around 6.45 pm. Even at the stay,we were the only 2 guests for the night apart from the host couple and their dog.
Stay Cost : 1200/- for 1
No.of Beds: Approx. 30
The sunset was mesmerising,the wind very cold and after clicking some shots we went inside and settled by the fireplace.Our dinner of bean soup,bread and sausage was served and then the hosts left us to our space.There are some books and games in the house which one can enjoy.
After dinner, we headed out to see if we could find any stars, but it was pitch black outside, cloudy and very windy so with nothing much to do,headed back inside in a couple of minutes.
Day 13- Risnjak National Park
As the sunset, the sunrise was breathtaking with all the colours popping out and it was enthralling to look at the spread of the sea of clouds.No words can describe this feeling!Sunrise and mountain top's are the perfect combination.
In the morning, we trekked to the mountain top and at around 8 am started the hike downwards. In the course of the return journey,we took a long path which was about 10 kms passing through Leska(the educational path). This path has a series of information boards which has details about the heritage of the park.
Next Stop: Rastoke Village
Stand by for the details!