It was a slow Sunday morning, promising to be a very warm day, as we were deciding on where to go hiking. Somewhere cool, we thought, and not too demanding. I thought of a very nice circular trail in the region of Gorski kotar, where the forest is tall, and there is lots of water. We called our friend who lives close to there, and the spur-of-the-moment hike was about to begin!
The trail to Zeleni vir and Devil’s passage (Vražji prolaz in Croatian) from Skrad
I like circular trails, as I enjoy seeing new and different views. Zeleni vir and the Devil’s passage can be reached by an easier route than the one we chose, but this one is by my opinion more beautiful and offers more diversity. The trail is not long, and there are just a few steep parts, so even inexperienced hikers, or kids can enjoy it. We were not in a hurry, and with all the looking around and taking photos it took us two and a half hours (I did’t count the break at the hut). We parked our cars at the railway station in Skrad, and started downhill, first to the waterfall named Zeleni vir.
Waterfall Zeleni vir
The waterfall is really tall, and can be seen only when you get close to it. Underneath the waterfall is a cave with a little lake in it, and a beautiful stream that flows from the lake. And all that with a tall, lush forest surrounding it all. After the waterfall, the trail takes you to a hut that offers refreshments, mostly drinks and regional cakes with forest fruit. Close to the hut the stream widens into a tiny green lake that looks like an emerald of the forest.
From the hut starts the path through the Devil’s passage. During the summer season you need to buy tickets to enter, but they are very reasonable. The path itself partly just that, a path, but through the best and most interesting parts of the passage you walk on metal see-through steps and walkways built half-way up the gorge. Devil’s passage is really a gorge, with steep cliffs on both sides, and a stream at the bottom. Even though I had been there previously, I was once again struck by the beauty of nature in that spot. This is one of those places where it is best just to breathe in the beauty, and let the mind grow quiet for a moment.
Most visitors of the gorge were going back to the hut, so we had the forest to ourselves for the rest of our hike. It was quite a change to go from the rocky gorge where other people were walking, chatting, taking photos, to being just us three in the peaceful tall forest. Again, the mind stood still for a moment and I felt so grateful for this piece of wilderness.
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