Thursday and Friday night I stayed in a hostel in Fuzine. The hostel was actually really nice; we had a couple rooms to ourselves and the Wi-Fi was decent. Breakfast and dinner was free and prepared by the owners. The actual village of Fuzine is very small and quite simply in the middle of nowhere, however, tourists and backpackers mostly still come here to explore the caves and hiking trails.
Early Friday morning we set out to visit Cave Vrelo. Made by water alone, the cave is around 3 to 4 million years old. There are no natural outside entrances so few were constructed to let out the rain water which fills the caves halfway during the winter/spring. Some sections of the cave were extremely small and slippery, forcing us to crouch down and almost crawl to get through. Our guide was really friendly and let us turn out all of the cave lights for 30 seconds to see how dark the cave naturally is: pitch black and void of any light whatsoever.
We then went to the village of Kamacnik where we walked around an old Yugoslavian military base in the middle of the forest. This forest is the only forest in Europe gaining biomass while still being used by humans. After a quick look at the base, we took a nice hike through the forest, finding a pretty large salamander at one point.
Near the end of our hike, the weather took a turn and it started to pour. We took refuge in a nearby restaurant which had an amazing view and strudel with blueberries straight from the forest.
Saturday, we started our day off with another hike. The hike, oddly enough, began on train tracks and transitioned into a forest. The steep incline during this hike was incredibly difficult, requiring an extreme amount of focus and balance. Our halfway point was the third ever hydroelectricity power plant station in the world which is actually still functional today.
Post hike we hopped back on the bus for our final destination of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Zagreb mixes the old with the new, creating an eclectic historical vibe while still being a modern city. Here there is a RIT campus where I’ll be going to class for the remainder of the trip. Our hotel is extremely close to the city center where shops and restaurants line the streets.
We arrived in Zagreb in the afternoon allowing us to walk around for a bit and grab an espresso at this cute little coffee shop. Dinner was at California Burrito because at that point we were really sick of traditional Croatian food – you can only have so many meat dishes and pizzas.