Written by Dražen Breitenfeld/Tportal
In Bakarac, a small bay, I await the cycling event envisioned by enthusiast Marko Sladić, pondering old times while the northern wind blows in. The morning ride from Gorski Kotar brought me back into a forgotten time. Memories were rekindled of travelling such roads on the way to the coast and not so long ago.
Sometimes we were on parts of these roads without even knowing it. Today we just zip by on the highway and only catch a glimpse of beauty. After departing Fužine on the county road, after seven kilometres of ascent I arrived to the Vrata overpass and continued to Zlobin and Plase village. Soon after passing the rail bridge I veered left onto the authentic Karolina road towards the sea. This preserved section is around five kilometres long and leads straight into Križišće. The views are fantastic and special as they can only be seen from this road which almost no one uses. Except of course cyclists. The road is unused and maintained only occasionally. In rather bad shape, but quite nice for an MTB bike.
Karolina road, at least this most attractive section, should be maintained, at least for tourism traffic. Rest stops and serpentines, old rock road markers are truly valuable monuments, not to mention enjoying the ride and observing the entire bay and area. There are also Rupnik’s bunkers, built in the original Yugoslavia.
Slovenian Rupnik created them as a protection of the road, using a report system to always know what is going on on the Karolina. Just before entering Križišće asphalt begins. It is Sunday morning, the place is empty. I always found it interesting as there are five roads crossing. Here you can go to Jelenje, Crikvenica, Rijeka, Karolina or via a small local road to Bakarac, my first goal of the day. The road soon turns into gravel and diminishing track. As a goat trail in s mall section and then widens again and asphalt begins. This is the shortest route to the sea. If you’d like to use this route to descend from Gorski Kotar for a ride or a swim, I recommend it.
Riding along the sea to Kraljevica is quite lovely on a small boardwalk. There are also lovely beaches. With a view of the Urinj refinery, but if you ignore the industry, everything else is lovely.
The small castle belonging to Frankopan family and the lovely, green grass landscape along the Kraljevica coast will soon make you into explorers. This is what cyclists Marko Sladić did to us inviting us to a bike adventure through the forgotten and deserted objects around Kraljevica. Starting up in Bakarac, we were reminded this is where the Adriatic tourist road begins, built in 1950s to promote tourism. The large stone overpass was impressive.
We also toured a large abandoned hospital, opened in 1818. We stopped by cape Oštro, with a lovely lighthouse, now unmanned. We were surprised to see the remains of Hotel Praha, once very popular.
Then came the ascent into villages quite above the sea and riding on goat rails and through the forest. We came to 700 metres above sea level, enjoying the views and Karolina road, which I descend in the morning and am now climbing. After a break and touring an old and abandoned creepy graveyard, I continued on to Gorski Kotar and Fužine.
Now I am in short sleeves and this morning I was dressed as in wintertime, with low temps. This is the charm of spring rides, especially when combining mountains and sea.
For the original and more from the Pedaliranje blog, click here.