Jun 11 26
Today we had one of those days when nothing turns out right. As it had been already two weeks since my hands and feet (and knee!!) touched rock in Paklenica I became sort of restless. It didn’t take too much to convince Jenna and my friend Eva into a little adventure in Croatia again. This time – as we had only one day – we headed to Northern Croatia, just about 80 km from the Hungarian border. That made our trip a total 330 km or so we thought. Our destination was Kalnik, “the most popular climbing destination in northern Croatia, having a high number of different kind of routes” , as our guidebook states. The site is situated within the ruins of an old castle which makes it a very special climbing experience. Some of the climbing takes place on the rocks behind the ruins.
So we were really excited to get there! Somehow we didn’t want to get up too early so we opted for a fairly late start at eight. We calculated that we could be easily climbing by noon. We were wrong! After leaving the motorway things started to turn bad. We followed the instructions of the GPS only to find ourselves in the middle of a quarry where there should have been a road but there wasn’t. So we started consulting the map but the places on the map didn’t seem to be where they were in real life!! It was as if someone had mixed up the names and the villages. The GPS was not much help either as it seemed to take us around in circles, eventually leading us to the supposed road in the middle of the quarry. No kidding, we were driving around for something like 1.5 hrs but eventually we found the right way. In the end it seemed quite surrealistic that we were totally lost, neither the map nor the GPS could be trusted, it was like being in a parallel world where things seem to be the same but in reality they are different. I didn’t even know if it was the real me or the parallel me. (Maybe it’s still the parallel me writing up this story.) Anyway, we made good fun of it, we were not too worried or angry and finally we arrived at our destination at 14:30. So we were very happy but not for long!!!
So if you can’t go to the castle there is no way how to approach the crags! The only guy who wasn’t disappointed was this fella. He sent Terry a big smile!!!
But we are very persistant and never give up! So after consulting the guidebook we found some crags which were situated outside the ruins. Still, nobody there!! (Good for us.) And supposedly, this was the most popular climbing site of Northern Croatia! There was not one soul climbing there! We even had to remove cobwebs (!) from the holds. In the end we had something like an hour left to climb. Here you can see Jenna in a 3a route which could easily go for a 4b in Paklenica.
So we climbed a bit, in the end we met another party so there were just them and us in the entire site.
All in all, we loved the place, the ruins were very picturesque, the crags looked OK and the view from the castle was grand! So as we departed for home we agreed that we would come back again soon.
But the day wasn’t over yet! We were almost at home when we flew past some handsome policemen with a speed camera, it will cost me a fortune!
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