Velebit, the mythical mountain adored by hikers from around the world, has some truly special places where you can escape from the whole world, yet they are fully suited for contemporary humans.
Have you ever dreamed of spending the night on a mountain, beneath the stars, in small houses that look like glass oases on the surface of the moon?
Petar Santini, a trained and experienced veterinarian who decided to turn his passion for photography into a full time occupation, embarked on such a journey. As we discuss his adventure, we also talk about the personal reasons why a person would make such a sharp turn in life.
„I needed a change at that point in my life. It became an exciting challenge to be my own boss and today I love that I’m learning new personal skills through the craft of photography.“
Because of the freedom such a job provides, the planning involved was minimal.
“One of the privileges of being my own boss is the luxury of choosing any free day of the week to take a short trip. I took this trip to Velebit in particular on a Monday and stayed through Wednesday. That means I didn’t come across anyone. My dog Zita and I were completely alone.”
They reached their destination shortly after sunset, just as night began to fall, which was kind of nerve-racking because of the icy paths.
“The mountain hut was ready and fully equipped. I tossed a few logs into the fireplace and went out to take some photos of the Supermoon, the brightest full moon in 2019. I preferred the nighttime views this time because of the moon that shone a bright blue light. But I do enjoy the daytime scenery as well. The views are incredible because of the ever-changing scenery. The valleys turn into meadows which slowly shift into forests and cliffs right in front of you.”
It was one of those adventures that fully charge the batteries. Just take a look at these photos!
“The silence and calmness were unbelievable. At that time there was no wind at night, so there were absolutely no sounds outside the hut except for the occasional owl. It was more silent outside the hut than inside, where the only sounds were caused by the odd running vole on the roof or the crackling fire. The silence there is almost healing. These adventures really put everything into perspective for me. This one was special because I rarely go alone and that made this experience that much more unique.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t bring his crampons and that was the only problem.
„I entered a forest in the north where the sun doesn’t reach every surface, which meant that the ground was frozen and a 15-minute walk took me 45 minutes. It was very dangerous because of how steep it was. I went step-by-step and used my trekking poles for support. Thankfully, all went well and I managed to reach a more suitable path.“
If you want to experience this kind of overnight adventure yourselves, Petar has some good advice.
„Do your research. It is crucial to get familiar with the surroundings beforehand as much as possible. Read about the paths, accommodation and mountain huts. Also, look into the weather forecast and make sure you are well-equipped. Sporting goods stores are also a very helpful source of information. And be safe!“
By: Petar Santini