Reviews Sea side

Wool in Stone

Two stone plains surround the Bascanska valley in the island of Krk. In those plains, the traditional sheep farming was associated with mrgar, stone sheepfolds used for sorting sheep and other purposes which can be seen by the different cells around the main area of the sheepfold. The sheep were farmed in a free-range manner, grazing freely, being gathered three times a year, while the heard as a whole had different owners. The mrgar had a natural or stone-wall funnel for gathering sheep into the main sheepfold, and surrounding smaller “mrgars” – smaller stone sheepfolds meant for separating sheep of the particular owner. Mrgars meant for separating have an extra exit in the back through which the owner would gather his part of the flock or re-release previously marked sheep back to free grazing. Some small mrgar do not have that back exit, so they were probably used for some other purposes. This special type of sheep farming is found in only three places in the world. One location is in Croatia, islands Krk and Prvic, the second is Great Britain, Wales – to be precise, and the third is Iceand. The Mrgar in the photographs is located in the island of Krk on Lipica above Jurandvor, a location unknown to even Google Maps. After parking the car near the sanctuary of Our Lady of Gorica, you embark on an hour and a half long hike just to traverse 2500 meters of a very well marked trail, proudly named “educational trail”. Half of that trail can really be considered a “trail”, but the second half returns us to the word “educational” in the title. The lesson is- don’t believe everything you read, because the trail becomes very difficult, hard to walk and move about, sometimes completely blocked by thorny bushes or landslides. You move among rough limestone rocks where you literally have to watch your every move. If you still want to take that trail, do not go alone, bring along a minimum of one liter of water per person and start the hike in the early morning, before the heat sets in. Wear long-sleeved shirts and adequate footwear because you’re heading to a world completely different then the comfortable beaches in Baska. Once you reach the summit, you will forget all about your troubles because you will be rewarded with breathtaking views. Be even more cautious while ascending, it is more difficult than climbing. In both directions, you will be followed by confused gazes of scattered sheep. Just ignore them and close any doors you may come across after you pass them ‘cause they play a big part in restricting sheep movement, along with the stone walls dividing different areas.

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