wolves country in Istria - Učka
"Motovun!", said the tourist information agent and drew a thick circle on the map around a place in the middle of northern Istria. I had asked her from where I could make a panorama showing the widest possible area of Istria. So I went to Motovun. The place is interesting, but I knew immediately that it would not be the panorama I was looking for. Motovun is located on a summit, but it is surrounded by higher mountains. You can not see the Adriatic at all. But I saw a rugged, distant peak far away that seemed ideal to me. Soon I was told the name by the locals: "Učka". My navigator did not know the name. So I drove blindly in his direction, trying to approach the mountain. In the late afternoon, just before sunset, I finally reached a place where a highway leads into a tunnel under this mountain. But it was already too late for a climb. That's why I drove back to Pula on the highway that day.
Of course, I met neither wolves nor bears.
When I started my next excursion to explore this mountain, I was better prepared. In the meantime, I had found out the route in Google Maps. There was a road that led up to the summit "Vojak". After about an hour and a half from Pula I was on top. Dense fog all around. There is no view from the small lookout tower that rises directly on the summit. Only an antenna stood lonely in the void.
Three days later the weather was good enough and I started again. At the summit I received a breathtaking panorama. But also an icy storm, which tore the woolen cap from my head. It was so strong that I was worried that my dog could be blown over an edge into the abyss. That's why I leashed her. In the bracing of the military's large antenna system on the summit, the storm howled like an oversized organ. With icy fingers and with all my energy, I still took a panorama. The dog preferred to wait in the car. But it was useless. The wild turbulence of the air and the violent movements of the branches made everything in the picture looking blurry.
Again I waited a few days until better weather was announced. I left early in the morning in Pula. When I approached the mountain in the morning light, it was already standing in front of me from 50 kilometers away. From about 15 kilometers away I saw the whole mountain range. It is nearly unpopulated, contains waterholes and is therefore favorable for animals. Wolves country, there are living wolves. When I arrived at the top in the late morning, the weather conditions for a panorama were ideal. Here the: View from the Vojak. Zoom in and out with shift key and control key. Or with two fingers on a touch screen.
In the restaurant "Dopolavoro", a few kilometers below the summit, the meat types appearing on the menu card are listed. Among them is even mentioned bear meat. And in fact, there should also be bears in the area. A meal with their meat, however, was not offered.
During a longer walk below the summit starting from Mala Učka I did not meet any wolves or bears. Even the dog has not discovered any. It was just a beautiful, lonely landscape.