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Thursday, 06 December 2012 00:00

Sunshine in Osoje

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Very often some settlements, its parts or some areas are called Prisoje or Osoje, exclusively due to the relative positions of the sun, and the exposure to the sun.

Prisoje is usually on the south slope and has plenty of sun most of the day, it is warmer and there is less moisture than in area called Osoje. Natural, wild or cultivated by man vegetation is also different in these positions; in areas called Prisoje, vineyards fruit trees and all vegetation that it needs more sun and heat are usually grown. Osoje contains much less light; during winter, all day passes by in the shade, there is a lot of moisture and the growth of moss, ivy, mushrooms and different herbs fond of wetter and cooler environments with less sun.

Dicmo, a small town in the Dalmatian hinterland nearby the road Split – Sinj is located on about 10 kilometers from Split and it has its Prisoje and Osoje. The purpose of my trip was Osoje. This time I’m taking this trip alone and I do not find it so hard for me. On the contrary, riding a bike on my own has a lot of advantages. I can let myself to the experience of nature, I can think more about what I see and can photograph with no rush because I know that no one is waiting for me.

I was greeted with atypical autumn morning full of sun and warmth. At least it was until I passed by Klis fortress. As I was passing by fortress I felt like someone had pressed a switch and the weather suddenly shifted in deep autumn: fog, humidity, and significantly lower temperatures. I arrived at the entrance of Dicmo, parked along the road and took a seat for a while in the car. The fog was so thick you could not even drive a bike, so I decided to wait for a moment in the hope that the fog will disappear in short time. Fortunately, I did not have to wait for a long time. Slowly, the light circle on the east side of the sky started to glow; it was brighter which meant that the fog started to resist the sun's warmth. When I got out of the car I felt fresh and moist autumn air. I quickly prepared myself and a bike for a ride. It's nice to observe the landscape comes out from the gray and becomes wrapped with morning sun rays; yet not strong enough to completely dispossess fog and to warmth the air.

The awakening of the day can be gleamed from the moist rock… countless drops are on the grass and on the tree branches creating a fantastic play of light reminding to the sparkling pearls gleaming on a quiet morning air. The sun, a rare visitor during winter in Osoje, reaches out to the sun allowing it to bring Osoje into a new day. I’m not in a hurry. I try out with my amateur camera and my knowledge to capture those moments. I'm having lots of spiders' webs strung up in the tall grass along the path logged with small droplets condensed on the strands of the web. I stood there for a while trying to take pictures from the greater proximity and catch the microcosm in its finer moments. If only he had a better camera, it would be a lot easier…after who knows how many tries I was somewhat satisfied, so I carry along in slow motion. I notice that the deciduous trees have already dressed up in heir autumn colors.



The road is narrow and paved; every now and then a car passes by. There is no climb in the first 3-4 kilometers which serves me as a good warm-up before the first climb. At the beginning of the ascent is Sušci, a smaller village with stone houses built in the traditional Dalmatian hinterland style. Sounds of dogs barking are greeting me; fortunately they are all tied up in backyards. It is not unusual that dogs are not tied, and it can often happen that they are not used for few newcomers so they aggressively defend their space around the house. At the same time I meet a younger man and ask him for a direction, because the situation on the terrain is always a little different than when you expected and what it seems like when looking at satellite images like Google Earth. The best way to get some information is always from locals. I ensured myself in this thesis for many times now and I always try to remember one Croatian saying “Tko pita ne skita” meaning who asks it doesn’t wander around. So I asked this time as well. We greeted and I moved on.



The road has become the gravel road and then turned into a pretty steep climb, and after a hundred meters became milder, and the road is somewhat engraved in the pine forest. The sun was already high, the fog was gone, and I was comfortable in the shade of pine trees whose branches above times were so thick that it seemed to pass through the tunnel. Along the way there was large number of some brownish-yellow mushrooms which I did not know if they are edible. There were so much of them that I could have filled in full backpack for about 15 minutes. I enjoyed the smell of pine trees. As I was approaching to the top of the climb, the forest became more subtle and gave place to underbrush and tall plants. After half an hour I ran into plateau, and gravel continued to sway on slightly undulating terrain. Soon I ran into a “pond” about which the man I met earlier was telling me about. Ponds are places where water naturally reserves; they are usually irregular round shape, up to 20-meters in diameter. The edges are often decorated with stone so they it is easier to approach them. Once, shepherds used do watered the cattle on ponds like this. Following the man’s instructions, a few hundred meters after the pond I turned off the macadam road on a narrow pathway whose background was much more difficult to drive, so I progressed very slowly. Besides the bike, the only way you can go through this terrain is by foot.



Right after the trail began to lead downhill, the ride has become an even greater challenge. Damp in shady areas aggravated additionally, so it was very slippery. In some parts I even had to get off the bike. That hardest part I've crossed without falling and soon I came to a small valley with a few houses; the path to reach houses was covered with a carpet of grass. Locals call this settlement The Old Village. There are several large almond trees among houses. Some houses were ruined, but most are still in good shape even though it was obvious that no one lives here. Even from afar, as I approached the abandoned hamlet, I heard the cow bells. I just arrived and I found couple. Two of them quietly grazed the grass on the path between the houses. A cow welcoming committee! As soon as I barged they raised their heads and looked at me with their big eyes like they are going to ask me: “Who are you?” One of them was right in the middle of the path between the two houses so I could not go around her. I went to her expecting she will move, but nothing. She turned to me and took a bit defensive attitude. I must admit that I was not indifferent while looking at her horns. I moved forward several times more but nothing happened. She stubbornly stood on the highway, and wouldn’t move. As she is telling me: “This is ours, you cannot go this way! Go back to where you came from!” Even the various sounds I produced didn’t manage to move her. It was a bit ridiculous situations. I was standing here in the middle of a hamlet in “Cow Company” who refuses to let me pass. I picked up some stones and threw them next to cow.  It seemed that this tactic was working. Little by little, she moved to the side, just enough to let me get through. I politely thanked her for allowing me to pass her, and at the same time I caught myself thinking that if one hears me now would probably thought I was crazy. However inside those houses beside cows, there was no one there; the silence was disturbed only by the cow bells around their necks, whose sound, as I turned the pedals, became more distant.



The path again turned into the gravel road and very soon after I found myself out on the edge of the plateau where I could enjoy a wonderful view of the Dicmo and its surroundings bathed in autumn sunshine. Only here and there a small and translucent cloud of fog caught in some basin remained. All the way in the distance mountain Kamešnica rose.



I paused to enjoy the view. On my way back to the car again and I came across that good man who described me the way. We stopped for a small chat; he was glad that helped me and that my drive went well, so he explained me a couple of interesting places around where I could take a ride next time. The final few kilometers passed quickly and easily on the flat asphalt. Great return gave me opportunity to go through this ride once more and gather my thoughts.



Seemingly, just an ordinary ride, but still special. Especially because ordinary things that are at the same time magnificent - a scene until the fog gave way to the sun, especially because of the details - drops of dew on a spider's web, special due to the place of peace and tranquility - a fairy tale hamlet distanced 20 km from the city bustle. That day the sun was shining even in Osoje.

Read 122140 times Last modified on Monday, 27 January 2014 17:16
Marko Herman

My name is Marko Herman, I was born in 1979 in Dubrovnik, during the college I moved to Split and sice then I live here. I have master's degree in Kinesioloy studies and I work as a personal trainer in the gym, so the most of my day I spend forcing others to sweat, and soon as I get some free time I like to make myself to do the same; sometimes in the gym, and sometimes in the open space, on the bike or running. I love nature, I like people, I like to move (even by dancing) and simply, I love life. I do not like disrespect for the environment, violence, I prejudice and I hate when I find a pebble in the shoe. When someone asks me how I am feeling, the answer is always the same ''great, never better'' because I know that by the end of this life, I will never be younger than I am right now.

Website: www.dalmatiaoutdoors.com/writers/marko-herman

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