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Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00

Cycling Through History

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Aluminum, steel, rubber, plastics - modern materials, processed and assembled form a functional bike that I ride and which it is, in my opinion, the best vehicle for transfer from point A to point B with the driver’s own strength.  Designers and architects of places I plan to visit didn’t have any knowledge about these materials and neither any cognition about the bicycle. However, they left their trace in time. Their works have survived the destructive whether bursts and countless conflicts that evidence turbulent period of our ancestors.


I went on a ride alone. It was a chilly winter morning, and the winter sun was not enough to warm me and neither was the first uphill climb that waits for me at Majdan, not far away from the river Jadro spring. The first settlement I’m passing through is Klis Kosa leaned on the Mosor slopes. On the east side, Mosor is shaded with highway viaduct Solin - Klis, and on its northwest side raises a canyon where Klis fortress lies on. It's hard to avoid the impression of powerful fortress lying on inaccessible rock. I can only imagine how unconquerable it seemed to be for those who have attacked it through history.



It is speculated that Illyrian tribe Delmatas resisted Roman conquerors in these areas, and was first mentioned in the 5th century. During some time, Klis Kosa was the residence of Croatian dukes, but also important to mention are fiercest fighting with the Turks that took place here. Klis ambushers were widely known as well as their captain Peter Kružić who was killed in battle with the Turks. Breaching the fortress I’m emerging on Dugopoljea plateau.

Above the thin, transparent morning haze that still shrouds Dugopolje field and houses along its edge, raises Mosor on whose steep northern slopes there are no snow even though it is the end of December.



I’m passing rather quickly by numerous vineyards and I soon reach Bisko where I turn north, in the direction of the city Trilj and the river Cetina. I’m running into almost surreal fairy-tale sights: a few old stone houses neatly arranged into smaller units arranged in harmony with the environment, surrounded by a green grass carpet and framed with a few trees. While passing nearby road, people in speeding cars do not pay attention to this piece of paradise, and if only they could slow down a little bit, look around and notice the beauty that fades away unnoticed.



I decided to visit the fort Nutjak dated from 15 th century, just five minute away by driving.  Located on the edge of a cliff the fortress is steeping into the canyon. It is almost unbelievable, where it was built. It is in a very dilapidated state, but still very interesting, so I spent here a great deal of time. The fort is associated with an interesting legend about its builder Žarko Drazojevic, Poljica duke, who has enjoyed a great reputation at the time, and was known for his daring battles against the Turks. When returning from the battle he used to feed ravens who lived at the top of the fortress. He used to eat raw meat with them. The ravens would fly in circles and croaking to warn of the presence of intruders. The plea of the citizens of Sinj found him in Klis and while preparing for the battle he whistled from Mali Mosor urging his ravens, but instead of ravens, he found himself surrounded by a flock of Turkish janissaries. Realizing that intruder in the fort prevented ravens, before he died; he cursed the guards of Nutjak. Twenty years later, the curse caught up the entire guards of Nutjak. Even after all these centuries that passed by, the people are saying that every year on January 15th, two ravens come down from Mali Mosor, fly around Nutjak and greet their lord with their croaks.

I continue my ride towards the nearby Gardun, a small village on the plateau south of Trilj on the spot where a Roman military camp Tilurium was located. I'm looking for the remains of the camp, but I do not find anything other than info table with drawings and description of the camp. While reading it I realized that there's nothing visible left on the surface and the majority of leftovers are in the gardens of houses. At the beginning of 1st century, this was the camp of VII Roman legion with 5-6 thousand soldiers who were monitoring the routes from Salona to Bosnia and fought with rebelled Illyrians. I was a little disappointed that I did not see anything but it is understandable that after such a long time a military area is not preserved. Before returning I let myself to enjoy the view Trilj, Cetina and Kamešnica in the distance.



While returning, I caught myself thinking about numerous things that happened in this a small region during history. Numerous generations, nations, the rulers and the state changed. How many wars have been fought and how many heroes died for their beliefs… Stories are told about some of them even for centuries later. How many innocent people died how many tears and blood are spilled? How much misery, sadness and unhappiness were happening through all these centuries. And in the end we are all the same - the ashes carried by everlastingly wind. Only the land, mountains, rivers and forests which there always are silent witness our transience. Only our sublime works of human creativity and heroism apart from the abyss of oblivion and are carved into the fabric of our united consciousness. And our job is to protect them, convey forward, and if we have the strength and lucidity, to create a new ones, thus reimbursing to our ancestors and committing a new generation to come.

Read 114029 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2014 13:29
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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