The Power of Bora

Novi Vinodolski is a town on the Adriatic coast in Croatia, at the end of the valley of the vineyards (Vinodol in Croatian) that stretches from Bakarac to the sea, below the mountains of Gorski Kotar. It is a prime tourist place, with a mild climate, clean sea, and pleasant setting. A vacation spot for many – including the president of our kite club.

Novi Vinodolski today. Photo by piet theisohn; CC BY 2.0.

The area of Novi Vinodolski was a prime real estate already in the Prehistory; the hill of Osap is topped by a still visible remains of an Iron Age fort, and the Romans built a settlement here with the fortress Lopsica. Novi was expanded in by the House of Frankopan and up to the 17th century the city was ruled by the Principality of Krk or as a Frankopan estate. In the 16th century, Novi Vinodolski became a part of Habsburg Empire, becoming a part of the Kingdom of Croatia and its successor states ever since.

The Law Code of Vinodol – Vinodolski zakon – is a hugely important medieval document, composed here in 1288 and written in Glagolic script. It is one of the oldest extant Slavic codes.

While the climate is pleasant, the wind conditions here are tricky. It’s either a nice warm maestral blowing gently from the sea – or the furious Bora wind tearing down from the mountains. So a KAP session using a Sanyo Rokkaku with thin carbon spars a KAP session can quickly go awry …

The Picavet rig oblivious to the horrors above

An uncanilly serene liftoff …

The mountains of Gorski kotar and the Vinodol valley conspire to make KAP sessions way too dramatic, with a kite dancing the dance of St.Vitus and the camera swaying wildly. A marina to the north in one shot:

… the coast to the south in another. Like the Bora was trying to do an AutoKAP without an AutoKAP rig.

The little island in the distance is St. Marin, with a Gothic chapel of the saint. Some Roman (an inscription mentioning the Roman Empress Helena) and early Croat remains were found there , and the first religious edifice was built on the island in the ninth century.

The valley of Vinodol seen in the background in the image above is magical; the Romans called it Vallis Vinearia, the valley of vineyards. It is sheltered from both the cold winds coming from the mountains and the salt-bearing storms of the sea, the fertile soil was created through the eons when the valley was intermittently inudated by a sea channel, while riverine sediments were deposited there during the Ice Age when the sea levels were low.

Novi Vinodolski is a place rich in history, culture and natural beauty. a true pearl of the Kvarner Gulf. Even if not for a relaxed kite flying, the town and its cool surroundings are well worth a visit – and a stay!

All kite aerial photos shot with Nikon P330 on a Sanyo “The Sumo Fighter” Rokkaku kite.

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