Ruth and Max enjoying a beautiful rainbow at the Natyra e Qete Restaurant & Camping near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Castles and caves... that was a good day!

It rained on and off all day, but fortunately the "off" times were when we were out doing stuff. So it worked out okay. And even though there was a bit of rain, it wasn't cold and there was no wind to speak of. Highs of maybe 17C (63F) and overnight low around 11C (52F). We're fine with that.

We left our overnight spot at the restaurant parking lot, and it was only a short drive to our first stop... the abandoned castle at Bosiljevo.

We love exploring stuff like this!

Max, parked outside Bosiljevo Castle.

It's such a strange place because there is zero information at the site itself. Only an ominous sign saying that entry is strictly prohibited. But the gate is wide open and looks like it's been that way for years.

I found some information online, but there is very little reference to it. The original castle was built in the 1300's. After World War II, the communist government confiscated the castle in 1948 and it was used as a retirement home. Then sometime in the 1960's it was used as a hotel and restaurant, but it was closed in 1980 and left to decay for the last 40 years.

Now, there is a lot of evidence that some of the floors are beginning to collapse. The castle is entirely open, but there are some areas that are obviously not safe... explore at your own risk. Which is exactly what we did!

This looks like the original entrance road which is not used. 
Max came down a steeper paved route.

We were just wandering outside the gate and Ruth stepped right over this snake!
She almost stepped on it. We think it's just a grass snake.




Entry to the Old Town Castle is Strictly Prohibited.

But the gate was wide open, so in we went.

Everything is overgrown.




The stairs themselves seem solid enough, but we wouldn't have walked on the floors.


What a shame that it was all left to fall apart. But it would take too much money to restore it now.

This fire salamander crossed our path.
They are sure interesting creatures.

This probably would have ben an okay overnight spot!

We came across another fire salamander!

Neat stuff. We love old castles. We had more fun exploring this free abandoned one than we did visiting the expensive tourist castle at Lake Bled!

From there, we took the backroads to the town of Tounj where Ruth had read about an interesting bridge and some nearby caves.

Max managed to make it down the steep hill to this nice little picnic spot.

What a great spot!


It was about a 15 minute walk to the path leading down to the caves where the source of the spring is that feeds the crystal clear water that becomes the river. So we headed there.

Yep, the water is crystal clear.

Me, at the cave entrance.

Inside the cave, looking out. 
Odd, it was slightly foggy inside the cave.

It's a really pretty setting.
We were the only ones around!



Tounj Bridge.

The Roman Soldiers guard the bridge.

The Tounj Bridge was originally constructed in 1777 as a single level with three arches. They installed four statues of Roman soldiers on the railings. 

In 1843, during road reconstruction, they added another level to the bridge to decrease the steep decline leading to the bridge.

The bridge was badly damaged during World War II, and the statues of the soldiers lay in the river until 1992 when another reconstruction recovered the statues. In 2011, the statues were returned to their original place on the railings.



Max, parked b the river in Tounj.

From there, we continued on another back road to the town of Slunj. The road was very narrow and curvy for about 30 kms (18 miles), but it was freshly paved and I think we might have only seen five or six other vehicles the whole way.

In Slunj, I had found a possible free overnight spot but as we made a turn into town, we saw a sign advertising free motorhome parking and that's where we ended up! Almost feels like we're in someone's backyard, but the signs all say this is the spot, and they even have a place to empty your tanks. Photos will have to wait until tomorrow because it's pouring rain right now!

Yesterday's drive.

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And in Canada...


4 comments:

  1. Once again beautiful country drive. You'd think the government would take an interest in the run down castle and fix it up and preserve it....after all it's their history (although not much written about the castle).

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    1. Definitely a great drive, we really love these back roads.

      I am sure that the government would love to fix up that old castle, the only problem with that is, that there are so many other old castles, historical buildings and bridges that need to be fixed up, and no doubt they only have so much money and manpower to go around that they just can't fix them all up. :-(

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  2. Pretty drive and so much history!!

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    Replies
    1. We love drives like this, and finding these little hidden gems of history along the way just add to it, plus the beautiful fall colours. :-)

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