I’m sitting at the sea, looking at some trees and shrubs leaning towards it. Would others notice that this is an odd sight? I’m in Starigrad a small town at the entrance of Paklenica National Park. I’m with my feet in the sea but it’s not all water that I see. Here land and sea and interwoven with each other.
Across the water I see the island of Pag, it’s nothing like my side of the water. From where I’m sitting that land looks naked and very rugged, while on my side I see pines, figs and many other plants.
I think it’s the first time in my life that I see trees that are leaning towards, instead of away.
Trees are shaped by winds blowing from a single direction, and up until now this was always away from the sea. But not here. Here at the Croation coast the bura (bora) is in charge of shaping the landscape.
A gust of wind takes of from the highest peaks in the area, at an elevation of 1700 meters. It travels down the mountain, through the valleys, shaking the trees and plants on its way down. When rushing down its gaining more and more power. The trees and shrubs that don’t have the protection of their friends are beaten the hardest. The wind is injuring the plant, breaking some of the branches and launching all sorts of dirt into the plant. Then the gust hits the sea and can gain even more power there. Being as strong as it can be the wind reaches the island of Pag. Any plant that tried to grow here is being tortured or even snapped off. When the wind finally slows down it will have left this trail of destruction.
I was lucky to experience this strong wind one day. After a few days of a lot of rain the weather got sunnier and then the wind started to blow. Strong gusts blew from the mountains towards the sea. The mountains were cooled down during the rain or maybe even snow, while the coastline stayed rather warm and is warming up even more when the sun comes out. This big difference in temperature powers the air flow from cold to hot. As soon as the sun set the wind also slowed down. The last clouds in the sky made for a stunning sunset.