In this post, you'll see what else I encountered two weeks ago, on my drive across the mountains in the northeastern part of Istra, the peninsula on which I live.


Yesterday's post, Part One of this two-part journey, ended with me leaving the small village that goes by the name of Brest. Some minutes later ...


... and some kilometers further, I stopped again to take a few shots of the scenery.


This lovely orchid, the Orchis mascula, was photographed near my parked car.


Twenty meters further, on the trunk of a fallen tree, I found a small longhorn beetle. Pogonocherus hispidus is the name of the species.


Back by the car, I took a last look at the road behind me and drove away ...


... directed towards the village that goes by the name of Trstenik.


I spent more than an hour there ...


... because I liked the atmosphere ...


... had plenty of details to offer.


This is one of the biggest buildings in Trstenik.


Can't tell you anything about it, because pieces of information about small villages are hard to find. There isn't much on the Internet besides the basics. From here, slightly above the rest of the village ...


... I had a good view of the surroundings. So I photographed this smaller, still inhabited house ...


... one of the hills just outside the village ...


... three chimneys on the roof of one of the most distant houses ...


... and the nearby church, surrounded by a cemetery.


In written sources, The Church of St. Lucy was first mentioned in 1580. Besides this fact, I found on the Internet that it was restored or rebuilt and changed In 1867. So I'm not sure if its current look dates from the 19th century or earlier. Another less confusing piece of information that I found on the Internet is that the church still uses an old bell from the 14th century.


Here you can see the World War II memorial near the entrance to the cemetery. It's cool to see the red star near the sacral object in the current, post 90' climate that is trying to cancel any positive aspect of the antifascist, almost exclusively communist resistance in Croatia, with the Catholic Church being very active in that revisionism that works much more on the new brand of nationalist propaganda than on establishing the truth.


Here you can take a look at the buildings near the church.


Soon I entered that small neighborhood made of abandoned houses and homesteads ...


... and I stopped in front of this overgrown yard ...


... to photograph a vintage car partially hidden by the vegetation.


Some minutes later, I photographed one of the abandoned buildings on the main narrow road that goes through the village.


I had a nice view of some of the surrounding hills from here, so I zoomed in and took this shot.


In the foreground of this photograph, you can see the Pseudofumaria alba plant.


I don't know how many people currently live in Trstenik, but today, while preparing this post, I found out that in 2001 only four inhabitants were registered here.


After some more walking and sniffing around ...


... and after photographing this small, cartoonish motorbike in the yard of one of the very few still inhabited houses, I was ready to continue the journey.


The next stop was four kilometers further. In Rachia Vas. Here you can see the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the center of the village. It isn't clear when was built, but I found out that in written sources was first mentioned in 1580. The church tower definitively dates from the year 1586.


Besides offering a bit of shade on a hot, sunny day, this open building near the church provides something even more refreshing.


Excellent drinking water ...


... that comes from the limestone underground. After taking a drink and filling the bottle ...


... I was ready to drive away.


A man and his dog were enjoying the sunny day on the lawn in front of the house while I was entering the car.


This photograph was taken a couple of minutes later, two kilometers from Rachia Vas ...


... when I stopped to enjoy the landscape and take a shot or two.


Here you can see the Viscum album plant, a parasitic shrub that grows on the branches of various trees.


Two weeks ago, when all the photographs in this post were taken, the trees in the rest of Istra were completely green and many of them were fully in bloom. Here in Chicharia most of the deciduous branches were still barren or covered with first small buds.


I took one more shot before resuming the drive.


Two or three kilometers further ...


... I parked on the side of the road ...


... on the hill above the town that goes by the name of Lanische.


By the standard of the more populated parts of Istra, this would be a village, but here in the mountains where every type of settlement is much smaller, Lanische is a small town, and the center of this green, quiet area.


In these four shots, you can take a look at the slice of everyday life through the zoom of my camera.


Here you can see the biggest church in Chicharia and some of the surrounding rooftops.


After taking this wider shot ...


... I continued downhill, towards the center of Lanische.


A kilometer or two further, down in the valley, I stopped to photograph the people working in the fields.


The road to Lanische led me through the small village of Podgache.


I didn't stop in that place ...


... but I did photograph the cows just outside the village.


Here you can see the Parish Church of St. Cantius, Cantianus, and Cantianilla ...


... on the main square of Lanische. While traveling around the peninsula in search of pictures and themes to publish here on HIVE, I learned about so many obscure saints in the names of the churches that I feel almost like a Catholic despite not being baptized or anything like that. When it comes to organized religion, I'm more or less an atheist. But when it comes to old & ancient religious art and artifacts from all over the world - I'm a big fan. I'm not much into God or Gods, but I'm very interested in what people have crafted through history with a God or Gods in mind.


The church was built in 1927, in the place where once stood an older church from 1609.


Here you can see a bit of architecture photographed in the neighborhood near the square.


Only one car passed while I was there.


This photograph was taken on the way back home. Six or seven kilometers from Lanische. I wasn't in Chicharia anymore. Here I'm standing in front of the gate that leads into the old, fortified town called Roch.


The town's wall and this passage were built in the 15th century.


I took only one shot behind the wall and then continued my drive back home.


I did only one quick stop before reaching Medulin, my hometown.


These Laburnum anagyroides flowers were photographed in the rural area around the small city of Pazin, about sixty kilometers from home.


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