Hello lovely people 🙂
How are you doing? I hope you are content and inspired. But if that is not the case I hope this post will transfer a little bit of my own joy and excitement into your day as well!
Today I wanted to share with you my recent trip to Lika, Croatia. As some of you know I was born and live in Croatia, more specifically in Zagreb. I love exploring wonders and hidden Croatian gems so I was beyond happy about this trip.
Pick a comfortable spot, maybe get under a blanket or imagine doing it and lets dive in 🙂
For once we started our trip with a very short drive! Lika is just two and a half hours away from our house which makes it perfect as a mini getaway destination. We were off to a very interesting place. In the heart of Velebit Nature Park, there is a Ranch. A place where animals and people from all nationalities, interests, and backgrounds come together to witness nature, share meals and connect with each other. It is unique and profound especially for Croatia where these types of accommodations are not common.
On a sunny Thursday afternoon, we have arrived at Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch. To be honest, I was a bit nervous. Almost like I could feel that the energy is completely different, but in a good way. This was just the beginning discovery of the uniqueness of this place.
We were welcomed by one of the most interesting and profound hosts I’ve ever had. When I first came across Linden, I was intrigued by Bruce’s life story. He went from being Quantum Biophysicist in the USA to traveling the world and directing his life towards people and nature. You could see how that affected the whole Ranch and the vision they share with the guests.
We settled in and started to explore. One thing was certain, I have never been to accommodation like this. Horses, sheep, dogs, and chickens were all over the property. You could hang out with them as much as you want. And I certainly did! Especially with one sheep, Luka the ram, he was so cute. Although, I left the Ranch with the bruise from him. I know he didn’t mean to harm me so I still like him very much 🙂
As I said we were in the heart of nature. In the mornings you could feel the cold breeze from the mountains and hear the birds singing. You could smell the freshness of the forest and serenity that was around. I honestly felt like I was at home in my forest, enjoying the morning sun.
The special part of this accommodation were shared meals. We all gathered three times per day. From guests to hosts, and shared homemade meals while getting to know each other. At first, it was a bit strange. However, with time I realized that it was one of the most unique and valuable parts of the whole experience. When you are with the same people, enjoying the food at one table, you start to open up. You hear other people’s stories, opinions, and wisdom and you make connections. I feel like the whole Ranch is centered around connections. Not only with each other but with yourself as well. I can just imagine how someone, who lives in the city apartment, feels in the heart of nature. There is no way out, no television, no internet, no distraction. Here you are confronted
with your own thoughts, your virtues, and shadows. In my opinion, the biggest value of the Ranch is exactly that. They allow you to have a transformative experience that starts in your own mind.
The best example of what I’m talking about are stories you can hear at those shared meals. I was intrigued by how many people had very interesting experiences and thoughts at the Ranch. The best part was that they were sharing it with all of us. It felt like the energy of the place, made them put their walls down and truly connect to each other.
My favorite meal was a cowboy breakfast. We all gathered up in front of the campfire while our hosts made eggs, sausages, and pancakes. The minute I saw pancakes, I was sold. There is no better breakfast 😀
Don’t worry, eating and thinking is not the only thing you can do here! I loved soaking up the last days of summer and sunshine at the pool. Mostly, I was alone. I appreciated every second of sunlight warming my skin in the last days before colder months.
We were also riding as much as possible. There are so many activities that include horses you can choose from. You can ride every day, in the morning or afternoon, fast or slow. And the best part is that you are riding in nature! We were discovering all the beauty of the mountains and enchanted forest, as they call it.
After an amazing breakfast, we went to our ride. We were set on the horses and reminded of the way we should behave and communicate with those animals. I loved the fact that they teach you to make a relationship with the horse and to simply guide him instead of controlling him. I found that part intriguing since the way I was thought to ride was completely different. The following two hours were magic. Imagine this! You are sitting on the horse, taking in the movement. All around you is a breathtaking landscape. You can see the field below the mountains. Then you enter the forest full of flowers and plants you rarely see. You can hear birds and you can feel sunshine coming through the trees. Light is dissolving in stunning ways and it looks like the forest is intertwined with warm lines. To make it even better, you come to the enchanted part and witness the cave as old as the land. You hear the story in which ancient people on this land considered this place sacred and thought that fairies live inside the cave. Can you imagine how magical that experience would feel like?
One of my favorite parts was time after dinner. When most people would go to bed and when it would be so chilly that you needed a jacket. I would go to the hot tub, again in the middle of nature and enjoy hot water melting all the stress I had. I would look at the night sky with millions of stars and I would take it all in. Those nights were truly magical!
After a few days, I felt different. Like something inside me has moved like the energy has shifted. It was beyond a regular holiday! I enjoyed every minute of it and I’m grateful for this eye-opening experience.
If you are someone who wants more then just a nice hotel. If you want to feel the place and if you want to trigger something in you then I can’t imagine a better place for you!
With love until the next time,