Sljeme – Magical Winter Wonderland Above Zagreb

During winter, the sky above Zagreb is typically covered with clouds. Sometimes weeks, even months pass by without any direct sunlight, like some gray matter has taken over the city. Well, technically there has, and that gray matter are clouds.

This is where “thinking out of the box” comes in. Why not go beyond the clouds, literally?
Clouds during winter times are usually low clouds, meaning you can go beyond them by just climbing over a few hundred meters. Since Medvednica’s highest peak is Sljeme at 1033 meters, it’s the perfect spot to get that essential winter dose of sunlight (which can really come in handy for your mental health).

Whether you go by foot, bike or car, you’re in for a treat. While climbing, you will obviously be going through fog (since you are in a cloud), and at some point, you will go beyond the cloud.

This is a collection of photographs, taken with a few lens-body combinations, throughout a period of 4 years.

Under the clouds

Everything starts under the clouds. The route to Sljeme is a 10 kilometer wavy road. Depending on the forecast, sometimes even the first few kilometers are just like in the city, but with beautiful autumn color schemes. The best date to experience this is in late October and early November. At other times it’s better to skip this part, but that’s just when the fun begins…

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Fog

Sometimes the fog is like a static layer above the city, but other times it’s constantly changing position which is ideal for capturing interesting shots.

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Above the clouds

Usually the temperature in the city during the winter is near 0°C. At the same, the temperature in the mountain is about 5 degrees higher. Mornings (like on the first 3 photos) can be colder, but the cold is worth the view.

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Mountain Sljeme is the perfect destination for hiking. In less than two hours, though the famous Leustek trail, you can be on the top of the mountain by foot.

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Or you can travel by bike.

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Medvedgrad is a medieval fortified town located on the south slopes of Medvednica mountain, dating back to the 13th century, approximately halfway from Zagreb to the mountain top Sljeme.

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Sljeme cable car was opened for public in 1963., and unfortunately closed in 2007.

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