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A Path Where Time is Measured with a Different Unit

11. December 2019. by slrastoke

The flow of Slunjčica, just like the flows of other karst underground rivers, lives a parallel, double life. For a while, it flows on the surface, making travertine barriers and waterfalls, and then, in another instant, it delves into a deep abyss of inhospitable karst renewing its power for new roles. Each of them is vital for biodiversity, geodiversity and ecological balance of the karst area, while its flow, or better to say flows, create an area of nature of immense landscape value. The underwater flow of Slunjčica is called Lička Jesenica and has a flow of 16.5 km with several tributaries deep beneath the surface of the earth creating cascade lakes that never see daylight. The source of Slunjčica has the shape of a small lake located in a natural amphitheatre from where, with its entire flow, it cuts a canyon of an impressive depth of 50 m, while at the Rastoke settlement, it creates a branched waterfall pouring into the 30 m lower Korana river.

The duality of its nature as a karst river is the creation of a vast biological diversity area while at the same time it is the habitat of rare plant and animal species. For some, this is their only home and since some of the species are endangered, any irresponsible behaviour can lead to their extinction, which would impair the fragile equilibrium of the area.