The Pazin Abyss on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula is a breath-taking geologic marvel. A centuries-old castle is built on its steep cliffs. Zip lines criss-cross the void. Here, staring into the abyss, you will find your character.
Cover Photo: The Pazin Abyss and Castle | Tricia A. Mitchell
Standing at the edge of the Pazin Abyss, you are reminded of who you are. Staring down into this yawning chasm in the Earth’s crust, where eons of geologic time have carved steep cliffs into the rock, you can see and feel the vastness of space. Amidst this vacuum, you will find your character.
Man looks into the abyss, there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss. – Hal Holbrook
For the zip line enthusiasts who leap into the empty space above the Pazin Abyss, the only things that keep them from falling into the void are a couple of D-rings and a metal cable. That takes character.
The Pazin Abyss and the castle built precariously on its edge, were the inspiration for Jules Verne’s novel, Mathias Sandorf. Written in 1885, the novel features a daring escape from the castle.
Tricia and I had a wonderful day exploring the rim of the Pazin Abyss. We packed a picnic lunch and took the train from Pula.
We met a group of exhausted German spelunkers climbing out of the abyss. They had explored the cave at the bottom where the Pazinčica river disappears into the Earth.
While we didn’t make the leap out over the abyss, there were a number of people who did. I commend them for their courage!
I once went bungee-jumping in my early youth. However, once I learned what it is like to fall almost 50 meters, my desire to plunge great heights has subsided.
For now, I am content simply staring into the abyss. I have found my character.
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