Designed by ViktoriaRaven and Janeen Arliss, Ostoja is a quarter of a Full region that is offered to public visits and photography. Bounded on two sides by curtains of cliffs on two sides, it is open to the sea on the other two – both watched over by a tall lighthouse, the rest of the parcel forming a high, mesa-like island linked to the cliffs by a pair of rock bridges.
Seen from the water, it is both an an intimidating and intriguing sight: its sheer sides seem to be foreboding, but the coastline offers a landing point with wooden steps climbing up to the top of the island and – if one looks – and the hint of a cave entrance promising secrets to be discovered.
The landing point is located on a curved shelf of rock sitting just below the island’s peak, a place where an aged terrace sits and a small garden guards the wooden steps that rise from the beach. The greenhouse offers a place to lounge or bathe, whilst on the far side of the terrace from it a footpath of stepping stones points the way to a cliff-side glade on the far side of the island.
Here sits a tree-shaded conservatory, it’s high dome overlooking he ruins of a wall suggestive of an ancient structure, now all but gone. Beyond the wall is a private residence, the boundary marked by ban lines should you get too close. These spoil the setting a little, but as they’ve likely been raised as a result of people ignoring the signs requesting privacy, their presence is understandable.
Behind the conservatory and sitting slightly above it, is the ruin, of an ancient chapel, a quiet retreat complete with its own pool of water, the brick surrounds of which speak to it clearly having been added a long time after the chapel had fallen past its prime. Around it, the plants, sofa and lights make the old chapel a cosy retreat.
Take the steps down to islands coastline, and the ribbon of beach that is home to flamingoes, places to sit, the aforementioned landing point and – that hidden cave entrance.
Tunnels and and caverns sit within the very heart of the island, winding their way to a point where a hidden place for trysts awaits, and a further opening offers a way out to the inland side of the island, a place with a cinder beach, lit by floating lanterns and overlooked by the house on its rocky perch. An imposing figure carved from stone rises from rocky footings between island and the waterfalls of the cliff walls, a further guardian for the the setting and the house.
Compact but with a lot to discover, photogenic and detailed, Ostoja is a delight to visit, and a destination not to be missed. Caitlyn and I both enjoyed our ramblings there, and would (again!) like to thank Shawn for tip.
- Ostoja (Nadril, rated Moderate)