Mošćenička Draga was used as the inspiration for the story Šuma ponad mora (The Forest Above the Sea) by: Milena Benini
Mošćenička Draga developed at the end of the 19th century below the small town of Mošćenica, when people of the nearby places moved to the coast, primarily for fishing, and turned it into a small fishing harbour.
The surrounding area is abundant in gravel beaches, but also hills, and the names of certain peaks allude to Old Slavonic mythology, e.g. Perun and Veles.
The area is known for a rich carnival tradition; nevertheless, in Mošćenička Draga, the tradition manifests in an unusual and interesting form. Here, the Pust effigy is launched into space on a big rocket, an event organised on the beach every year since 1969, ever since Neil Armstrong first landed on the moon.
Mošćenička Draga is populated by nearly 600 people, whereas the surrounding settlements are inhabited by roughly 1,000 people.
Milena Benini is a Croatian author, born in Zagreb in 1966. She started writing in elementary school and never stopped since. That’s how she found her way into both anthologies of Croatian SF (“Ad Astra” in 2006 and “Antologija hrvatske ZF priče” (“Anthology of Croatian SF short stories”) in 2005). She wrote eight novels, one of which, “Svećenica Mjeseca” (“Priestess of the Moon”), was first published in English, and only afterwards in Croatian.
Winner of numerous awards, including the one for the most Istrian story (“Prva koluna Margulje Krsnice” (“The First Column of Margulja Krsnica”) in 2009) and, as a co-author, the international “Eppie” award for the book “The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction” (2007).
As translator and/or editor, she collaborates with several domestic and foreign publishing houses. She is also involved in translating and won an award for her translation of a novel by François-Régis Bastide, “The Man Who Desired a Faraway Love” (2009).