THE GRAND TOUR: SLOVENIA 22/23/24th JULY

The Slovenian tourist board has a campaign running at the moment under the slogan ; I FEEL SLOVENIA.  It worked on us. We are head over heels in love. We are feeling it. 

So far on The Grand Tour we have been relentlessly moving forward, onwards, further ( like the bus of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters but without the Cool Aid). We were keen to the xplore the next valley, mountain range, or country. Now we’re worried that nothing’s going to match up to where we are. And we’re in a campsite surrounded by loads of people. That’s odd. 

But it’s felt more like being at a festival or a green gathering than a campsite. There is a fine mix of people from ultra crusty to retirees in smart motorhomes. The majority around us in zone B, in the woods, tend towards the younger ,more earthy, type. Setting up an amazing variety of tent, tarp, trailer,and truck higgledy piggledy across the lumpy bumpy ground in the deep shade of big beech trees. Can you see the Tranny in its beach side spot? 

 The shade has been imperative. It’s been hot, and humid and the joy of flopping into the lake to cool off must partly account for our love affair with the place. This lovely lake, the Bohinjsko Jezero, is Slovenia’s largest. About 6 km long and 1/2km wide, it’s up to 45m deep. That’s a lot of water and it renews itself three times a year. And this year, in this heat, it has broken it’s temperature record. Yesterday the water was 25 degrees, a few months from now it will be frozen over and there’ll be people skating on it.  

 The waters really are pristine and they try to keep it that way by banning any boat that isn’t electric, sail or rowed. There’s no rubbish lying around anywhere and there seems to be a general sensitivity towards the environment and to be great believers in its beneficial effects. We’ve come across loads of references, in ordinary tourist brochures, of energy spots, earth energy lines and so on. There as even a Natural Energy Healing Resort in Kamnic apparently famous fo it’s ” energy spots with special healing effects. The resort is also known for living water with an amazing energy output”   You don’t get that kind of blurb from Bord Failte.  

 Whatever, this is certainly a powerful landscape and the mountains may  radiate energy but they also demand a lot if you want to scale them.  

  To make it a little easier on ourselves we took a cable car, in fact we learnt today the fastest cable car in Europe, up 1000m  in about 5 mins, saving a slog of a couple of hours. We glided almost silently up above the misty lake 

 to the hardly pristine ski slopes.  

 From there to the top of Vogel, the second highest peak in the southern Julian Alps was another 600m but unfortunately our trail went down for quite a way before rising up past a little alpine cheese makers 

 and up a wild flower strewn valley to the bald limestone above.  

     At this point I must apologise if the blog resembles a holiday slide show of interminable boring landscapes. Maybe it’s a case of “if you weren’t there you won’t get it ” but I hope the pictures convey something of the scale of the grandeur.  

     

There’s more.  

  

  

 

We clambered up steel cables and the dogs just clambered 

 untill finally we climbed a narrow ridge and , like champions, emerged up onto the peak, pinnacle and summit of Vogel.   

 Our great achievement was put into perspective somewhat by the large group of 5 to 10 yr olds climbing up from the other side.  

 Fair play to them. 

The next day I had to go further and higher, for longer. The Mountains were calling and I had to go. 

Up on the cable car again followed by a chair lift to get me another couple of hundred meters higher and then a 9 hour hike in the heat began with a climb to a pyramid shaped peak, Suja,where I turned East and followed a ridge over half a dozen other peaks to the highest of them all, Rodica, at 1956 m.  

 Passed giant karst sinkholes  

 and pushing through the dwarf pine 

 with a long way to go and a danger of thunderstorms forecast I didn’t hang around and carried on along the ridge with amazing views on either side and the sun beating down.  

     There were a beautiful mass of flowers including Edelweiss  

 and limestone glories all around.  

   Eventually the path led me across a glorious flower filled broad Coll  

 and after a scramble and a climb involving cables and pegs and pins to the final summit. With thunder rumbling and clouds gathering I started the 3 hour descent and was never happier to reach shade  

 as I entered the beech trees and not long after a little mountain hut for hikers where I left a greeting from Ireland.  

   The thunder got louder and nearer and a couple of hours later as I passed the first houses 

 the rain started. A few minutes later I had hitchhiked a ride back to the campsite without getting soaked. 

Another day on the lake. We walked around it on the north shore through the woods , stopping for a swim at one of many little beaches and marvelling at the tranquility of it all.  

 We hiked around to the shop in the pretty village of Stara Fuzina with its fine hay barns where the hay is draped over the wooden rails and timber or fodder is stored within.  

     And from there got a ride back to camp on a lovely wooden cruiser, electric of course.  

 

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8 comments

  1. The pictures definitely do convey a sense of the grandeur of it all. What a beautiful place. Swimming and fabulous views all at once….I can see why you’re feeling the love! x

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    1. Yeah Mikey, reckon you’d really like it here. Big beautiful limestone mountains like the Burren was before it got ground down. And lots of funky people who appreciate it.
      And you lot ain’t so bad yourselves.

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  2. Slovenia had this effect on us too – we were hooked as soon as we got there! (And in fact about to return for the third time). Fantastic photos!

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    1. Thanks for the comment and complement. It surely is a beautiful country, and lovely people too. We were glad to have been there before the current migrant crisis though.
      Have fun on your next trip, I hope to read about it and do call to my blog again.
      May the road rise to meet you.

      Like

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