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.
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
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
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.
We clambered up steel cables and the dogs just clambered
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.
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.