THE GRAND TOUR:SLOVENIA 31st JULY 1st AUGUST 

I have a pile of walking guides in the Tranny to places I had wanted to visit on this trip but now ,as day after day in the Julian Alps only reveal more vistas to explore, and the first day of autumn is upon us and with it the realisation that time, for our journey at least, is finite- I might not get to open some of them. 

As someone who hates to turn down the possibility of checking out pastures new it’s a dilemma. “Should I stay or should I go?”

My dual personality is battling it out. One half is loving it here and never wants to leave, the other is reminding us of all the other glories that await further down the road. And that this is our chance. Could be the last. “Maybe the last time, I don’t know”

  

But for now the dominant mantra is”be here now”  and we are. And we really enjoyed getting here. As we curved around the peaks heading north , then turning East the views had us choked.  

 

  That’s a lovely piece of planet isn’t it?

  We turned off to go up the Soca valley, home of EXTREME and ADRENALIN sports but all I saw was beautiful clear turquoise water and people messing about in boats.  

  

 By the time we got to the camp site we were engorged with nature and all we could do was supp slowly at the surroundings.  

     Although we did manage to stroll down the road a little to check out a route for the next day. And call in at neighbouring camp site where their WW1 finds were on display.  

   

We were to find our own mementos of that desperate conflict the next day when we took off down the valley and then up and up into the mountains on trails made by soldiers 100 years ago. 

Ironically the beginning of the trail was marked  by a signboard, as we crossed the rushing river, describing the healing power of the waters.   

 

Scruff had done well leading us across the suspension bridge.  

 And more old iron buildings in picturesque spots.  

   We climbed to a more or less deserted hamlet  

 and then zig zagged or way higher and higher on the old military route to the lines way above on the ridge. How the supplies and equipment were ever dragged up there was beyond us as we struggled to get up unencumbered. The slope was littered with defensive positions and remnants of the Great War.  

 

We reached a chapel of sorts and a monument to the troops who died in an avalanche on Christmas 1916.  

 The landscape was benevolent towards us as we hiked through the beech and hornbeam forest.  

 with the stone walls of the conflict all around. Hard to imagine the horrors of the past in the tranquility of the now.  

 

We had climbed over 1000m in the trees and it was good to come to an opening that rewarded us with a view of the valley below.  

 And the picture at our feet of the countless cyclamen was equally as good.  

 After a traverse across the mountains we came to another memorial, this time to the troops from Bosnia Herzegovina who had lost their lives.  

 

And then we were on the way down again, alongside the rushing waters.  

   Passed symbols of war 

 and more natural threats of huge rock fall. The forests were left intact as a natural defence against these crashing into the houses and avalanche. 

  to the healing waters below  

   

 

The dogs were knackered so after leaving them at camp we returned to the river for a cooling dip.  

 There was a place just upstream of the suspension bridge where the Soca river surged through a gorge into deep pools and channels and folk gathered to hurl themselves from high cliffs into the bracing waters. Sally and I had a swim as the teens whooped and hollered with the joy of life  as they defied death in the healing waters. (Sorry, I didn’t take the phone for pictures). 

Tonight the rain is back. Tomorrow the weather will determine “Should I stay or should I go” 

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One comment

  1. Thanks particularly for the snap of the cyclist. I immediately felt at home! Less war, more cycling is the way I would like it to go! Andre Kertesz was on that front with his brother in WW1 I believe. I wonder if he liked cycling? I know Einstein did. And of course, H G Wells.

    Like

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