Zip-line in Bovec: Challenge Taken!

Last year, as a wedding gift, we’ve received two lovely tickets for an amazing zip-line adventure in Bovec! For those who knows me, I’m not exactly an adrenaline seeker, I’m more the quiet reader type.

But since it’s a wedding gift, there’s no backing out, so on Friday, August 19th 2016, my husband and I decided to take on the challenge!

Adventure around Bovec

Located in the beautiful Soča Valley, Bovec is a very popular destination for adrenaline sports seekers. The town has many youth hostels as well as adrenaline adventure agencies.

Surrounded by the beautiful Julian Alps and nearby the famous Emerald river Soča, we decide to take a small walk around and take some (cute) photos.

We also visited one of the most magnificent waterfall of the region: the Boka Slap. Its flow rate is also the strongest in Slovenia, sourcing from the melting snow of Mt. Kanin.

Zip-line in the Krnica Valley, above Bovec

For our zip-line challenge, we went with Aktivni Planet, an agency that has organized adrenaline activities since 2002.

Helmets, gloves and harness were all provided by the tour.  We reached the start of the Kanin zip-line in 20 minutes bumpy jeep ride.

Before going on the “real” thing, our tour guide explained the rules to follow and the basic steps of zip-lining to ensure our safety during our flying time between Mt. Kanin and Mt. Rombon. We practiced on a training line until everyone got the basics correctly.  Then… off we go!


The challenge:

  • 5 wires
  • length: 3200 meters
  • height: 1300 meters above sea level
  • speed: 60-70 km/h

Flying down the first wire was simple unbelievable fun! All fears and worries evaporated and replaced by excitements and a surge of adrenaline. The second wire was in tandem, since it was the first one built in the area, it needed more weight to fly properly. The third wire was my favorite, as I didn’t except to fly through a narrow path between tall trees (just amazing!). The fourth wire was the fastest one.

For me, the last wire was the most scaring one, it was in a completely open area and height above the ground. Through the flight, I was also hit by small droplets of rain and a gust of wind, enough to send a little rush of panic! Nevertheless, I made it safely to the end, which made me feel absolutely awesome! WOOT!


Unfortunately, we didn’t take any photos of our zip-line challenge. 😦 We were afraid to lose our phones and decided to without carrying anything with us. If you’re seeking some adrenaline rush in Slovenia, I would totally recommend to go to Bovec, either for zip-line or rafting! It was a totally mind-blowing experience!

Until next time,
Anna.

Early Canada Day Celebration in Goriška Brda

For a few years now, the Consulate of Canada in Ljubljana has gracefully been organizing awesome izlet so that Canadians abroad in Slovenia can celebrate Canada Day together. This year, we explored the beautiful region of Goriška Brda.

First, we went to the view tower in Gonjače, met our tour guide and headed to the cultural monument of Šmartno. We had a delicious kosilo – lunch in Dobrovo Castle, followed by a wine tasting and visit of the Klet Brda. After we visited the Cerje Memorial Monument and we finished the izlet by enjoying delicious food at Kujtna Domačija.

Goriška Brda

Located at the western borders with Italy, Goriška Brda – the Gorizia Hills, is blessed with three different climates: Alpine, Pannonain and Mediterranean. The area is famous for its vineyard, fruits, especially cherries, and olives.

The vineyards in Goriška Brda are locally called “brajde” and their borders are traditionally marked by fruit trees.

From the 23 meters high view tower in Gonjače, the lovely surrounding landscape can easily be admire – climbing the 144 steps was totally worth it!

The medieval village of Šmartno

In the center of Brda is the cultural monument and restored medieval village of Šmartno. The defensive wall surrounding the village used to have seven watchtowers recognizable by their crown shape but three of them were destroyed and nowadays, only four can be seen.

There are a total of 43 villages in the area of Brda and almost each of them has its own parish church.

The bell tower of the Church of St. Martin, the largest church in the area, which used to be a fortification tower, is also at the center of the village. During the 19th century, the church has been rebuilt and expanded.

Inside the Church of St. Martin in Šmartno

Inside the Church of St. Martin in Šmartno

The beautiful color frescoes inside the church, painted by the famous Slovenian artist Tone Kralj, contrast to the monotone and sad black and white paintings. The elevated pulpit on the right side is made of a single piece of marble. The small white cavalier statue on the left, near the cross, is the only remaining from the previous building.

The Beautiful Dobrovo Castle

We were served a nice Mediterranean kosilo at the Restaurant Dobrovo Castle: sirkova minestra (corn Minestrone), frtalja (omelet with herbs), bela poleta (white poleta), toč s prsutom  (prsut in Teran wine) with green peas and for dessert, we had a delicious cherry pie and coffee. Eating good food with good wine in great company!

Beautiful Renaissance Dobrovo Castle

The architecture of the Renaissance Dobrovo Castle is almost a perfect square shape with symmetric towers. A very pleasing sight to the eyes.

After our meal, we visited the upper floors of the Dobrovo Castle, which has a beautiful wedding hall. There are also various exhibitions rooms: objects, documents and furniture that belonged to the Count of Silverij de Bauger and his family and a vast collection of prints by Zoran Mušič, a Slovenian graphic artist from the region.

Wine Tasting in Klet Brda

Quercus from Klet Brda

One of the largest wine cellar of Slovenia is the family vineyard of Klet Brda, a cooperative of 400 families who have worked together for more than 50 years. Their wines are exported to approximately 30 countries.

The best wines brand of Brda are known as junaki vinogradov – the heroes of the vineyards: Villa Brici, Quercus, Krasno, Bagueri, A+ ( a premium class wine made from the combination of the best grapes of the region) and various sparkling wines.

The White Rebula, a dry white wine, is indeed the most famous and known wine of the region.

Cerje Memorial Monument

Located on top of the Cerje hills at 343 masl, the Pomnik braniteljem slovenske zemlje na Cerju –  the Monument to the Defender of Slovenian Homeland, can be seen from afar. The surrounding landscape is simply fantastic.

On the ground level, text from the Brižinski spomeniki – the Brižinj Monuments, also known as the Freising Manuscripts, named after the place where they were discovered, are exhibited.

The manuscripts are most significant as they consist of three texts in the oldest form of Slovene.

Brižinski Spomeniki Exhibition Room

“Eccȩ bi detd naſ neze greſil tevuekigemube ſiti ſtaroſti neprigem lióki nikoligeſe pet ſali neimugi niſlzna telezeimoki nuúvuȩ.”

In Slovene: “Če bi ded naš ne grešil, bi mu na veke bilo živeti, starosti ne prejeti, nikoli skrbi imeti, ne solznega telesa, temveč na veke bi mu bilo živeti.

In English: “If our forefather had not sinned, then he would have lived for ever, not receiving old age, nor ever having sorrow, nor having a tearful body, but for ever he would have lived.”

The first floor is an interactive map of the battles during the World War I. The second floor is dedicated to defense movement during the anti-fascist period. The third floor is devoted to the Liberation War period. The fourth floor displays the war effort for the Independence of Slovenia.

View from the Fifth Floor

View from the Fifth Floor

The fifth floor is a viewing platform and it symbolizes the future of Slovenia: a truly beautiful sight.

Osmica at Kujtna Domačija

Osmice – 8 days of feast, is a 200 years old tradition in the Karst region of Slovenia. During the osmice, wine-growing farms are allowed to serve homemade food and sell their excessive wine and other products without paying taxes.

Osmice at Kujtna Domačija

We savored a delicious plate of prsut, salami with cheese and homemade bread paired with a glass of good wine at Kujtna Domačija.

The osmice are very popular events in Slovenia and they usually take place once or twice per year, depending on the amount of excessive wine.

The entrance of each location can be easily found as it is marked by a bouquet of ivy, called fraska. To find out when and which farms serve home products, check the calendar on Osmice.info.


I had a wonderful izlet discovering the beautiful Goriška Brda, but it was especially nice to seeing and meeting other Canadians that are living abroad in Slovenia. Last but not least, we went back home with a bag of yummy češnje – cherries!

Visit my Gallery for more photos.
Until next time,
Anna.

Day 4 – Tolmin & Around

Travelling is already so expensive (the cost of transport and accommodations…), so let me show you some free/low-cost activities to do, follow my series “Slovenia on Budget”.  It is for people who will travel by car.

If you want, you can first read

Day 4 – Tolmin and Around

The Forest covers about 60% of Slovenia. When I think about Slovenia, mountains, forest and waters come to my mind. In this post, we’re going hiking and seeing a lot of water courses. We’re going to the West side of Slovenia, in the Goriška region.

Tolminska Korita in Tolmin

The drive from Tržič (where I live) to Tolmin is quite tricky, it has a tons of mountains roads and turns. I’m always a bit worried when we drive to Tolmin, as I’m not sure how my stomach will take it… but the Tolminska Korita – Tolmin Gorges is soooooooo worth it! And a plus, it’s not crowded by tour bus tourists, but hikers.

For a little fee of 4€, you can hike in the Tolmin Gorges, which is part of the Triglav National Park. The paths are well maintained, but a good pair of shoes is recommended, as it goes up and down and near the water courses.

Beautiful Tolminska Korita

The water, believe it or not, is turquoise and very very clear. You can easily see the protected marble trout in the waters. I’ve always enjoy listening to the flow of water and childishly play in it – it’s just so relaxing! Within the Tolminska Korita, you can see Thermal Spring, the “Bear’s Head”, the Devil’s Bridge and so much more. For more information, you can visit the Dolina Soče Official Website.

Hidden gem in Kobarid

On our way back, we visited small hidden gem in Kobarid: the Kozjak Slap, which consists of six succession of waterfalls, but only the two last can be seen. The Veliki Kozjak is beautiful sight of nature: a 8 m high white  waterfall, surrounded by a half dome, that drops into a pool of turquoise water. The only path there is by walking on a narrow and tiny wooden bridge and at the end, you get to stand on a platform of approximately 1 m large. Which makes taking photos a bit challenging!

We took the smoother road via  Škofja Loka/Idrija on our way to Tolmin, but we drive back by via Kranjska Gora/Vršič Pass .

Driving through Vršič Pass

The Vršič Pass is the most famous and highest mountain pass in Slovenia. It was built during World War I, with a total of 50 turns. Each turn is numbered from 1 to 50 with the elevation.

Beautiful View from the top of the Vršič Pass

Beautiful View from the top of the Vršič Pass

The sight on top is breathtaking, you can see waves of mountains in attitude. There’s also a small inns for travelers and adventures. It’s a quite famous cycle-challenger for bikers as well!

Be aware that the weather is chiller at the top (1611 masl), so wear an extra jacket.


Let me know how you’re liking the nature side of Slovenia by dropping me some comments below. Don’t forget to dress accordingly for hiking and to bring snack with you, but don’t forget the principle of “hiking without trace” – meaning, don’t throw your garbage in the nature.

I forgot to mention, there’s a surprise on Turn 17 of the Vršič Pass – make sure to make a stop. And if you can’t wait to find out, you can visit my Gallery for the answer. Tomorrow, we’re going around the neck of the chicken: Day 5 – Ptuj & Maribor.

(I’ve also randomly came across this post: This May Be The Most Beautiful River On Earth, from the Huffington Post.)

Let’s travel,
Anna.

Slovenia on Budget in Pictures

 

These photos were taken all around Slovenia, when my parents came visit me, at the end of August 2015.