Soteska Vintgar on a Cloudy Day

On a slightly cloudy day, my husband and I wanted to go on a small izlet to Bled, but once we reached our destination, the weather wasn’t as nice as we expected. So, we had a change of plan and visited the Soteska Vintgar – Vintgar Gorge, also known as the Blejski Vintgar – Bled Gorge, instead.

The natural scenery of Soteska Vintgar along the Radovna river that flows between the hills of Hom and Boršt was  first discovered in 1891 by Jakob Žumer and Benedikt Lergetporer. Security ramps, wooden bridges and narrowed passages were constructed in 1893 for the public.

The previous rain made the flow of the Radovna river strong and roaring. At the slower and calmer part of the river, the color of the water was a beautiful shade of turquoise, which reminded me of the Tolminska Korita, and surprisingly clear – especially after so much rain.

Slower Part of Radovna river

Slower Part of Radovna river

The narrow path along the Radovna river was a bit slippery with puddles of water, but it was totally worth it!

The cleverly built walking path gave an amazingly close but safe view of the different features of the Radovna river: lovely rapids, small series of waterfalls and intriguing potholes on the side. Fishes could be easily seen through the very clear water.

The beautiful set of wooden bridges that crosses above the Radovna river are called the Žumer Galleries.

The 1,6 km path leads to the fantastic 16 m drop Šum waterfalls, the highest river waterfall in Slovenia  and also the symbol of the Soteska Vintgar.


Despite the cloudy weather and occasional small droplets of rain, I really enjoyed my little outing in the Soteska Vintgar with my husband. Visit my Gallery for more photos.

Until next time,
Anna.

A short visit in Škofja Loka

The other day I had my health check-up for my driving license in the lovely town of Škofja Loka. We (my husband and I) usually drive by the town every time we go to Tolmin, but we never actually stopped by, until this time – what a little hidden jewel!

Wooden Statue on the Way to Loka Castle

The town of Škofja Loka, built at the confluence of the  Poljanska Sora and Selška Sora rivers for more than a thousand years, is one of the best preserved medieval town of Slovenia. The town is surrounded by beautiful unspoiled nature.

There are different paths that lead to the Loka Castle, which stands on a slope just above the town.

The one we took was short, easy and absolutely lovely – there was a beautifully carved wooden statue right at the beginning of the path. (Does anyone know what the statue symbolized? If you know the answer, please let me know via the comment box!)

The “stairs” to the castle had a rather unusual structure: like a stone ramp with regular convex bar that act like steps. It made the climb to the castle almost effortless – which surprised me at first.

Usually access to castles aren’t that easy, due to defensive purpose. Although, the access to Loka Castle is easy, it doesn’t mean that it is defenseless.

A defensive city wall with only five gates was erected around Škofja Loka in 1318, it provides protection, not only to the Loka Castle, but also to the old town core.

First built in the 12th century by the Bishops of Freising, the castle sits on a natural terrace. Following an earthquake in 1511, the castle was almost completely destroyed but it was rebuilt and given its current architecture. Today, the Loka Castle serves as an important local museum.

Beautiful Loka Castle in Škofja Loka

One of the things I enjoyed the most in Škofja Loka was the walk through the small garden next to the castle – the calm and quietness was simply wonderful. It gave me the impression of being completely somewhere else and very very close to the natural surroundings – yet, in reality, I was in the middle of a town!

Curious Bird in the Small Garden next to Loka Castle

The peacefulness of the garden allowed us to take nice close shoot of the birds. The trees created an interesting surroundings. It is definitively a place where I would love to spend my afternoon!


Unfortunately, we were limited in time and didn’t visit Škofja Loka as thoroughly as we wanted. We finished our short visit by a quick walk through the old town core. The another attractions will have to wait for another izlet! 😉

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.