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SLOVENIA    DIARY  2

Photos   Map & Plan   Diary 1  2  

From the eastern part in diary 1, I now enters the west.
22/5.
I head towards Ljubljana, where I have found a VW garage - I think, and the car deserve a proper service by now. It is yet another great drive through the Slovenian Alps, although the weather is not that good. It are narrow, winding roads, some through real narrow gorges with vertical walls. I think it still is within the Logarska Dolina National Park.

I pass a few cows and a herd of sheep, but here are not that many free animals. Considering the amount of hay that are being harvested, there must be a lot inside the stables.

I find the huge and efficient garage, and they promise me to change the oil before two o'clock. The brakes can only be fixed by changing everything, it seems - although they can't promise it will help, but I have to pay anyway. I can live with it as it is - I hope (quite some vibrations, when they get hot).

I find internet and work with link-checking, highlights from previous countries, budgets and alike. I am only missing a rainy day anyway. They finish a bit before time, and the rain have stopped. I head for Ljubljana market and the old town around it.

The market is not that big, and besides from being called a farmers market, here are also shoos and clothing. Fresh fruits and vegetables along with some nice flowering plants for the gardens.
It is a big old town, and I do several of the larger streets, of which some are for pedestrians only. The Sava river runs through, and give a nice opening along with the squares.

Here are magnificent buildings, strange ones, many churches, a few modern mistakes and a lot of people. The sun peaks through from time to time, and the temperature raises immediately. I have been in doubt about what souvenir I should find, but after seeing the dragon bridge, the dragoon souvenirs, and several dedicated dragon shops, it is quite obvious: Dragon it is.

It is strange, how easy it was to think of something from Switzerland: Gold bare, St Bernard dog, Edelweiss flower, knife, cows bell, Alp hut, Alp hat and so on (although some apply to other countries as well). But other countries like Liechtenstein do not ring any bells. And I do need one from each country.

I spend a couple of hours, wondering around, and it might be one of the cities, which I have to return to one day. There is a castle on a little mountain, and I didn't get to see it. And a lot of cosy cafés, some with  nice cakes, I think. And surely even more alleys with more lovely old buildings and more river views too.

As I leave Ljubljana, the clouds closes the sky, and soon after, it start to rain. My first target was the castle of Bled, but the heavy rain considered, I settle for the camp. It is next to a fantastic lake, and I hope to get some sun on in the morning.
Logarska Dolina National Park and Ljubljana

23/5. It is a short drive to Bled Castle. It is along the shore of the magnificent blue lake with the same name. A small island have a rather big church on it, and the water might be blue from a distance, but it is crystal clear nearby. I see a salmon near the shore.

The road is narrow, especially where a house is blocking half of the road! I reach the castle of Bled before it opens, but the amount of craftsmen swarming around along with their materials, cranes and scaffolds make it a bit unattractive. When it is renovated, it will be great!

Next on my endless list, is the Gorge of Vintar. Well, the sign say it is closed due to renovation, but a trail leads on the upper edge of the gorge, and it is beautiful. The river have a clear turquoise colour and a mist above. A big tree is living on a small rock in the middle of the river.

On the high road, I see a lot of interesting plants, among them two species of orchids. Eventually, I have to turn around, and when I reach the closed entrance and ticket sale, I can't help it: I have to walk just a little bit into the gorge along the river. It is fantastic!

From here, it is deep into the Slovenian Alps on the way to Vrsic Pass. It is another fantastic drive through high mountains, green meadows and forest. Here are a few villages and old farm huts. A single lake have a perfect mirror of the high snow covered mountains.

Just six kilometres before the pass, the road is closed due to renovation! The Alpinum Juliana; Alpine Botanical Garden is on the other side, but it will be closed to renovation, I guess.
I find a long way around, leading into the Italian Alps. It does not change much; It is still a great drive! More small villages or settlements, old stone bridges, blue rivers, meadows covered in flowers, mountain views and a lake with an island.

Back in Slovenia, I see a small castle in the huge forests, on the steep mountains. In a little village, something might look a bit like a supermarket. I lack fresh vegetables, and give it a try. It continues in hall after hall, and have everything! Bicycles, pluming, flower seeds and plants, towels, shampoo and will you believe it: Alcohol for burning!

Back in the mountains, I reach the Bovec area with the 106 meter Boka Waterfall. It does not look that high, but I've been walking for 15 minutes without is have changes much in size, and when I watch how "slow" the water falls, I grasp the size of it. Here are more interesting plants, and I do quite some walking.

Next sight is a way smaller waterfall; Kozjak in Kobarid, and again, the trail is a big part of the experience. It is along yet another turquoise river and over a suspension bridge. Some kayakers are trying to drown them self in the white waters, unsuccessful while I watches.

The fall is under a old stone bridge, giving the impression of being in a cave. I find carnivores plants, new orchids and other interesting plants. The trail heads on, and so do I for some time. Then it leads into the deep forests, and I turn around.

Another great drive brings me to the spectacular Predjama Castle. It sits on a vertical mountain side, partly within a huge cave. More caves are found on the wall, and a big river runs right into the mountain side. I see the castle and the flowers they have outside, but don't bother to enter the buildings.

It is only five, and I decide to drive the 70 kilometres to Piran and the camp I have found here. Quit soon, the road is closed due to renovations, and I end up in a rather long but scenic detour. It leads through some long tunnels, and when I exit, I am no longer in the Alps, but at the Mediterranean coast: Olive trees, Agavas, the coat line and high prices on camps! I save €15 by sleeping in the tent instead of in the car. The forecast promise a dry and warm night, and I take the chance. I spend €9 on the tent in Denmark, as I was bounced at several caravan/camping sights in England: No sleeping in the car!!!

The 550 photos of the day take half the night anyway, and I do not sleep: I work in the car! Then, when I need the internet, it don't work.
Bled Castle, Vintar Gorge, Vrsic Pass, Boka WF, Kobarid, Kozjak WF, Predjama Castle and Piran

24/5. I sleep real good in the tent, but in the morning, it is soaked both inside and outside. I have to let it dry in the sun, before I store it back in the little bag - hopefully for a long time. It is only a short walk to the old coastal town of Piran, and I figure; I can see it while the tent dries. I can even follow a small path on the seaside.

Here are some clay-rocks, making strange sculptures in the surf. Look like huge dices and copplestones. The steep rockside is partly covered in nice flowering plants, and lizards jumps around to catch flies.

Piran is a real nice old town with all that can be expected, and a great seaside on top of that. I start high up, with a view down over the old town and port. Then I head down in the narrow alleys and the big square with the renovated buildings.

There is no wind, and the mirror of a harbour basin offers some great motives. It is mainly pleasure boats, but none are real glamorous.
Old Piran City

 When I have seen most, I set the GPS for Croatia, and enjoy the last bit of this beautiful country. It is surely one of the places, I might return to one day!

I have driven 960 kilometres, taken 1249 photos and spend €174. €57 of these on three camps and one room. The rest pretty evenly divided in diesel, food, road tax and gadgets, while admission is only €4.

This is such a pretty country, and I can easily imagine going back here one day.

Photos   Map & Plan   Diary 1  2