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 GENERAL INFO (Jump to Diary)
The official name is Republic of Slovenia, and it is a Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic, which covers 20.273 square kilometres. Here live around 2.100.000 citizens, of which 61% are Christians, 10% non religious, 2,5% Muslims and quite some unknown.
The currency is Euro, worth 7,46 Danish Krone. The GDP is US$45.917 billion.

The climate variety of relief, and the influence of the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. The northeast has continental climate, the coastal region, has a sub-Mediterranean climate while the Alpine climate is present in the high mountain regions.
The biological diversity of the country is high, with 1% of the world's organisms on 0.004% of the Earth's surface area. Among the larger mammals are the marmots, Alpine ibex, Eurasian lynx, European jackal, Brown Bears, wolves and chamois.
Slovenia is the third most-forested country in Europe, with 58.5% of the territory covered by forests. The interior of the country are typical Central European forests, predominantly oak and beech. In the mountains, spruce, fir, and pine are more common.
In the Alps, flowers such as Daphne blagayana, gentians (Gentiana clusii, Gentiana froelichi), Primula auricula, edelweiss (Leontopodium), Cypripedium calceolus, Fritillaria meleagris and Pulsatilla grandis are found.

20/5 2018. I arrival from Hungary in the late afternoon, and follow the A1 for 120 kilometres. It is through rather flat farmland, but in contrast to Hungary, here are lots of small farms. In one field, I see at least 14 white storks.
As I get closer to Celje, the hills get bigger and bigger.

In general, I would say Slovenia is a significant upgrade from Czech, Slovakia and  Hungary. The houses are nicer, the roads more smooth, here are more modern factories and more people talk English.

21/5. The French woman from the camper next door offers me coffee and biscuits, and give me some hints on what to see. She speak a god German, but I have a hard time finding mine. Apparently, I can not skip the capital: Ljubljana. Here are some many different old building styles mixed together. And while I'm there, I might get the car serviced and get the brakes fixed - if I'm real lucky.

I program the GPS for the entire country, and get a bit of a late start. But the first sight is close bye, and I find Celje Castle right away. Before I reach it, I try to find some food and alcohol to the burner. The supermarkets don't have it (all Danish does), the drug-store have tiny bottles with real expensive - and just the same. I try a huge builders market, and they have half a litre for €32,50 - not that interested after all. Another is only €5,45. I can't break the seal, but take the chance, as it is labelled Sprite (which is Danish for what I want). It turns out to be White Sprit, and useless. I give it to a guy with a lawnmower, who appreciate it.

Celje Castle "is the highest", and it sure is a tall square tower in the centre of the walls. Another is not quite as tall, but still impressive. The views are fantastic: The city below, the high mountains, the river and the green valleys. I have it all to my self, and it lack the feel of being alive for sure. The buildings are rather intact, and a lot of the wooden installations have been restored

The exhibition is about torture instruments from 1600 till 1850: Ironmaiden and alike. The courtyards are teaming with lizards, and I manages to get some bad photos of them. I walk the entire castle, and even check the bathrooms. They are different: Modern in steel and black along with the ancient walls. Never seen a black toilet before. Besides from the tall tower and the black toilets, I don't see that much interesting.

I follow the big river of Savinja into the small mountains and farmed valley along the river. Here are a lot of wooden barns for hay. Some are used for firewood as well, and here are huge stacks of firewood everywhere. Along the cosy and undisturbed farms, small towns with real modern factories are found.

Many of the small hills along the river are home to small castles, fortress, churches and chateaus. I stop a few times to get better pictures, and to have a closer look at the flowers. I make a stop in Zuzenberk to find lunch, but the fortress distracts me for some time.

Then I find a place selling different meals, and I get a bread with pasta and fresh cheese in. It is so much like the Georgian breads, and it turns out the guy selling them is from Croatia. Guess I can be lucky to find more along the route.

After well over 100 kilometres of really nice driving, in so beautiful surroundings, I reach the start of a recommended route. It is along another river, and here are a bit more farmland. Besides from that, it is not really as interesting.
Next up is Kamniska Bistrica National Reserve.

It is into the low mountains, covered in mainly conifers. I find some of the springs, and while walking into the forest, I find a set of small waterfalls, running over moss-covered rocks. Can't get more beautiful  than that! The road end at some Alpine-like huts, and I head back to find the cableway. Unfortunately, I'm too late.

I head back out to the plains, and find the Arboretum; Volcji Potok. It should be the country's largest park, but I can see enough thought the fences to save the €8,50. Big trees and colourful Pelargoniums are not really me.
Then a "fairytale village with a castle" sounds more right. It should be the oldest town in Slovenia, and the little I see while driving through it, to reach the castle, is great.

The castle at Skofja Loka isn't that great, and I return to the town. Here are not that many restored houses, but a lot of real old and entreating buildings. It have not been "discovered" it seems; I fail to find a single souvenir shop! But it is truly a treat to walk around the streets and alleys.

The houses at the river is something else - but so are all the others. They have been build over a long period, and in different styles. Same goes for the churches, of which here are quite a few.
When I have seen it all, it is four o´clock, and too early for the camp. The next is quite a mountain drive away, but the lowlands still have sun.

I follow the river Kokra deep into the steep mountains. Further in, the barren or snow covered peaks are visible and clear. The road start to be real twisting, and the scenery absolutely astonishing. One area have a lot of turnedover conifers, and the road mush have been closed for quite some time. This is part of Logarska Dolina National Park.

Then, without warning, I cross into Austria. My Vignette have terminated, but I am not going to spend €10 to drive 18 kilometres. Further more, I only pass two private huts. It get better and better, and I get real close to the snow, as the road exceed 1000 metres.

I get back into Slovenia, and a bit down. Then I find a road leading deep into a narrow valley. In the end, an Alpine hut offers a bed for the night. Right next to it is the snow covered mountain. I eat at the car, as I have vegetables, which need to be eaten. I start working, but figure I better get into the house, before the two women closes it for the night. The chair is not as comfortable as the car's, but the location next to fire place, make up for it.
From here, I head into the western part of the country in Diary 2.

Photos   Map & Plan   Diary 1  2