Friday, June 30, 2006

Mountains to the Sea - Slovenia 6-8 June 2006

Setting out from the picturesque beauty of the lakes we headed for the mountains and stopped to visit numerous waterfalls, gorges, forests etc that are dotted around the parks.

The roads are well looked after and we traveled through some very impressive valleys in the car. We stopped of at a few villages, some with medieval history and some with more modern events.

Slovenia has quite a few earthquakes and a number of towns have rebuilt significant portions of their buildings across the ages and in quite recent decades.

We visited the UNESCO site of the Skocjanske Jame Caves as well as the Postojna Caves. Both cave systems are part of the same river complex. The Postojana system is very well catered for the tourists with a electric train that takes tourists down into the caves. This place is totally worth a visit.

From the caves we headed for Piran on the coast not far from Koper as the place to stay. Piran is an amazing port town with virtually no traffic allowed in - more in the next posting


Thursday, June 29, 2006

City to Mountain - Lake Beld Slovenia 4-6 June 2006

So the intrepid adventurers set of from Ljub in a wee rental car and set out for Lake Bled with a few diversions on the way.

The most amazing thing about Slovenia is that it is so small (20,000 sq km) that you can do most things in a day trip from Ljub should you choose to.

Most of the villages are worth a visit to see the amazing scenery and view historic buildings, castles, etc as well as get a feel for local life.

The weather was cool but sunny - perfect for exploring mountains, waterfalls, caves etc.

Lake Bled is truly the stuff of Romantic fiction. A small lake set in the north of the Country with a Chapel sitting on an island in the middle of the lake.

A couple of hours after arrival we sat back and supped beers at the castle - overlooking the lake from a strategic position.

The next day was taken up with mountain biking and lake antics

The chapel has set of stairs leading up from the boat ramp to the building. Local legend - should a future husband carry his bride to be up the stairs then they are guaranteed of a happy life - nice legend but its a lots of stair I guess love should overcome all including climbing 99 odd stairs!!

Once you get to the top you can go into the church and ring the bell - its a wishing bell, so be careful what you wish for as youre in a church.

From visiting the chapel the team zoomed around the lake a couple of times on mountain bikes and then decided to bike up the hill opposite the castle to take a view across the lake to the castle on the other side. A very steep hill, it has a luge that rockets down it.

The next day saw us head to Lake Bohinj to climb a gorge to see a waterfall. The guide book showed swimming in the waterfall - this is however not the case - 553 steps later we arrived at the look out and were beseiged by mossies and could not access the pool.

From this stunning lake we set of for the next step of our adventure - and a night in Kobraid.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Ljubljana to finish the Week 1 st - 4th June

The First four days of June saw me in Slovenia but more specifically in Ljubjana. Taking a low fare airline ( from Luton with a total unbelievable price of £5 plus the ever present taxes, arrive into Ljub was pleasant and on time. A short bus ride to the city and then a wee stroll to the Hostel.

The rest of the group arrived and we all stayed at the Hotel Celica - a converted jail which is now a youth Hostel ( Each of the old jail rooms has been converted into different works of art with different room set up etc. Make sure you have a good look at the website.

Ljub is a very interesting city to wander around and the castle is quite imposing overlooking the city. The history of the city is impressive as well. A walking tour is certainly recommended. The museum is interesting but you can complete it in a few short minutes so more of a time filler rather than anything else.

Shopping is as you would expect and cafes are all over the place for stopping in for a coffee.

Food and drink is not as cheap as it may once have been given that Slovnia is part of the EU and set to join the Euro soon. Quality of food is good however with seafood, meats and salads everywhere. The local beer or PIVO is very drinkable and does not leave you feeling bloated after a few evening pints.

From Ljub we hired a car and set of to Lake Bled ... what a fab place to go to