We are going to Julian Alps (Slovenia) by car in a good company of our friends Benita and Imants. The trip has two parts – the Nordic Walking championship in Austria and the Slovenian Alps. We drive through Lithuania and Poland to Czechia where we stay in a hotel on the outskirts of Olomouc.
On the next day we have a short tour in Punkevna caves of the Moravsky Kras Nature park and then drive to village Klopein in Austria. The second part of our trip starts on September 11th 2011 after 4 days spent on the road and in Austria. We still are staying in Klopein – close to the Slovenian border.
Day 1. Logarska Dolina
For the first day we have a light walk in the Logarska Dolina (valley) to the Slap Rinka waterfall. The Logarska Dolina is in Slovenia – we have to drive about 45km across the Pavlich mountain pass.
It is hot and sunny when we start to walk. Luckily enough the path mainly goes through the forest the trees gives us a shadow. The path follows the Savinja stream. The stream has a plenty of water – the herd of black and brown longhair cows enjoys the coolness here. Further on we find that the stream flows out from beneath the large black rock – this is called the Black source. Behind the Black source we walk by (or on) the dry river bed. We are at the waterfall after 2.5 hours of walk.
Rinka waterfall is 105 meters high. The water flows out from a narrow gap in the rock and then falls down 90 meters in a free fall.
We return by the same route.
While driving back to Austria we have an adventure called – find a gas station. It is Sunday and the first two stations are closed. Lucky enough the second half of the route goes downhill. To save the fuel we avoid to use breaks as much as possible. This brings in some adrenaline 🙂 The third gas station is open – what a relief.
In the evening we walk to lake Klopeiner to make use of the private bathing-place of our apartment.
Day 2. Slemenova Špica
Our car needs a small repair – we have to leave it in a local repair shop for a couple of hours. Meantime we take a walk along the Klopeinersee, ascend the nearby hill Georgi and find there a lovely little Georgi church. Bit by bit we have walked 10km. To relax from the walk we go to our private bathing-place for a swim one more time. Then we take our car and go to Slovenia to find our next apartment in village Rateče.
We find it easily, leave here our belongings and drive to the Vršič mountain pass. The sky is covered by clouds and and it rains lightly here and there. Still the weather is warm and sun shows up once in a while. We leave our car on the pass and walk the steep path to the Vratica pass. Further on the walk is (as Benita puts it) almost promenade. Sun shines brightly on the Slemenova Špica (summit) and we can enjoy there brilliant views on the whitish rock walls. Time to plan the adventures for the next days.
For the return we select another route – the path goes by the rock wall across the stony fields. This is not a big deal though and we are soon back on the pass. We have walked about 6km in2.5 hours. The height difference 500m.
Day 3. Pogačņikov dom
We drive to Bovec by the fastest route (this happens to go through Italy). Here we should take a cable railway to the start of our route. Unfortunately the cable railway is open only on weekends. Luckily we have our route book with us – we select a route to Pogačnikov Dom that starts near Slovenian village Trenta (village name reminds that this region belonged to Italy before the World War I).
To get to the start of the track in Zadjnica valley we drive from Trenta by the bumpy-stony road. The parking place here is almost full when we are there at 9a.m. Luckily we find a place though. It’s already hot and sunny. Initially we follow the mountain road taking us to the bottom station of the Pogačnikov Dom cable-railway. We proceed there by the mule track built during World War I. We ascend through the wood of hornbeams and larches that changes to scrubby pines gradually and then to rocks.
We are at the Pogačnikov Dom after 3.5 hours walk. It’s sunny still and we have a magnificent view on the mountains around, on two lakes and Zadjnica valley.
We return by the same mule track – downhill it appears to be longer then uphill 🙁 We are down in the parking place at 4.30p.m. We have walked 23km in 7.5 hours, height difference 1450m.
Day 4. Debela Peč
Having waked up at 6a.m. we drive to the Pokljuk hotel. Here starts the track to Debela Peč – the highest summit (2014m) of Lipanca mountain range. The track takes us through a forest, then follows the pastures, then trough another forest of fir trees to the Blejska Koča refuge. There we choose the track to Debela Peč summit. The path gets steeper there and it’s stony as well but we soon get to the summit. It is sunny and we have an excellent view of the all mountains of Triglav National Park (the Triglav itself inclusive – a czech hiker points to it).
Futher on from Debela Peč we follow the mountain ridge to other summits – Brda (2009m), Lipanski Vrh (1975m), then by very steep rocky path equipped with cables we get to the next two summits, latter of whoom is Mrežce. Next we descend back to the Blejska Koča refuge. There we decide to have a lunch and select the only food available – two goulashes looking like cabbage soup and two goulashes looking like goulash with a porridge. A Turk cofee and a tee – everything with a lot of sugar. And excellent view on the summits we have just conquered.
Having finished with our lunch we descend to our car. We have walked 19km in 7.5 hours, height difference 750m.
Our next destination (and the last one for today) is Bled – a picturesque village near the lake. We leave the care uphill near the stronghold. We walk around the stronghold, then follow the zigzag stairway down to the lake Bleda and stroll a bit on a lake promenade.
Day 5. Korita Mostnice and lake Bohinja
It rains during the night with some thunder rolling like a cannon. The morning wakes us with a fog. We decide to move southward to lake Bohinja. It still rains while we drive but as we come closer to our destination the weather clears off gradually. We leave a car in a toll parking because there are no other options.
The track follows the Mostnice stream, which has carved a deep, narrow gorge in the rocks. The water has formed various kinds of cavities and holes. There is a elephant-like rocl in a middle of the stream.
The path takes us along the very edge of the gorge uphill. In a couple of hours we get out of the gorge and proceed by the mountain road to the waterfall Mostniški Slapovi. The waterfall is not very impressive, the views on the hills covered with russet-color forests are stunning. We see several salamanders and a slowworm.
When getting down to the car we drive to the far end of the lake Bohinja. Here we take some shots of the Zlatorog (golden horn – a character from the Slovenian mythology) and have some swim in the lake. The water here is serene and clear. The bed of the lake is very steep (one need 3-4 steps to start swim). When we are done with swimming we get surrounded by a tiny fish. Waiting for treatment…
There is almost no wind. The mountains and trees reflect in the lake. What else one can wish from the life? Something for a diner maybe?
Day 6. Mala Mojstrovka
It’s cloudy, still the weather forecast tells there will be no rain. Hoping there will be not much fog up in the mountains as well we drive to the Vršič pass. We are there before 9am and the parking place already is almost full. The parking costs 3 eiros (they collect the toll only in the morning, nobody is here to do the job in afternoons 🙂 ).
When we are ready for walk there ar almost no clouds anymore. It’s 13 degrees celsius but while ascending it’s getting hot soon. First we walk uphill to the mountain pass, then proceed to the Suhi Vrh summit. There we take a short rest and then return back to the pass. Next we walk to the other side of the pass up to the 2332m high Mala Mojstrovka summit. There for the lunch have arrived spot on time a bunch of alpine coughs. They already know that people get onto summits for a lunch.
The nearby Velika Mojstrovka summit is covered in clouds. One can get there climbing the unpleasantly steep stone-scattered path. We decide to rather not go there. For the way down we select another path which follows the mountain ridge.
We are down in the parking place at 1pm after 4 hours walk. The height difference – 720m.
Close to our parking place there is a famous Ajdovska Deklica – the face of the witch hammered out high on the rock wall. The brochure tells that the face is hammered out by the Nature. We have already noticed the face when descending from Mala Mojstrovka. Unfortunately we did not manage to get close enough to take a close-ups. The last section of the path is very steep equipped with cables. We return back to the car taking the shots of the Ajdovska Deklica from several points.
The last adventure of the day is waterfalls of Peričņik. The bottom-most waterfall opens to our eyes already from the road. We get to the upper waterfall as well and take a look on both.
Day 7. Visoki Kanin
It’s sunny. We drive to Bovec again – it’s Saturday and the cable raylway should function today. It should go uphill on full hours. We arrive shortly after 9am and see the people entering the bottom station. We nab our boots and rucksacks and run barefooted to the counter and then to the cabin. The drive uphill (1800m) takes half an hour or so. There are two stops – the train changes the cable here using some sort of shunts.
The top station is at the height 2200m above the sea level. No trees here – only whitish, rifted rocks and stones. The path to Kanin has difficulty level 4. It features cables, steel pegs and likes. There are four other summits on the way to the ultimate one. Both on the road and from the Kanin summit we enjoy some kind of Lunatic landscape. Rocks and stones all around, snow here and there. The clouds have followed us all the way uphill. Sometimes the sun was shining over Ilze and me while Benita and Imants were walking in a clouds shadow. The final section of the route is a little bit tricky (it has all the promised extras – steel pegs, cables, steep path), still we manage to get to the summit.
We return the same path. Shortly before the cable rail we take another path uphill to the Prestreljenik okno – a large hole in the rock. The view is stunning despite of the fog all around.
Having enough of Prestreljenik okno we walk to the cable rail and drive down. 27 degrees celsius there.
We take pizza, cola with ice and coffe in the canteen of the bottom station. This returns us back to the condition to go and see Boka waterfall. The waterfall is 106m high (highest and largest in Slovenia) – there is a good view on it from the parking place. Nevertheless we take a walk to examine it closer.
Our way back goes through teritory of Italy.
Day 8. Tromeja
Having packed the luggage we move out of the appartments and park a car nearby in the center of Rateče. Here begins the track to the Tromeja mountain where the frontiers of Italy, Austria and Slovenia meet(Tromeja means three frontiers in Slovenian). The route starts in Rateče, then takes us into forest where we walk the foresr road and then turn of to the steep forest path. It starts to rain before we reach the path and it transforms in a shower gradually. The rain comes down in sheets when we have reached the Tromeja. The lightning and the thunder joins the show as well. We put on everything we have for this kind of event and take a look on a frontier cross (which looks more like a pasture fencing), a frontier signpost and a metallic model of the Slovenian mountains. The rain does not appear to cool down therefore we soon start our way back.
We are back to our car at 12noon to start a way back home through Austria and Germany to Frankfurt airport Hahn. Our Pyrenees trip has finished. Benita and Imants are staying some more days in Germany while Ilze and Juris are flying to Riga next morning.