Howdy all! Today I want to take you to a seriously beautiful place on this planet, in a country in Southern Europe you might not have visited but if not, should definitely be on your list! Slovenia is a wonderful mix of history and nature. Ljubljana is an amazing capital with a castle, rivers, gorgeous bridges and cobblestone streets. The coast has some great places, even if it is only a tiny tiny piece of the Mediterranean Coast squashed between Italy and Croatia. There are stunning caves to explore, mountains, forests, and it’s still somewhat cheaper than most of Western Europe.
In the north of the country is Lake Bled, with a castle overlooking it and a small monastery on an island in the middle. But perhaps the most beautiful part of the country is on the other side of the hill on which the castle sits. A walk through beautiful green fields takes you to Vintgar Gorge, to the village of Pedhorn. It’s about 3.5 kilometres to the gorge, and then you walk through the gorge, criss-crossing your way back and forth over the Radovna River.
The water is seriously blue, the board walk that criss-crosses the river is around 1.6 km long and quite a decent feat of engineering I’d say. It’s a half day hike from Lake Bled, and something that really shouldn’t be missed if you’re there. I visited the gorge and Slovenia as part of my epic Dhaka to Dakar journey, here are my thoughts in Dhaka to Dakar: Book 2: Exploring Europe (via Lulu).
The gorge itself contains a 1.6 kilometre boardwalk. We walked down into the valley to access the boardwalk, and as soon as we descended the temperature dropped. The boardwalk is set along a particularly wild section of the river, and crosses from one side to the other a few times as well as just following the river.
It’s rightfully very popular, and we shared the boardwalk with many other tourists that day. The valley was lush like a tropical rainforest, and the river was many different colours.
At some point the water was raging very quickly, and then it would almost slow to a stop before a waterfall. Here the water was so pure and clear there was no trouble seeing the bottom, the rocks, the sand, and then it would suddenly tumble down the waterfall and rage again.
At times the boardwalk was built into solid rock with nothing but the river below it. That must have taken some doing I suspect. Then we crossed tall, slender bridges above that reminded me of Roman aqueducts. The river was fuelled by melting snow, and there were several pipelines that just appeared out of the side of the embankments and water spurted from them into the river.
At the end of the boardwalk was the perhaps predictable (yet strangely out of place) souvenir shop with overpriced snacks and drinks. We took a different route back to Bled, which took us through an equally magical forest for a good couple of kilometres before we re-joined the road system and found ourselves at a strange, empty outdoor kiosk, opposite this old, small church. We then made our way back to the hostel, with the very hot sun beating down on us. The valley and water did a great job at keeping the gorge cool.
I think, though, only photos can get across what it’s really like!
Thanks for reading today – Thursday I will be taking another train with you! This time in the island nation of Sri Lanka! See you then.
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