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Published: September 25th 2019
On Sunday, we got up early and headed for the Sixt car rental at the train station in Ljubljana, hauling our suitcases and some food. We were in line behind a man speaking with an American accent, and we heard him mention "Seattle" to the employee. As we exclaimed that we too were from the Seattle area, the couple behind us chimed in, saying they were also from the Seattle area....really, what were the chances?
I was the driver for this rental, since Bill had driven in Italy. A former student, Dan Thompsen, had given me a back roads route to Bled, where we would pay for our forest cabin, and buy supplies for our two night stay in the Triglav National Park. The route was beautiful, and I didn't hit anyone on the blind curves, so that was a plus! There was a great cafe at the park info center where we had breakfast and used the wifi. We bought groceries, and headed into the park, again on winding, narrow mountain roads.
With only a few wrong turns, we arrived at the cabin, where two young rangers were waiting with hot tea and instructions on using the cabin
Three Seattle area guys in line at Sixt car rental in Ljubljana!
And the daughter of a friend of Bill's thinks she went to school with the guy on the left...small, small world!
(mostly be very prudent with water usage). They had a fire going in the wood stove, and all the shutters open. After saying good bye, we quickly unpacked, and drove to a trail head a few miles down the road. We hoped to hike up as far as the first mountain hut on the trail, where there were views and refreshments (hiking is different experience in Europe, with many popular trails having these huts where you can sleep and eat, or at least have coffee).
The trail got steeper nearer the hut, and we almost turned back, but met people who told us it was only 15 minutes more...actually more like 25, but we did it! The whole hike took four hours round trip, and we were the next to last people down that day, judging by the cars left at the trail head. We spoke with a young Slovenian couple on the trail, and discussed teaching salaries (very low) and Melania Trump (seems nice, but not very smart).
We got home and had some difficulty relighting the wood stove. We warmed the sheets (they felt damp) over the stove once we got it going, and I cooked
dinner. We climbed up the very steep stairs and crawled into bed under the eaves, quite tired!
We knew the next day was going to be very rainy, so we had books downloaded and I had a knitting project to start. Since it wasn't raining in the morning, we walked around the hamlet of Goreljek (only populated by vacationers, and a few full time residents now) and hiked the nature trail around a peat bog. We learned quite a bit about peat bogs, and the local flora and fauna. Cows are still summered here, and then taken to the lower valleys in the winter. The fences here are mostly to keep the cows out of yards!
In the later afternoon, when it still wasn't raining, I decided to hike on my own on a trail nearby. It started to rain as soon I set out, and I cut my hike short once the trail started to become a stream...I still got soaked and it took all night for my shoes to dry!
We were woken in the night by something on the roof above our heads, scratching and thumping around. I'm sure it was smaller than it
sounded, but I got up and shut the window anyway...
The next day we got up very early, ate and cleaned the cabin, and packed up the car for a drive to Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in Slovenia. Again, I drove narrow mountain roads to get there, with lots of blind corners where I hope no one was speeding towards me! The lake was pretty and completely calm, but we were on a schedule, and headed for the waterfall at the end of the lake, "Slap Savica".
"Savica Falls is a waterfall in northwestern Slovenia
. It is 78 m high and is fed by a karst spring
also called Savica just above the waterfall. A large portion of water is sourced from a karst
basin around Black Lake
, which lies around 500 m higher above the waterfall, because of which the spring has a relatively steady and strong flow. Water flows to the spring below the ground, where it splits into two parts. After heavy rains it can happen that the water supply from the lake and its surroundings exceeds the capacity of underground tunnels, and a portion of water flows on the surface in 600 m high cascading
Since it had rained the day before, both waterfalls were flowing...however, the clouds were still low, and we didn't get the spectacular views until we were part way back down the trail. We had expected to beat the crowds at this popular attraction, but the parking lot was more than half full as we arrived, and a German tour bus was already letting off dozens of passengers!
Once back to the car, we headed back towards Bled, where we quickly checked email at the Infocenter, and then drove to the Museum of Apiculture in nearby Radovljica. The town center was interesting, and we wished we had more time, but we had to return the car in Ljubljana and catch a bus to Zagreb at 3:30. The bee museum was interesting, with an exhibit of the famous handpainted hive panels unique to Slovenia.
I drove back to Ljubljana on the highway, and returned the car, while Bill went to buy our bus tickets (under $40 for the two of us; a two and half hour trip). The bus trip was interesting, since we had to get twice at the border crossing: once to check out of
Slovenia and once to check into Croatia.
Our host, an artist, met us at the bus and walked us to her lovely apartment in a dismal looking building a five minute walk from the station.
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