Hike ‘till you drop!
May 25, 2014
|We completed 6 hikes this week and have now spent so much time together in our camper van that we both decided Saturday should be designated as a “Mental Health” day, where we each went our own way all day and met for dinner in the evening.
The more we see of Slovenia, the better it gets. In fact, we cannot think of one good reason why anyone would not like this small, unspoilt and spectacular country. The hiking is endless, distances are small, the people are friendly and everyone has time for you in this, the off season. Oh yes, and English is ubiquitous.
Our favourite spot this week has been the tiny village campsite at Dovje (1,000 years old) right on the edge of the Triglav National Park. Triglav is the highest peak in Slovenia at 9,396 feet above sea level. From there, we moved on to spend a few days in Bled – the most visited place in the country - and ended the week camped on the shores of Slovenia’s largest lake, Bohinj.
Things we have learned this week:
1. The ultimate insult. You crawl the last 50 feet to the precipitous summit of a 7,000 foot peak, with jaw dropping falls each side only to find cycle tire tracks across the summit ridge.
2. When you are standing on the same summit ridge, you can decide which country you want to die in if you fall – Slovenia or Austria……….
3. Rule # 1 of hiking – never, ever take a detour at the end of a long hike when you are both tired and nearly out of water. The number of times rule # 1 was broken this week – twice in one day. Next day was a rest day.
4. Slovenia has some excellent beers, but the best one by far after a long, hot hike is brewed by Union brewery and is called Radler – 50% beer and 50% grapefruit juice. The second one usually tastes better than the first and also lasts longer.
5. Bled is touristy and crowded with day trippers, but Ian ate the best Indian food of his life in a restaurant there; so we may just drop in there again on our way back through Bled. Meanwhile, Liz was at the Hotel Park taste testing Kremsnita (cream cake). You can eat it throughout Slovenia, but the original is at Hotel Park where they’ve been serving it since 1953. It certainly lived up to its reputation. I think a return visit is called for there as well………
6. Whipper-snippers are obnoxious in any country. This is especially so when you are eating breakfast outside and gazing up at the jagged snow-covered peaks of the Julian Alps.
7. It’s a dog’s life in Slovenia………………….see photos.
8. Slovenian hiking maps won the “topographical map of the year award” in 2011. This still does not stop them from ripping and falling apart along the most inconvenient creases.
9. The longer you spend in a camper van, the more you realize how much unnecessary “stuff” you have at home.
10. Following on from that thought. Travellers’ Proverb – the larger your camper van, the more unnecessary junk you will haul around with you.
Each week we will give you a trivia question pertaining to the country we send the blog from. We will give you the answer the following week. No “Googling”………….
Last week’s question:
Slovenia: Ernest Hemmingway drove an ambulance for the Italian army on the Soca/Isonzo front in WWI. Which of his novels was based on this experience?
And the answer is: A Farewell to Arms
This week’s question:
Slovenia: The town of Bled has produced many Olympic medalists, winning gold in Sydney 2000 and silver in Athens 2004. In which sport?
Until next week!
Liz and Ian