Into Italy……or is it Germany?
Jun 1, 2014
|We left Slovenia this week with a heavy heart, after close to a month of being held in its spell. We spent the first part of the week camped at the end of Lake Bohinj and then moved back to Dovje on the edge of the Triglav National Park for a couple more hikes before heading into Italy. Our last hike was perhaps the best of all with awesome views to the jagged peaks of the National Park and especially the 2,000 foot sheer north face of Mount Spik.
Our memories of this tiny country are many, but a lasting one will be sitting eating lunch on our last day there in a high pasture filled with wildflowers looking across the valley to the 9,000 foot snow-capped peaks across the valley.
We have now moved into northern Italy, where the Julian Alps continue as the Dolomites and more German is spoken than Italian. We are camped at what is likely our best ever view from a campsite – on a hill with 9,000 foot jagged peaks on one side and rolling pasture, valleys and more distant mountains on the other……
Things we have learned this week:
1. “Slovenian parking ticket meters do not work when it is raining” – we put our money in and nothing came out. A Good Samaritan passerby called the help number for us, and that is what they told her. Undaunted she filled the machine with her money and out came a ticket………………………..our ticket.
2. A first in all our world travels: after plugging in the main hose to deliver a tanker full of diesel to a gas station, the driver proceeded to light a cigarette.
3. Slovenian desserts are excellent (Rick, I don’t think you would ever leave this country……..). Ttrust us on this one, as we have tried every permutation of the Lake Bled speciality – kremna rezina (Liz called it by its German variation last week – kremsnita). Whatever you call it, it’s amazing and the original from the Park Hotel is the best. Ditto for the national dessert potica and let’s not forget gibanica.
4. The Italy/Austria border must have been redrawn over the winter. We are in what our map says is Italy, but the first language everywhere is German and today we were at the biggest event in the South Tyrol region and everyone was wearing Lederhosen, felt hats, frilly shirts and drinking gassy Germanic beer. Sure looked like Bavaria to us…….
5. Following on from the above point. The campground we are in has 98% German camper vans. Only other British van is parked right next to us (we are sticking together). We chatted to the owners today and the only place in Canada they know and have visited is ………Elora. Go figure.
6. If you ever see a tractor coming towards you in Slovenia, get your camera out pronto as something interesting is sure to be in tow. Winners so far are a cow in a trailer and a man holding onto 4 goats and dangling his legs out of a front loader.
7. Despite Slovenia having only 23 kilometers of coastline, it thinks of itself as a maritime nation.
8. Slovenia is a 21st Century country that feels like a step back in time.
9. Slovenian internet gets tired. It fails at most campsites at 8:46 p.m. virtually every night.
10. In Europe, it is easy to visit 3 (or more) countries in 1 day.
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: The town of Bled has produced many Olympic medalists, winning gold in Sydney 2000 and silver in Athens 2004. In which sport?
And the answer is: Rowing
This week’s question: Slovenia: Slovenia has the highest per capita ratio of this “animal” to humans of anywhere in Europe. What is the animal?
Until next week!
Liz and Ian