Klagenfurt, Austria to Ljubljana, Slovenia: Good Times, Round Two

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Why must we go to such ugly places?

Day Five: Podkoren to… Podkoren

We pick up the trail in the hamlet of Podkoren, Slovenia nestled beneath the Julian Alps. On stores of potica (Slovenian sweet bread stuffed with a ribbon of walnuts and cinnamon) from the previous night’s dessert, we shoved off for a loop ride around Podkoren. First stop: the Laghi di Fusine (Fusine Lakes) just back across the Italian borders, then a stop at the Planica ski jumps. Lastly, a trip into the popular Slovenian ski town Kranjska Gora for a bit of local flavor: polenta covered in smoked cheese sauce and a glass of white wine. All in a day’s work!

So that's where we're going Blaz?
So that’s where we’re going Blaz?
The first of the Laghi di Fusine...
The first of the Laghi di Fusine…
Bun holding her mum, Nee. Cutest family ever? Yep.
Bun holding her mum, Nee. Cutest family ever? Yep.
Lake number two. Horrid place.
Lake number two. Horrid place. Wouldn’t recommend it.
Bun and Sylva, kickin it at the top of a rock outcrop. Light climbing in bike shoes = a must do.
Bun and Sylva, kickin it at the top of a rock outcrop. Light climbing in bike shoes = a must do.
Sweet mural outside the lunch spot in Kranjska Gora.
Sweet mural outside the lunch spot in the alpine ski town of Kranjska Gora.
As I was saying, all in a day's work...
As I was saying, all in a day’s work for Cristina and I… na zdravje!
The Slovenian style love bug.
The Slovenian style love bug.

Day Six: Podkoren, Slovenia to Bled, Slovenia

And the next day, we’re chasing rain (or is it chasing us?) all the way to the shores of the lake in Bled, Slovenia. Some of us got wet, some of us holed up in a restaurant like medieval lords and ladies under siege. In the end, we all made it to Bled in time for a wine tasting with pours taller than the puddles outside. As the Daniel (our Slovenian wine connoisseur) said: “We’re in Slovenia, they must drink like they’re in Slovenia!” No complaints here.

Riding back through town on the way towards Bled...
Riding back through Kranjska Gora one more time as we head towards Bled…
Bridge over untroubled waters.
Bridge over untroubled Sava waters.
What does that mean?
What does that mean?
Can't knock the scenery...
Can’t knock the scenery…
Heading towards lunch...
Pastoral heaven.
Glad they put the details in...
I don’t think boobs typically grow there…
Pulling over for lunch (and hiding out during the rain).
Pulling over for lunch.
Yes folks, it's cake for lunch again...
Yes folks, it’s cake for lunch again…
Hiding out in traditional gingerbread land waiting for the rain to stop and/or a rescue from Blaz and Cristina.
Hiding out in traditional gingerbread land under the restaurant waiting for the rain to stop and/or a rescue from Blaz and Cristina.
A black radish full of spreadable cheese anyone? Mmmm.
A black radish full of spreadable cheese anyone? Mmmm.
After the Blaz/Cristina rescue train showed up in the pouring rain, we rolled into our new home in Bled, Slovenia.
After the Blaz/Cristina rescue train showed up in the pouring rain, we rolled into our new home in Bled, Slovenia.
And what better way to beat the rain than a lengthy wine tasting?
And what better way to beat the rain than a lengthy wine tasting?

Day Seven: Bled + Rain = ?

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Ain’t no party like a cracked out party…

Another rest day (ahhhhh). After making the trek from our hotel to the clients’ ritzy one (Hotel Triglav), we attacked strong cappuccinos and peered out the tall windows at a gray, soggy sky. Although half of the clients showed up half-heartedly in riding gear, everyone agreed the short loop ride to Vintner Gorge was a wash (literally). Instead we opted to meander into town (bedecked in umbrellas) in search of Bled’s famous cream cake. Later on, when the weather improved, we’d make the journey to dramatic Vintner Gorge.

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The ubiquitous church on the island (which Tyler, our buddy Pete and I rowed out to last time in sunnier weather) still gorgeous even in the rain.
The castle on the hill, watching the rain like it ain't no thang... which it ain't, if you're hundreds of years old...
The castle on the hill, watching the rain like it ain’t no thang… which it ain’t, if you’re hundreds of years old…
Cream cake, at last! This was my lunch, just in case anybody is wondering.
Cream cake, at last! This was my lunch, just in case anybody is wondering.
Beginning the 1.6 km long amble through Vintner Gorge.
Beginning the 1.6 km long amble through Vintner Gorge.
Just follow the turquoise waters to the other side...
Just follow the turquoise waters to the other side…
Cutest snail in Slovenia.
Cutest snail in Slovenia.
A waterfall (which I learned is "slap" in Slovenian) under the Bohinj railroad bridge, constructed in 1906.
A waterfall (which I learned is “slap” in Slovenian) under the Bohinj railroad bridge, constructed in 1906.
And then we're in Europe again...
And then we’re in Europe again…
Tour leader bonding time, with Blaz :)
Tour leader bonding time, with Blaz 🙂
The trail under the waterfall (or "pod slap" in Slovenian).
The trail under the waterfall (or “pod slap” in Slovenian).
Clambering down the the slippery, muddy rocks adjacent to the waterfall was well worth it!
Clambering down the the slippery, muddy rocks adjacent to the waterfall was well worth it!

Day Eight: Bled, Slovenia to Adergas, Slovenia

Another damp morning only added to the magical exit from Bled, especially since additional dampness stayed in the clouds. Today’s highlights: a fascinating stop in Kropa to learn about the excruciatingly hard yet interesting lives of iron workers and lunch (another round of Slovenian garlic soup for this gal) in the colorful center of Kranj. Extra points for dodging the rain during both stops!

On the (soggy) road again...
On the (soggy) road again…
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Goodbye soggy church on the soggy island…
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Hello lovely Slovenian countryside!
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Riding into the historic town of Kropa for a stop at an iron forging museum.
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On the left, our tour guide (who only referred to herself, often in the third person, as “mama”) gives us the lay of the land via a mold of historic Kropa. The iron forge was so important, no one who lived in Kropa was drafted for WW2 (although forging was no cake walk).

Mama also cranked up an old music box in the hallway, circa the 1800s and worth over 60,000 euros. It played less than a dozen tunes, of which we heard two or three…

 

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Checking on the bikes outside the museum, which is in an old building that used to house the hardworking iron workers; on the floor we stood in learning, 80 plus people once lived/slept on top of each other.

 

After the museum portion, we were fortunate enough to see an iron forging demonstration. The grandfather of the man who gave the demonstration was the last generation of traditional iron forgers in Kropa.

The water flowing through Kropa, which made it an ideal place to forge iron in the first place.
The water flowing through Kropa, which made it an ideal place to forge iron in the first place.
Colorful streets of Kropa.
Colorful streets of Kropa.
Iron with a modern flare, and a foreboding of the dragons of Ljubljana...
Iron with a modern flare, and a foreboding of the dragons of Ljubljana…
After the fascinating stop in Kropa, moving on to lunch in Kranj.
After the fascinating stop in Kropa, walking bikes up the steep cobbles towards lunch in Kranj.
Setting up shop in a cafe across from the church in Kranj. Lucky for us, it rained while we were eating and then stopped just in time to finish the day.
Setting up shop in a cafe across from the church in Kranj. Despite pouring rain over lunch, everyone was able to ride to Adergas.
Riding into lovely, quiet Adergas where we'd spend another night -- in another cozy triple room! Yay :)
Riding into lovely, quiet Adergas where we’d spend another night — in another cozy triple room! Yay 🙂

On the next Sylva Lining… the wolf pack makes it to Ljubljana, Slovenia and the tour’s end (tear). Then, Sylva and Tyler go it alone in Croatia for a week-long island bike tour. First, a little Ljubljana teaser…

Downtown Ljubljana, where the well known statue of Joze Plecnik (with his muse above) catches the autumn evening light.
Downtown Ljubljana — near the confluence of Jose Plecnik’s Triple Bridge — stands the well known statue of France Preseren (whose words grace the Slovenian national anthem). Preseren’s muse stands above him.

 

 

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7 Replies to “Klagenfurt, Austria to Ljubljana, Slovenia: Good Times, Round Two”

  1. Nice, Sylva. Love the “poop hard” sign! It also rained a lot during my time in what was then called Yugoslavia. It was soggy but beautiful, as your photos proved.

    1. Thanks for reading mom, love you 🙂 Rain and mountains, it’s the way of things. Although today we have snow!

  2. Hi Sylva. It’s fun following your trips and we’re enjoying your blog, both scenery & comments! Wish we were there but….. Maybe some other year. Bob

    1. Hi Bob and Lynn!!! I miss seeing you two!!! I am so happy you’re enjoying the blog and so happy you chose to follow it 🙂 I’m back as of last night, totally jetlagged, hope to see you at the Cafe this week!

      1. It’s so fun seeing your pictures and following your adventure. Glad you are back. Good thing you were cycling since you were eating all those yummy desserts! We’re in Denver right now. Not sure for how long. Lynn and Bob

  3. Sylva, not sure if this appropriate for your blog, but the gentleman for whom I’ve worked for the last 40 years, who was a prominent Denver business man and philanthropist, died last Friday, and we’ve had to come back to Denver to work on settling his estate. So we’ll see you one of these days. Once you recover from your jet lag, copy the below link & read the article, if you are interested. Bob

    http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/01/fred-hamilton-art-museum-dies/

    1. Hey so sorry to hear it Bob… my sympathies and thank you for sharing with me; feel free to post anything you’d like on here. I look forward to seeing you both when you’re back up in Summit.

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