2018/04/14 – Goodbye Slovenia


Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th April

After leaving Lubjljana with a sigh of relief, we travelled through beautiful valleys and saw many snow capped mountains still open for skiing.

Our first stop was the touristy Bled Lake.  A stunning huge lake with a small castle on an island in the middle.  Bled Castle sits on a sheer rock face high above the lake and the township. 

Bled Castle

After parking in town (parking meters everywhere) took the long hike up the hill (there is paid parking at the top at €3.00 per hour).  Busloads of Asians and tourists everywhere.  Far from our favourite castle as it has been renovated and is somewhere between old and new and set up as a museum inside.  We don’t think it is worth the effort to go inside the castle, though would go to the top just to see the panoramic view across the lake.

Another Bled icon in the middle of the lake

Tried to find a place to stay overnight around the lake but most refused to take motorhomes even though they had signs up saying motorhomes were allowed and displaying their fees which were 4 times the price of cars – they said motorhomes took up too much room – very unfriendly area for motorhomes particularly on weekends.  Frustrated we headed out of town into the countryside.  The dedicated camping parks of course available at a huge cost.

Our campsite for two nights:  Dovzan Gorge, near Trzic- GPS 46.3789N   14.3245E

Only a couple kms past the small village of Trzic we found our ultimate dream spot sitting right in the middle of Dovzan Gorge.   Set on a level gravel patch this parking spot (takes about 8 motorhomes) was right beside the clear crystal waters of a mountain stream in full flow with waterfalls cascading down the valley.  The water was so fresh we filled our tanks. 

Our overnight view from Ziggy

Spent two quiet relaxing days walking through the Gorge and staying away from the weekend crowds in the Bled area. 

Navigator and Driver setting off on a hike through the Dovzan Gorge

The locals have provided this magic spot at no cost and are trying to encourage tourists to come here.  Give it ten stars if you don’t need services except water – just breathtaking.

Some of the series of linked tunnels we encountered on the hike through the Gorge

Monday 16th April

On the return journey on the other side of Trzic, we found a dedicated motorhome area overlooking the beautiful town, which provided all services and couldn’t find a pay station so would be free – they are definitely looking to attract tourists.

We didn’t stay here and moved on toward Lake Bohinj.  Another stunning lake and the scenery was like everywhere – just stunning.  Towards the end of the lake, there is the Triglav National Park which is the home to the Bohinj Waterfall.  

Waterfall at Lake Bohinj

A very steep climb up with 20 minutes of steps all the way (as usual) rewarded us with a spectacular view and thunderous noise and water spray of the falls.  Really worth the effort.

Could not stay overnight here in the national park so headed down into the valley.

Our campsite for tonight:  Bohinjska Bistrica – GPS 46.276161N  13.958880E

A  very unusual spot for motorhomes only, set beside a railway line above the town with views across to the snow capped mountains and valleys.  Only heard the car train a couple of times during the day but very quiet at night.   Normally a cost of around €10 but free off season.

Our early morning view on awakening at Bohinjska Bistrica

Tuesday 17th April

Woke up to another beautiful day where the church below appeared to be sitting on a low cloud and with this in the foreground and the snow capped mountains in the background – was awesome.

Our campsite for tonight:  Veri Krajnik, Idrija – GPS 45.998623N   14.025956E- address:  Carl Jakoba 9, Idrija

10€ incl all services and Internet.  This is a private property that can take 3 easily and up to 5 Mohos at a pinch.  Best to phone first to check on availability 00386 41 725 262 as it is a very narrow, steep and windy road.  Veri, the owner, speaks excellent English and some German and spent some time providing information about this UNESCO world heritage town.

He drove us down into town and showed us where some of the sights we needed to visit were and also a shortcut back up the hill for the way home.

This town is the home to the 2nd largest Mercury mine in the world.  It officially closed down in 2007 and is now open for tourists only. 

No that is not the Navigator drilling in the mine

Very interesting walk down into and through the mine and the guide provided excellent information.  Another 200 steps – more punishment to these old legs but really worth it.

The Navigator with our guide inside the Chapel in the mercury mine

The town produces some of the finest lace in Slovenia and many shops proudly display their wares. 

Spent time in one of the many squares with a pint before making our way up the hill back home.  Had to stop a couple of times to catch our breath as it is quite a hike.

The views from this campspot again are across the mountains, valleys and the village below and at night we enjoyed just a coffee whole overlooking the towns lights below.

Wednesday 18th April

Veri was disappointed we did not want to stay on longer and said he would be our guide for today if we wanted to stay on.  Our vignette runs out tomorrow so we are keen to make it across the Croatian border on Thursday.

Our visit to the Skocjan Caves, another UNESCO site, is situated not far from the town of Divaca.  This was just one of the many highlights of our trip through Slovenia.  It comprises numerous caves and passages, natural bridges and sink holes.   This is a 1.5 hour walk through the caves where the centre cave is the largest we have ever seen.  Thunderous mountain streams and waterfalls fall at the bottom of the cavern.   Just awesome walking along the well lit paths and one could be reminded of Jules Verne’s – A journey to the Centre of the Earth. 

That is the exit from the caves – unfortunately photography was prohibited inside the caves

Another 500 + steps, though not all at once, was just what we needed, but the experience was one we were pleased we did not miss.  Photography in the caves was sadly not permitted.

Our campsite for tonight:  Park Military History, Pivka – GPS 45.668610N  14.190080E

This is a Super motorhome spot supplied for all by the Park of Military History.  For €10 with all services including electricity and great Wifi as well as one ticket to the museum, it rates highly as one of the better spots.  The pitches are on level bitumen, well lit, security cameras and a view across the valley below as a bonus.

We arrived in time to register at the museum reception but the museum itself closed at 3pm so will visit it tomorrow.  Wanted to eat at the cafeteria which gets wonderful ratings but it was booked out by a large group and is generally not open after museum hours.

Thursday 19th April

The museum features many tanks, planes etc from the second world war but also has a large section on the “Road to Independence” which presents the process of gaining independence in the Republic of Slovenia with an emphasis on the independence war of 1991.

A very small part of the exhibition area