Saturday 1st September 2018
Yet another trip to Slovenia, and once again, back to Kranjska Gora.
An afternoon flight seemed great initially. No bleary eyed driving to Manchester Airport in the early hours.
The motorways flowed well and I got to the Jetpark Ringway car park in good time. Check in for my FlyBe flight was quick, I’ve been in some very long queues at Manchester in the past.
As I was early, I left the terminal building and sat in a little garden between terminals 1 and 3. Just as well, I discovered a can of pop in my carry on bag from the walk earlier in the week!
Gone are the days of the package companies using Adria Airways and their Airbus aircraft. I was boarding a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8. A turboprop with a ceiling of around 25,000 feet and a top speed a little over 400mph.
I had the two seats to myself which resulted in a decent amount of leg room and a fairly comfortable flight. I was lucky, all other seats appeared to be taken.
The low altitude and decent weather resulted in some nice views as we headed over the Netherlands and Germany towards Salzburg….
…then a three hour minibus journey with a 45 stop at a service station. Argh!! I was soon cursing the later start as we drove along the dark roads, arriving at my hotel at around 11pm.
The Ramada Resort hotel room was lovely. Despite being a single room there was a lot of space inside and, outside the glass patio doors, I had a balcony overlooking the centre of the village.
A plate of meat, cheese and fruit was waiting for me in the room and, surprisingly, there was a kettle with a collection of tea and coffee. A pleasant unexpected meal before I settled down for the night.
Sunday 2nd September
After a very good sleep, I wandered down to the large restaurant. It was quiet and I could sit where I wanted, I took a seat by the window overlooking the mountains.
The weather forecast was poor so I thought I’d do a route that was easy to navigate, I didn’t want to soak my map on the first day.
I headed out on the D2 cycle path towards Italy.
The weather in the morning wasn’t too bad, I hoped it would at least stay dry at least until I reached the lakes. As I crossed the border, there were a few spots of drizzle, nothing too bad. I stopped at a picnic bench and put on my waterproof jacket and trousers.
Resembling a failed model from an Arc’teryx catalogue, I followed a small road from the cycle path towards the lakes. The road came out at a T-junction on Via del Laghi. I took a left, initially staying on the road before joining the pleasant path following a steam.
The last time I came here was at the end of a very long walk, the sun was shining and the view was beautiful. Last time I only got as far as the cafe by the side of the lower lake but knew I would return to investigate further if I was ever in Kranjska Gora again.
Today, in the gloom, the view wasn’t as dramatic and, as I passed the cafe, the rain became torrential. I found shelter by crouching under an overhanging rock . I stayed for a few minutes but it was obvious it wasn’t going to dry up any time soon.
I continued around the lower lake then through the woods to the upper lake. I didn’t go completely around the second lake, maybe in retrospect I should have. Instead I went around the East shore towards the car park. After a quick visit to the toilets, I made my way back to the lower lake, through the woods.
It had stopped raining as a left the lakes and followed the stream to the road junction. As it was still quite early in the afternoon, rather than take the right hand track back to Slovenia, I stayed on the road a while longer, joining the cycle track again further West.
I pressed on for a bit but soon realised that this strip of tarmac just went on and on and on. I retraced my steps back to a sign pointing to a castle and church. I do like a good castle, so left the cycle track and took the quiet road to the village of Fusine in Valromana.
I walked as far as the church which was situated at the far end of the village but no sign of the castle. I circled a few times but no castle or any more signs so I turned around and went the same way back to the hotel, following the cycle track to Kranjska Gora.
Back at the hotel I found the village on Google maps and Street View. I could not see a castle or the signs to it. Surely I didn’t imagine it!?
Monday 3rd September
I took a stroll to the local Mercator supermarket for supplies With the surprise addition of tea and coffee in the room, I picked up some milk along with some other drinks, there was plenty of room to store them in hotel room’s minibar fridge.
For just over €2 I had a litre of milk and enough soft drinks for the week.
My waterproofs were needed straight away today. The constant rain was forecast to stay for most of the day.
I was heading north out of Kranjska Gora, following path 2 to Srednji Vrh.
I walked up the road and took shelter in some sort of building I assumed was used by farmers. Needless to say, views were minimal as the clouds hung low over the hills.
Leaving the road, I took the path through woods, the trees offering little protection from the rain. From the woods, the route continued through a farming village. I passed an old farm house with an interesting toilet!
Speaking of toilets, I knew there was a compost toilet near Srednji Vrh. Welcome relief from the rain if nothing else!
From Gozd Martuljek I joined the D2 cycle route to the railway bridge. Here, I took a track to the right which soon became a footpath.
This was uncharted waters. The recognised walking routes in the area are extremely well marked, but there were no red and white painted blobs or big yellow arrows here. Initially the route was easy to follow with clearly defined paths, however, I reached a junction various options. I tried to keep going West as much as I could.
At one point I stumbled upon an area were new electricity pylons were being installed. I wasn’t entirely sure I should be there but pressed on regardless. In the back of my mind was the river crossing at the end of this section. On an ‘official’ path, there would be a nice, sturdy, well built bridge but here, who knows? The map showed a crossing of some sort. There may be a bridge or I may have to wade through water or, worst case, I may have to retrace my steps.
I reached the river at the point I intended. There was a bridge, of sorts. Two logs spanned the river. My Mamut Trovat boots grip to most things…..
…..except wet logs.
To add to the problems I have no balance what so ever. I could risk falling in (highly likely) or find the shallowest area to wade through. Thinking wet feet is better than wet everything, I went for the second option and zig-zagged my way over the water.
I managed to cross with only my shins getting wetter, I was still quite damp after the earlier rain.
It was a short walk from here, up the track to the road in to Gozd Martuljek.
The return trip passed through the large hotel and campsite complex Spik. The easy to follow path passed through the site and along side a stream. It was quite pleasant, apart from the constant drizzle.
The path moved away from the water and up though woodland before dropping back down to the side of the river Sava Dolinka. I walked around the back of the large sport complex and in to Kranjska Gora.
The route is available on ViewRanger as a GPX
Tuesday 4th September
After a very quiet period at the hotel, a couple of coach loads of guests had arrived overnight. Bizarrely, one of the new arrivals came to breakfast with a can of WD40!
I had planned a long walk so smuggled a banana out of the breakfast room, that would do for lunch!
My boots were still very wet. My waterproof trousers had been on the balcony overnight and I concluded they were just cold rather than wet, I needn’t have worried, an hour in to the walk, it was t-shirt weather.
I had left the hotel early and took D2 to the east towards Mojstrana. The walking and navigation was simple which is one reason I did this route last year when the weather was bad. I decided then it was a good walk to come back and do again.
There were three plans; walk to the waterfall then get the bus back, press on to the North Face of Triglav and get the bus back or, see the waterfall and walk back. The Alpine museum in Mojstrana had an information board describing the Triglav walk. As it was a 6 hour round trip from Mojstrana. I decided I’d come back by bus to do that walk. Today, I would visit the Peričnik waterfall.
Mojstrana has a number of via ferrata routes, I stood and watched three people making their way up Grančišče before continuing. There is a footpath I could have taken me towards the falls but, given the distances I was covering today, I thought I would take the easy, direct route and followed the fairly quiet road.
The views were beautiful and at one point, I got a peek at the mighty Triglav.
The waterfall itself is impressive. I viewed it from the road then noticed a path up through the trees. I decided to follow it. I was glad I did!
The fairly steep and uneven path heads up through the trees to a flat-ish area with great views of the cascade. A rather ‘interesting’ path went behind the fall itself. It was narrow, quite slippery and very impressive! I ended up getting as wet as I had in the previous rainy days!
After a few photos, I took the same path back down from the falls to the road. I continued up the road a bit to find a spot by the river for a drink and lunch (the smuggled banana!).
Suitably feed and watered, I took the road back down to Mojstrana and decided to walk back taking the full distance walked to 24 miles! The route was flat so I made decent progress although my legs did feel the last mile. A drink on the balcony was very welcome!
The full route is available as a GPX file but can be shortened, using the reliable buses between Kranjska Gora and Mojstrana.
After dinner ( cottage cheese souffle, roast veal and veg), I took a walk up to Lake Jasna. Just after passing the Best Western hotel, two deer crossed over the road. I’m often lucky spotting animals on holidays (although I didn’t think it lucky when I was face to face with a bear in Italy!)
That evening stroll completed my marathon for the day.