Black Pudding Gaiters

Hiking, travelling, gear



Italy Tour 2022

I received tickets for a Half Man Half Biscuit concert as a Christmas present in 2019.
Then Covid came.
The concert was put back a few times until the finalised date of September 2022.

As the concert was taking place in Birmingham, it seemed a good opportunity to head off to see other parts of the country; Bristol, Oxford, maybe down to London.
From London, get the Eurostar…..
….Bit by bit, the trip grew legs.

After much planning and number crunching, it turned out that flying abroad worked out considerably cheaper than a few train journeys in England. A little tour of Italy started to come together.
Fly in to Bergamo, fly out of Rome. In between, fit in Milan, Turin, Genoa, Florence and Pisa.

The Monday morning flight arrived a few minutes late. Exiting in to the Arrivals area of the airport, there’s three windows, one for each of the companies offering bus transfer to Milan. I went for the company with the next bus to leave. Not that they leave on time! 
On the journey, I messaged Alessandro who would pass on the keys to my apartment , a lovely large area comprising of living room, breakfast bar, good sized bedroom and a balcony over looking the town.

After unpacking and a quick coffee, headed out for a wander around town ending up in the Darsena area. This felt like it was the ‘evening area’ of Milan. Lots of bars and a nice place to stroll. A small laser show had been set up, presumably to promote something.
A good introduction to Italy!

Milan at night

Tuesday 20th September
After a basic breakfast, headed out to explore Milan. This was my second visit. I had been here previously on a day trip from Bergamo. That day it never stopped raining, today, however, the weather was glorious.

I walked to the town centre and on to the castle (not crowded and grounds free to enter), the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade (large crowds but free to enter) and the cathedral (large crowds and not free to enter) .
There was a lot of walking today, around 31, 000 steps but the main sights were ticked off.

It’s a loud, sprawling city, although the castle park offers respite . I felt one full day here was enough.

Wednesday 21st September

My time in Milan came to an end and I was off to the busy railway station where it’s almost costs the same to buy a coffee as it does to go the toilet (1 Euro) but, at least you get a seat on the toilet unlike the busy coffee shops!

I boarded the 12.15 train for the two hour journey to Turin.
From the mainline station, the Metro took me to Lingotto. A short walk from the station are a number of buildings, once part of the FIAT factory. They now house a shopping mall and two hotels, one being NH hotel where I was spending the night. My room was lovely. Big comfy bed, huge windows, black out curtains, great shower and a few nods to the buildings history.

Fiat test track in Turin

Above the hotel is the old Fiat roof top test track.
I’ve always owned Fiat and Abarth vehicles. Our family car was a Fiat 127 and I learnt to drive in a Strada, so I was very keen to walk along the hallowed tarmac!

Now known as Pista 500, it is accessible through the shopping mall.
The area contains several pieces of art, a garden, fantastic views and, of course, the original track.
Entry only costs 2 euro and it was a peaceful contrast to Milan.
It also has a surprisingly cheap but very classy coffee bar next to various Fiat 500 memorabilia including the original  wooden 500 concept model.

After spending far too long at Pista 500, I headed back in to town for a whistle stop tour and to take dinner, a delicious pizza, at the Turin Brewery.
My time in Turin was far too short, it’s definitely a place to return to.

Thursday 22nd September. 
Today’s journey to Genoa started at Turin’s main Porta Nuova train station although later discovered the train also stops at the much closer Lingotto station!
Breakfast was taken at the station’s branch of RossoPomodorro, two surprisingly good rice balls (known as arancini), one ragu and cheese the other salami and cheese . Turin’s station was the nicest of the trip, large, quiet and the advantage of wireless phone chargers on the tables!
The train journey was pleasant, the train itself quiet with plenty of space for luggage.

Balcony view Genoa

  It was a short walk from Genoa station to H2Ome – Il Cembalo.

This was another good sized apartment.
Someone had lost the WiFi key, the gas hob didn’t work and the bathroom soap ran out, but , the view over the harbour from the large balcony made up for the minor inconveniences.

I took my rucksack in to the bedroom and began to unpack.
The whole building shook violently.
What the heck had just happened?
Did earthquakes happen around here?
They did, and this had an estimated magnitude of 4.4.

Certainly something to remember the Genoa experience!

Friday 23rd September 
After a good sleep , I headed out on to the balcony to open the shutters. It’s very odd not having curtains and having to go outside to set up for the day and night!

Today’s plan was to take the Zecca-Righi funicular. The funicular is free (Sept 2022) and runs every 15 minutes.
There are a number of stops along the way but, I was heading to the top station. From here, it’s about 20 min walk to the parks and views, further still to the forts.
If I had more time on this visit to Genoa, I’d have planned a route and dressed appropriately, for the longer walk to see the forts but even on this quick visit, the views were spectacular and it was nice to get a taste of the countryside.

Some people were simply walking their dogs, others were going on more serious hikes. I can understand why this area is so popular after spending time on the loud, polluted roads in the cities near by. 
This is certainly an area I could spend more time, although I’d bring my walking shoes next time!

Genoa countryside

I took the funicular back down to the town, stopping for a beautiful lunch of prawn and saffron gnocchi at La Ville Superbe on the water front.
I popped in to a nearby supermarket for bottles of pop and sat on balcony for a while. The large balcony is a great spot to soak in the sun, watch the world go by and gaze over a submarine!

Dinner was taken at Osteria Pandemonio a fantastic restaurant in the heart of town. I started with “angry” squid (arrabiata) pasta, main was a local beef dish, followed by panna cotta. Delicious!

Saturday 24th September 
All too soon, it was time to pack up and head to the station for the next stage of the journey.
After a quick cappuccino, I boarded the 10.30 to Brignole. The train was several minutes late getting in. Luckily, the La Spizza train was on opposite platform and late to leave which meant a quick sprint over a few metres.
The second train was a comfy double decker but, like the first part of this journey, predominantly through tunnels so there was little opportunity to see the coastline we were travelling alongside..

I had an hour or so between trains (less than expected thanks to the delays) so took a short wander around La Spizza
The third train was quite busy but mainly due to the number of tourists with large bags needing twice the number of seats. 
It rained for most of journey but I escaped it while walking around La Spizza, however, the rain got far heavier when we got closer to Florence. Thankfully it was a fairly short walk to the B&B Le Stanze di Caterina .
I was allocated quite a classy room. Large, beautifully tiled bathroom, marble walls, art work above the comfy bed and the cathedral right outside the door.

Bar in a powercut

I headed out on the hunt for some food.
Wandered in to a bar that offered burgers but part way though a drink, the heavy rain knocked the electricity out in the road.
It was pitch black in the bar apart from one emergency light and a couple of mobile phone torches.

I scurried out in to the rain to the first place with power that offered food and stumbled upon a lovely pizza restaurant, Braciere Malatesta

Sunday 25th September
 Another day, another train trip.
It was an early start, but already Florence was getting very busy. It was certainly the most touristy place on the trip so far. 
I was taking the 10.28 train to Pisa. You need to make sure you pick the right train as some can take up to 90 mins, others around an hour or less . 
Not surprisingly, this was the busiest mainline train I’ve boarded so far on the holiday. It didn’t take long for all seats to be taken on my carriage. 

Keith Haring mural Florence

An hour later, we arrived in Pisa.
I wandered around town then on to the usual sights. Also spent some time at the Keith Haring mural and the slightly tired looking football ground 
It was surprisingly empty around the mural and was a pleasant break from the very touristy parts.

Despite the crowds, I still able to see everything and the large empty grass area around the leaning tower ensured every one could get that photo without other tourists in the way of the shot.

After a few hours. the main sites had been ticked off. There wasn’t the time to do a ‘deep dive’ so, shortly after 2pm, took the equally busy train back to Florence.

Dinner was taken at Trattoria de’ Guicciardini da i Bigi e i Birghe
This turned out to be the most expensive meal of the trip but sadly, not the best. The house red wine was lovely as was the wild boar tagliatelle but the main course of deep dried courgette, chicken and rabbit was dry and quite bland.

Monday 26th September
Despite the forecasts, the weather was warm and mostly sunny for a day of wandering around the sites on both sides of the river. This was the only full day in Florence so, once again, a whistle stop tour of the sights.
Florence has many piazzas to explore but Piazza della Signoria is definitely worth a visit with its many statues including the copy of Michelangelo’s David and the impressive Fountain of Neptune.
Crossing the river at Ponte Vecchio, the bridge filled with jewellery stores is another popular attraction, although, personally, I feel this busy bridge is best seen from the banks of the Arno.
Florence is a great place to simply get lost in the winding streets, although an ice cream in one of the sunny squares is highly recommended. As is the pizza at Tamero, My well priced nduja and burrata pizza made up for last night’s expensive meal!

Tuesday 27th September 
As per usual, the train from Florence was bit late leaving but is was very comfy and the ticket came with reserved seating, albeit with no notification ok the seats themselves. The trains had free WiFi, charging points and vending machines offering coffee and snacks. There was loads of luggage space above seats.
Reaching speeds of about 150mph, we soon made it to Rome. The English trains could learn a lot from this service!

The hotel was about 25 min walk from the station I would be staying in a former monastery
It’s layout was certainly unconventional with pieces of art and artifacts dotted around the numerous corridors and communal areas.
The room itself was quite small and, unlike all other rooms, no coffee or water bottles were provided. The room was clean though and the view from the top terrace/breakfast area was great  


After unpacking for the final time, headed out towards the Colloseum then wandered around town, stopping for seafood pizza at I Fratellini. Came here on a whim after the place originally planned to go to had no staff around at all! Reading the reviews I probably wouldn’t have considered it as an option! A glass vase was knocked over resulting in water and glass over the table then the wrong meal was brought out. Despite this, the first question on payment was ‘how much do you want to tip the waiter?’ They already charged 10% service charge.
Can’t fault the pizza though!

Wednesday 28th September 
It was nice to have a fresh breakfast this morning even better having it up on the terrace. Because of Covid, instead of the usual help yourself, two members of staff were on hand, one to get the drinks the other my bread, cheese and ham.

After filling up on sandwiches, headed to the nearest Metro station, San Giovanni and picked up a 24 hour train ticket which does actually last 24 hours, rather than expiring at midnight. This meant I could use the same ticket to get to Termini on the Thursday morning. 
Today, however, I would take the Metro as far as Repulica then walk to the Trevi fountain, on to the pantheon then cross over the water to the castle and views over to Vatican. From here, I meandered back though the streets to the hotel for shower and to plan a place for the final Italian meal. Found a few trattorias using Google Maps and headed out, taking the metro to Cavour.  

The meal at Taverna Roma was fabulous.
They were fully booked, however, it seemed there was a no show for one booking so got a table after a short 10 minute wait.
I started with pasta with guanciale (pigs cheek), plenty of cheese and black pepper. Main course was oxtail in a tomato. Both were fantastic as was the red wine and coffee. I’d certainly saved the best meal of the trip till last!

A different view of Rome
A slightly different view of Rome!

Thursday 29th September
A 6.15 start this morning, getting the Metro using yesterday’s ticket to ride to termini. From there short walk to the Terravision bus stop . I’d bought the €6 tickets online the day before using Omio app

We left on time and was only a few minutes late arriving at the airport (just over 45 mins in total) 

Fiumicino airport was bigger than expected. There was a short queue at baggage drop then it took only few mins to get through security. The airport has a lot of dead space and once through security there appears to be nothing. My flight was from zone E so decided to head there. Once through passport there were a few shops and cafes but,  in typical fashion, not enough seats. 

The flight late pushing back then took a long time to get to take off but once away it was a comfortable flight with plenty of clear skies and probably  the best coffee on a flight (fresh brew lavazza with a filter in the lid).
Now was a good time to reflect on the trip.
I knew what to expect from Rome, it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s busy but also fascinating, especially if you get away from the busy tourist sites.
I feel I’ve done Milan. Florence and Pisa were a quick sight seeing exercise.
The real highlights were Turin and Genoa. Very different cities but I’d love to return to both at some point.

Slovenia Again

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.

Italy Slovenia borderThe 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.

Italian lakesI 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.

Download the route as a GPX.

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.

Clouds over Kranjska GoraMy 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.  Old Slovenian farm houseFrom 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.

Log bridgeI 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.

via Ferrata near Kranjska Gora SloveniaMojstrana 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.

Part 2…

Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Saturday 16th September
Another trip to Slovenia started with long delays.  At the time we were due to depart from Manchester I fired up FlightRadar,  the Adria Airways A319  I should now be sitting on was still making its way over Belgium.
Once the aircraft arrived, we were delayed further, apparently due to Manchester being short staffed.
Things on board improved. I had all three seats to myself and the row in front of me was empty.
It was a very pleasant  flight with mostly clear, turbulence free skies, however,  over Slovenia things became  very cloudy and very wet!

I got in to my hotel at around 20:00 and went  straight to dinner.  An all you can eat buffet. I went for the beef soup, croquettes,  pork ribs and a bowl full from the salad bar. The food was alll very nice, as was my room at the Hotel Kompas The single room was a good size and  had a balcony over looking the hills.

After dinner, the rain had stopped so I took a short stroll around town, passing just one person walking their dog.
Typical Saturday night in Kranjska Gora!

Sunday 17th September
After a very good night’s sleep, I went down to breakfast which included apricot dumplings and  carrot souffle!  Sufficiently fed, I wandered to the local  Mercator for some supplies before heading back to pack my waterproof gear.

One word to describe today….wet!
Leaving the hotel I joined the D2 bike path West towards the start of route  9. All well signed posted easy paths so far.
As I ventured further in to the woods I hadn’t seen a sign for a while and the path was climbing. My golden rule when walking in Slovenia; if you’ve not seen a sign or a painted red and while ‘blob’ for a while, your probably going the wrong way. I headed back, yes, there was the sign but I shouldn’t be going up hill and my GPS said I was way off course. At least I was heading in the right general direction towards Planica so continued until I reached a hut at across roads. There were no signs or painted marks here but I knew a right should get me in the right direction and loose the excess height I’d gained. Sure enough, it brought me out where I expected on the track I had originally planned to walk on.

Indoor cross country skiing
Indoor cross country skiing

I soon reached the ski jump centre at Planica.
Wow, it has changed a lot!

Last time I was here, there were a number of ski jumps and a ‘mountain hut’ to the side of them. There is now a hotel, indoor skydiving centre, indoor cross country, a cafe and toilets. Good for escaping the rain!

Leaving the centre, I continued on towards the Nadiza waterfall, I had to cross the river at one point, just in case I wasn’t wet enough already already!

Nadiza waterfall is impressive although you can’t get very close to it. Luckily it had  stopped raining long enough  for me to get some photos from the best vantage point I could find.Nadiza waterfall Kranjska Gora Slovenia
From the waterfall, I crossed a field to take shelter in a church and take a look at the map.
I took same path back to Planica then continued along the road to Ratece.
The weather had become worse, along with the rain was plenty of thunder and occasional lightning
At Ratece,  I rejoined D2 stopping to take a look at the Labarinti.  I assumed this to be a maze for kids, however, after reading in to it online, the labyrinth is somewhere you go to find your inner well being….or something like that!
Deciding my being was well enough, I continued on my way, towards  Zelenci, a  nature reserve just outside Kranjska Gora. As it had finally stopped raining I thought I’d extend the walk a little!
This route is available to download as a GPX file

Back at the hotel I took a quick shower then down for dinner at the ‘help yourself buffet’. Garlic soup to start followed by veal. I put a bit of shark on the plate too, just to try something different!
The weather got worse in the evening so I stayed in the room and  watched Slovenia beat Serbia in  the Eurobasket basketball tournament. I’d later discover this was big news in Slovenia!

Monday  18th September
After breakfast I once again headed out in more rain and again I took the D2 cycle path, this time towards Gozd Martuljek., taking a right on the track just south ofThe difficult path the village.
Just past the information boards and a clearing where a charcoal pile was being ‘cooked’, the path split in two. I took the left hand fork up what was described as ‘the difficult path’.
I like a challenge!
Initially this was a lovely route along the gorge.  The paths were well marked following the cascading water.
The path climbed and, with the help of steps and bridges, crosses the river. Then, came the awkward part…. passing over and climbing up the torrent!
It didn’t help matters that my  boots were already wet due to all then rain.

Metal Ladder in Rocks
Metal ‘ladder’ in the rocks

After the first waterfall,  Lower Martuljek , or ‘Slap 1’ as it is signed, I had a climb through the  woods  to the next upper waterfall.
Towards the end of the route, hand rails have been put in to the rock, along with metal ‘ladders’ to help with the climb. It’s not an easy walk but the views are fantastic!
I’ve since read websites detailing the dangers of this route.
I managed on my own and, as long as decent boots are worn and care taken, it shouldn’t pose any major problems.

Another Waterfall to cross
Another waterfall to cross

I wandered back the same way before taking the left hand fork to the ‘easier’ path through the woods.
I decided it was too early to go back to the hotel and, as the rain had stopped, I followed the quiet road climbing from Gozd Martuljek  to Srednji Vrh passing another waterfall on my way.
The views across to where I had walked earlier were beautiful, especially now the weather had cleared slightly
From here it was an easy walk back in to Kranjska Gora.

The full route is available as a GPX file

Tuesday 19th September
Horrible weather forecast;  yellow alert for rain and the temperature during the day not rising above 8 Celsius.
My  phone (running the ViewRanger GPS app)  and paper maps wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the persistent heavy downpour so I opted for an extremely easy to navigate route.  I joined D2 and just kept on going  to Mojstrana, a lovely village,  shame about weather!

I concluded it was too far, too cold and too wet to continue on to the waterfall. On a nicer day I may have continued to  Peričnik Falls and got the bus back but today, the prospect of standing waiting for the rather infrequent bus wasn’t something I wanted to be doing.
Instead, I popped in to the Alpine museum in Mojstana, an interesting little museum with the bonus of being warm and dry!  There is a small shop in the museum offering souvenirs and maps. It is also, a good place to get information about weather conditions in the mountains, details on mountain huts etc.
Not far from the museum is the start of via ferrata trail maybe something else for me to tackle in the future!

IMG_3118 Bivouac II
Bivouac at the Alpine museum in Mojstana

The hotel had a themed night tonight, traditional foods and band in costume playing Slovenian folk music. The meal included beef soup, local smoked hams, pasta stuffed with potato in a cheese sauce, goulash and buckwheat.
After my evening meal, I decided I ain’t going back out there so the evening was spent planning some more walks. If the weather forecasts were to be believed, the worst of the weather was over

Wednesday 20th September
Blimey blue skies!
I was up early. Buckwheat on breakfast menu along with ‘semolina tower’.
After my unusual first meal of the day,  the waterproofs went in the rucksack, where they stayed for the duration!
I followed the D2 cycle path West to Ratece,  the last village before the Italian border and  one of the coldest places in the country.  I walked North through the village to  the path leading the point  where the borders of three countries meet.
The route climbed steadily. It was partly path, partly track and easy to follow.

As I climbed I started to see little patches of snow, these became larger and larger patches. Before the final climb, I had a choice,  track or path. I opted for the winding path. The patches of snow became bigger and nearing the peak it became a thick layer of crunchy fresh snow.
An unexpected surprise in September!
Austria, Italy and Slovenia all covered in snow… At least, they were up here!
Over to Austria

I took a brief stroll along the Austrian hills before taking the obligatory photograph where the borders met.
Back in Slovenia,  I followed the wide track from the top down, taking a right at the first fork then a took a right and descended towards Podkoren.
Annoyingly, happily wandering along I missed my path(s) into Podkoren and ended up on the road but at least the traffic was light.
From Podkoren I headed East and just before joining the main road, I took route 3 following the River Sava before dropping down back down to Kranjska Gora.
Download this route as a GPX.

Thursday 21st September

Chilli peppers at breakfast! (-;

Mist on the hillsHeaded out today following the river south passing the Zlatatog statue.
Initially I was following a road. A cyclist rode past singing Bohemian Rhapsody…as you do.
It was early in the morning, the roads were quiet and the mist was rolling down the hills.

I stayed on the road until I hit a bridge, here I crossed and continued up the quiet Vršič Pass. Partway along, road works were being carried out. I wouldn’t say little happens in this part of the world but I later spotted myself on local news walking past!
I left the road when I reached the Russian Chapel, a chapel built by Russian prisoners of war engaged in forced labour in the area during World War.
The climb up to Vršič was well signed as it zigzagged up towards Vršič and, once again I found  snow!


This is virtually a linear route I altered it slightly by crossing on to the other side of the river on the way back.
Despite having to return the same route, this was a lovely walk with some fantastic views!
This route is available to download


As I got back to Kranjska Gora, a number of interesting cars were driving through, many parking up in my hotel’s car park. All were taking part in the Ramble Rally, a 5 day rally through Europe.

Friday 22nd September
Sadly, all to quickly the last day had come….and my walking boots are still saturated! It was a short walk from the hotel to Vitranc chair lift.  I Paid €7 for a one way trip.
This was a new and fun experience given that this was a chair lift more usually taking skiers up the hill.  It was a strange feeling looking down to see nothing below my feet.
Alighting at the top was something niggling in the back of my mind during the journey up. It was fairly simple, lift the bar and run off….well jog quick enough to be quicker than the lift!
I filmed a section of the ride

From the station the walk to Vitranc was well signposted and, once again, it wasn’t long until I found the snow!
The sign below amused me, Vitranc 15 minutes  or 25 minutes for tourists…needless to say I saw this as a challenge and, I’m pleased to say, got there in 15 minutes!

Sign to Vitranc

It was a bit of a slog to the top of Vitranc which, in the winter months, is used for down hill skiing competitions 
Views from walk down VitrancSadly, the hut at the peak was closed so I continued towards Ciprnik.
As this was a 15 mile walk and I had packing to get back to, I decided to give the snowy route up to Ciprnik a miss and continued on.
The snow actually making my navigation easier, just follow the other set of footprints ahead!
The path slowly made its way down, through the woods towards the ski jump centre at Planica.  A little hut along the path offers some great views.
At the bottom of the hill I took the road down to the D2 cycle path. From here, I could have taken a right back to Kranjska Gora but instead decided to quickly pop over the border to Italy.
 Lago di Fusine Inferiore Lake ItalyThe walking was easy, just stay on the D2 before taking the road for the last part of the way to the lake, Lago di Fusine Inferiore.  This is a lovely spot to sit and take in the last of the sunshine. There’s a bar on the side of the lake and plenty of seats offering fantastic views.
From here it was a straight walk back to Kranjska Gora, although I did go via one of the local villages to stock up on drink.

The walk, from the top chairlift station is available as a GPX file.

Saturday 23rd September
Time for a quick cup of coffee and cereal before heading back to the airport for the flight back to Manchester.
A real mix of weather, torrential rain, snow and warm sunshine but another fantastic trip and I know I will be back and I’m sure visit number 10 won’t be too far off!


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