Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Julian Alps, 2

Flip side of the Vrsic Pass road, on to Bovec, and then back to Italy.
An interesting road we were following, with turn-offs to Austria and to Italy and
back to Slovenia

On this side of the pass, more beautiful limestone gorges

Stopped at one of the gorges for lunch, a bus of trekking ladies from Austria
arrived and debarked

Sculpture-selfie, tribute to the local logging industry;
Slovenia likes being known as being 55% covered by
forest, which is much in evidence; we saw plenty of
logging trucks and other logging implements; but nary a

At a parish church renown for its anti-Fascist art; may come in handy again soon

Hitler pulling up the Cross; not pictured: Mussolini as Pontius Pilate

Church spare parts

One of the best cared-for cemeteries we've seen; every candle burning

From the campaigns in Soca and environs two names come
to me: Hemingway, an ambulance driver, who was injured
here; and Rommel, an infantryman, who learned here of the
terror that tanks could induce...

Remains of the military cemetery

Hard to imagine war in such beautiful terrain

Limestone pie-slice; from road contruction, presumably

The day's surprise: a crash landing which we missed by a couple minutes

Can't imagine flying a glider in these mountains, this weather

Evidently he couldn't get over the power lines and so fell short of the intended
landing field


By the time we got there, the pilot was talking to the police and to his faithful
ground crew; I saw no damage to the craft, which was impressive; I'll take
powered flight anytime, thank you

En route to Italy, Boko Falls, a last view of the great Balkan waterfalls

And a last view of the Julians; on to Italy!

Julian Alps, 1

Our last day in Slovenia, Juillet 14, we drove a bit of the Julian Alps, from Lake Bled up and over the Vrsic pass, down the Soca valley, and then back into Italy, spending the night at a huge sosta in Udine. The Julian Alps are at the intersection of Italy, Austria, and Slovenia--Alpine country indeed--
the Julians are not quite as spectacular as the nearby Dolomites, but definitely in that league.

Slovenian hay drying racks, one of the country's icons; sometimes used as bill-
boards, too

Could be anywhere in Alpine country...Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria...

At a turn-out featuring Slovenia's big mountain, Mount Triglav; another helpful
bronze model

Local parish priest, incensed that Mount Triglav was owned
by Germans, purchased the summit so that Slovenia's
tallest mountain, 9,300+ would be, at the top, Slovenian;
details below

Mount Triglav, there in the center, further away

More drying racks, actually drying hay

And now we're on our way up the pass; each of the 50 hairpin turns is numbered

The Russian Church, so-called because it was built by Russian POWs , who
also built the road and much other WWI infrastructure; a POW cemetery is
nearby; as we'll see in the next post, the Italian/Austrian theater, so to speak,
was next only to the French/Belgian/German theater in terms of casualties

Huge alpine window

Near the top of the pass, another huge cairn city; the Slovenians certainly rival
the Norwegians in the building of these things

Vrsic Pass was a bit of a trial for Le Duc with its 1.9 liter turdo-diesel engine; we
only stopped a couple times to let the engine cool; the climb to Andorra in the
Pyrenees was worse, but that was in 90 degree weather; the climb to San Marino,
in another couple days, would be a still greater test, 18% and 20% inclines

View from the pass, looking down to the Soca valley

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Gorgeous Vintgar Gorge

It was a busy day. After the beau village Radovjlica and the Apiary Museum, we hiked Vintgar Gorge. The latter is a mile-long defile created by the river Radovna through the limestone that is everywhere in the region, creating a gorgeous little gorge that you can hike along on a system of boardwalks and bridges. As elsewhere in the region, the water is completely clear and the colors are beautiful and ever-changing.
The river Radovna before it gets to its gorge

In the Triglav National Park

The whole thing is ticketed, with imposing gates...but no
one ever took our tickets nor asked for them

And we're off

The lay of the strata certainly contributes to the gorge's shape

Vicki surveying the scene

The thing about gorges is that the lighting is seldom just right

Along the way, part of a cairn city

Dam near the end of the trail

Nearly in the mountains

Looking down a waterfall at the end of the trail


Rhinemaidens--no, Radovnamaidens--they weren't speaking German so I didn't
ask them anything about a golden ring; also they were not singing; "Waft your
waves, ye waters! Carry your crests to the cradle!"

Actual fish

Cool place; especially on a hot day!