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Through the Slovenian Alps (Logarska Dolina) to the capital Ljubljana

Home -> Europe -> Slovenia -> Travelogue Slovenia -> 20 September 2007

Thursday 20 September, through the Slovenian Alps (Logarska Dolina) to the capital Ljubljana

Our cottage, campsite SmlednikIt is still cold in the morning, but the sun is shining. There are some campers on the campsite and a lost tent. Its residents must have had a cold night. We have turned on the heating last night and now we do that also in the car, it is 10 degrees when we drive away.
Flood, northern Slovenia Mountains near Zgornje JezerskoVia Kranj we drive to the north, the mountains that are called the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. For us, it's just the Alps. The winding road is often flooded, here too the large amount of rain from the last few days is still flowing down the road. There will undoubtedly also have been snow.
Here are a number of popular ski resorts and in summer it is a beautiful area for hiking. Now it is almost empty on the road and after a lot of hairpin bends we suddenly find ourselves in front of a customs booth, the Austrian border.
Clean toilet in AustriaWe drive a few kilometers through Austria and then later back to the east of Slovenia. And when there is a clean toilet I must of course try it. Most of those we encountered this trip were dirty to very dirty. But this one is nice and clean, perhaps also because almost no one comes along, but it will also have something to do with Austrian cleanliness.
A well next to the road, Logarska DolinaThe car has a difficult time to get up and down this mountain but soon we are back in Slovenia where the customs officer sees no point in coming out of his cubicle so we can drive on immediately. We now go to the Logarska Dolina, about which our enthusiastic travel guide says the following: 'according to many, one of the most beautiful valleys in the Alpine region'.
The Logar valley, Logarska Dolina Scottish Highlanders in SloveniaSince 1987, the narrow valley (at its maximum 500 meters wide) is a protected nature reserve and we have to pay € 5 to go there by car. The valley is indeed very beautiful, if only because of the autumn colors that the trees bear. It was once worn out by a glacier that has long since disappeared.
Autumn colours in Logarska Dolina The Logar valley, Logarska DolinaThe valley is surrounded by countless mountain peaks that are 2300 meters or higher, indeed a magnificent sight. Most river beds are dry, so much less rain has fallen here. But we find it most surprising that it is not that busy, very occasionally we meet someone.
Coffee break, Logarska Dolina The Rinka waterfallAt the end of the 9 kilometer long valley is a kiosk where we can drink a nice hot cup of coffee. It is getting a bit warmer, but we have to wear thick sweaters.
Then we walk a bit uphill to have a view of the 90 meter high Rinka waterfall. Just in front of it is the source of the Savinja that plunges down here to flow through the valley to the southeast. You can make long walks here where you can encounter all kinds of springs, waterfalls and caves.
Nice house near LuceWhen we descend from the mountains we come across several picturesque villages and of course more turns that go into valleys and there are several caves to visit. But this afternoon we want to pay a visit to the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana so we now enjoy the scenery, this impressive piece of Alps, and drive on.
Ljubljanica river, LjubljanaIn Ljubljana we soon find a parking spot and we can pronounce the name of the town fairly well now, although in the beginning we stumbled over the name. The capital of Slovenia lies on the river Ljubljanica where three bridges connect the city halves in the center.
Gornji Trg, Ljubljana Weapon of LjubljanaThe old city is not too big and has monumental buildings from different periods. Fortunately, the communists have left the old center fairly undisturbed and the dull residential flats are more in the suburbs. The Greek argonaut Jason once met a dragon in the neighborhood, which he obviously defeated, and the dragon we regularly see on buildings, is still the symbol of Ljubljana.
Mariacolumn, Ljubljana Robba fountain, LjubljanaLjubljana with 300,000 inhabitants is one of the smaller capitals of Europe, and in the city center it is a pleasant bustle. Few tourists, but especially students, we meet here at the many shops and cafes.
On a terrace in LjubljanaIt is a lot more pleasant than this morning and we can hardly find a place along the river where we can eat something. Our waiter is new or not used to the crowds because we have to give our order 3x before we get something.
Atlas carrying a balcony Fountain with statue, LjubljanaLjubljana was destroyed twice by an earthquake and, especially from the times of reconstruction (early 16th and late 19th century), many of its buildings were preserved. And in the 20th century, the quirky architect Jože Plečnik has left a mark on the city.
Colonnade along the Ljubljanica Market in LjubljanaPlečnik has also worked for years in Prague, but the comparison of Ljubljana as 'Prague in a smaller size but much nicer' that we read here and there in brochures is something that we have to disagree with. We like Prague better for its historical atmosphere.
Prešernov Trg, center of Ljubljana Artists in LjubljanaPresernov Trg is the heart of the city, but apart from the statue it is completely worked open. Roadworkers are working hard to make the city center completely welcoming and passable for the next season. The majority is car-free, which makes it pleasant to walk here.
Castle LjubljanaHigh above the city is Ljubljanski Grad, the castle where nowadays no more prisoners but cultural festivities are held. You can also get married and there are exhibitions. From the observation tower you supposedly have a nice view over the city, but the cable car does not go today and we do not feel like climbing to the top of the 376 meter high hill.
Sunny LjubljanaWe make another round along the river where the terraces are filled. All in all, we find it a nice and attractive city, nice to wander around for a day. We are not such city-loving people and for us half a day was sufficient for now, although we will certainly plan a more extensive visit when we are in the neighborhood again.
Geese near SmlednikWe have to drive through the evening peak around Ljubljana, but soon we are close to Smlednik, just north of the capital. We did not drive very much today but it was a long day with very different impressions. The last night here we stay comfortably in our house, we do not feel like setting up a tent anymore.


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