FINAL THOUGHTS ON SLOVENIA

WOW! There´s so much to say (surprised?). I skipped Italy to come here, best travel decision ever. I spent 5 weeks here (so far), the longest time and in the smallest country. I didn’t know much about the country, but I know the little country on the block, tries the hardest and they didn’t disappoint.
Before I dig into all this I have to give two thumbs up to HOSTEL ALIETI in IZOLA and a big thank you to TWO WHEEL TRAVEL for bringing me here. I’m having a difficult time getting back on the road.

20130915-082912.jpgHOT CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS EVERY MORNING PREPARED BY MAJDA OR HER SON UROS^.
If you come to Slovenia, remember that the small towns have hidden Gems, that only you can discover.
I arrived by train to Travisio, Italy. I was trying to get the train to Lake Bled, but was told it’s faster to bike there. Since I didn’t have a SIM for my phone. I didn’t have a map so I just kind of rode where people told me to go. I just kind of fell on to this awesome bike only bike path. My first stop was the petrol station, where I was warmly greeted and gifted a Slovenian Flag for my bike, I fly it proudly.

20130915-084357.jpgTHANKS FOR THE SLOVENIAN FLAG!
I head to camp KAMNE for my first Slovenian campground. I talk in my “international” english, Anna asks me to just speak in plain english, “please”. Slovenia’s tallest mountain MT. TRIGLAV is right across the street.

20130915-092259.jpgBARBARA AND ANNA RUN A GREAT CAMPGROUND.
Thought it was a one night visit, nope, several days. The local tourism people put on a history slide show of the region. One of only 3 they do during the summer. They served regional appetizers and blueberry schnapps which is super strong.

20130915-101806.jpgI HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF MEETING LOCAL CELEBRITY, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR, FRANC (he’s pointing to himself in the photo).
I get Natasa’s address, which turns out to be a big part of my Slovenian visit.
I take the backroad to LAKE BLED.

20130915-102507.jpg I BIKE THROUGH TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK. The route contains many points of interest to stop and explore. Slovenians have really reached out to attract tourist by helping them discover the highlights of the country. Bled is a tourist town, but there’s a good reason, it’s beautiful, the CASTLE, CHURCH and a bike path that connects it all together.

20130915-104108.jpgPICTURE TAKEN FROM CASTLE TO ISLAND CHURCH
You can swim in Lake Bled, it’s actually quite warm. The traditional costumed performance by local artist was awesome.

20130915-104213.jpgWOW! SHE’S HOT
Then my 23 mile 24 hour bike journey, again through TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK.

20130915-104634.jpg

20130915-104657.jpgIT’S NICE THAT THE CHURCH OFFERS ACCOMMODATION FOR THE HOMELESS.
Slovenia is trying to attract active tourist, there are many bike routes along rivers, lakes and secluded forest.

20130915-105318.jpgTHE BIKE ROUTE SIGNS CAN BE A LITTLE CONFUSING AT TIMES.
LAKE BOHINJ was a little quieter than Lake Bled.

20130915-105752.jpgTHIS IS ONE OF 2 ELECTRIC BOAT TAXIS, THEY ARE JUST BEAUTIFUL BOATS

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THE WATERFALL HIKE WAS FUN (even for me). I HITCHHIKED UP AND WALKED BACK!

20130915-105946.jpgVIEW FROM VOGEL SKI TRAM OF LAKE BOHINJ
I rode gravel backroads and found myself stealth camping again.

20130915-111327.jpgLITTLE DID I KNOW WHAT AN IMPORTANT PART SKOFJI LOKA WOULD BE WHEN I TOOK THIS PHOTO
The people are a big part of Slovenia, no matter where I was or what I was doing, the people were amazing.

20130915-111706.jpgFELLOW CYCLIST JURE SHOWS ME THE WAY AND INVITES ME TO LUNCH WITH HIS FAMILY.
I told Natasa I would be in about 1pm ooops it’s 3pm and

20130915-112138.jpgLUNCH IS SERVED
I grow Blueberries at home (6 bushes) and I needed a blueberry fix and I got one. Natasa’s Mom made a blueberry cake

20130915-121958.jpg AND I ADDED BERRY ICE CREAM TOPPED WITH FRESH BLUEBERRIES. YEA BABY!
I visited Ljubljana and stayed with a local family. BBQ, music, culture, gardens, grandma and an awesome family.

20130915-122813.jpg I GOT A PRIVATE SHOW FROM SKALA
The museums of Ljubljana were all world class. I learned about the History and Culture of Slovenia and realized how “NEW” America really is.

20130915-123911.jpgPHOTO FROM ETHNOLOGY MUSEUM
There are 10,000 known caves in Slovenia. I had the privilege hiking SKOCJAN CAVES .

20130915-124442.jpgNO PHOTOGRAPHY IS ALLOWED IN THE CAVE
I got to live in SKOFJI LOKA for 3 weeks, “are you still here”? “when are you leaving?” This was an awesome time and then some.

20130915-125857.jpg
The BEE CULTURE of Slovenia is fascinating. They paint stories on the bees entrance.

20130915-130359.jpgTHIS BEE TRUCK WAS SPOTTED WHILE DRIVING
I love the community garden concept and visited the ones in Skofji Loka 4 times.

20130915-131505.jpgTHERE IS LOTS OF SPACE AVAILABLE FOR MORE GARDENS.
I said earlier that it’s the people that make a country, not the beach, not the mountains, not the history, nothing, it’s the people. And things happen, when you expose yourself to the world.

20130915-132111.jpgTHE PHOTOGRAPHER SUGGESTED WE KISS, OK!
I had the privilege of riding with TWO WHEEL TRAVEL from Skofji Loka to Izola. They are gathering information for a cycling book for Slovenia. I got to see how traveling by bike, as a couple can be,

20130915-142153.jpgA ROMANTIC LUNCH DATE IN A LOCAL BUS SHELTER
Now I’m in Izola writing this blog. Reflecting and what an amazing journey I’m on. Holy Shit I’m actually pulling this off, (so far).
Here’s a photo of the local “Italian” market here in Izola. I bought everything to make sandwiches for the week.

20130915-145803.jpgCHEESE DISPLAY.
The economy here is similar to that of every country I’ve visited; high un-employment, low wages, broken business and government models.
Readers Digest did a study where they “lost” 30 cell phones. SLOVENIA came in #1 for honesty, they returned 29 of the phones. I rarely locked my bike or worried about my “stuff”
So this is My Slovenia I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed living it and reliving it by writing this blog post.
Get ready Croatia here I come.
RIDE ON
JEFF

4 thoughts on “FINAL THOUGHTS ON SLOVENIA

  1. Two Wheel Travel

    Jeff- It was indeed our privilege to ride with you those 2 rainy days. Slovenia is one of the best and most unknown place to bike tour in all of Europe. We hope to change at one of those things, but until then, get your butt to Pula. The sun and sea await! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Bahar

    Hey Jeff. Bahar writing….. 😉 Do you remember? The Turkish-Swiss Pink Lady in the Hostel Alieti. Back in Switzerland I miss Slovenia a lot. Are you still there? If yes, Please hug Majda and Uros from me. Kiss from the cold swiss mountains. 🙂

    Reply
  3. John

    Jeff – still enjoying your writing and pictures – thanks for taking the time to do that! – P.S. – Got two boxes for you yesterday – one listed with some figurines(?) and one from the Trailblazers. – John

    Reply
  4. George

    Jeff – it was interesting to meet you and now to follow your blog, I found Slovenia to be a very interesting place and am planning further visits in the future.- George

    Reply

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