I spent this winter researching potential bike trips and discovered the Drava River Route. It runs from Italy through Austria and ends in Slovenia. The train can be used to start or finish the trip. From Toblacher, Italy, for 400 km along the Drava River, through East Austria to Ptuj in Slovenia.
I ride a lot, Natasa not so much (she has a job) I offered to get her an e-bike to make the trip more fun. She said “I want to ride my bike” (more later)
It was pouring down rain in Skofja Loka, so Natasa’s dad gave us a ride to Jezersko. I called the Matija to see if we could stay with him, he said yes. Matija is the “tea guy”, he grows and collects wild herbs, to make some awesome teas. He offers hikes every Saturday starting at the 500 year old Senk Farm..
Natasa beat me to the top, at the Austrian border. It’s now a huge downhill.
While riding through the Austrian countryside, Natasa was telling me how much fun she was having. I told her I wanted to video her testimony in camp ( wish I had).
Crossing this bridge was super scary, I walked right next to the wall, the railing was just a meter high. It’s the tallest railway bridge in Europe, at 95 meters (311 ft.). A crazy person could throw you over in a second. They do bungee jumping off this bridge, no thanks! (google photos)
We stopped for lunch is this little village, the store keeper cleaned & offered his picnic table for us to have lunch on. Maybe Natasa’s favorite experience on the trip Natasa wants to go back and have lunch there again.
We crossed into Slovenia and all the gravel roads and hills, we’d heard about, started. Natasa wouldn’t talk to me, then she shouted “I’m an idiot” as we were walking our bikes up a step hill. I started riding alone, the negative attitude was too much, kinda of put a damper on what was a great trip, Some other bikers, yelled “isn’t this great!” Natasa was like “yea right”. I offered her an e-bike, she refused, I wish she would get one. Half the bikes I saw on the trip were e-bikes. I helped a “lost” couple on which direction they needed to go. He rode a regular bike and she had an e-bike and she was just laughing and smiling about being lost, love the e-bike.
We camped out every night and went swimming in lakes and rivers at every campground. We stayed at the Uni-Hostel in Maribor,which has a super breakfast buffet. We had the time to ride the Drava River Route to Ptuj. I got the wrong directions from the tourist office, before I knew it we were on a grass path in the middle of nowhere. I thought Natasa was going to kill me. Arriving in Ptuj, Natasa rode straight to the train station. It was Friday and she was working on Sunday. I decided to stay in Ptuj, I’m so glad I did.
I stayed at the Sava resort, Ptuj. I was offered camping, swimming, breakfast & dinner buffets for only 29 euro a day Swimming pools, saunas, steam baths, jacuzzi’s, water slides, it was great fun.
It was so great I called Natasa and said I “needed” to stay another night.
My first night in Ptuj, I attended an Art Stays Show opening at the monastery, free wine and super deserts.
I rode my bike up to the Castle several times.
I thought the trip was awesome, Natasa, not so much. But later after thinking about the trip, I think she realized it was pretty great. She wasn’t in quite good enough shape, to do the hills in Slovenia. I said, “you made the whole trip”, she said “because of the S word”, stubborn.
Thanks for reading
VIDEO FROM THE BIKE TOUR
MEXT? Milan: Neil Young, bike share and more.