WILD WILD EASTERN SLOVENIA, BIKING ALONG THE CROATIAN BORDER. Part II

THIS IS A RESULT OF USING GOOGLE MAPS “WALKING ROUTE”, THE GOOD PART? NO CARS!

BREZICE
It was only 40 km ride to Brezice from Olimje, via the main road. To avoid the busy roads I sometimes use the google maps option for walking. I turned the 40 km’s into a 65 km odyssey. There’s a storm heading my way, so I opt for the Youth Hostel MC. It was so clean, that the Swiss would be jealous. There’s a great little coffee shop & pub on the premises too!

Brežice
I love nature, but I also love the culture of the city too. Brežice has lots of opportunity to explore within the city and great bike rides outside of town. I got a great private tour of the Brezice Castle, & there’s also the new ReSet Brewery that has a great selection of craft beers. The main street is scattered with pizza places, a yogurt shop, coffee shops, deserts. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.

A local biker/barista (Luka), told me about a local bike ride to Kostanjevica na Krki and then a visit to the Galerija Božidar Jakac . I looked for somewhere to eat, I found a farm to table place called Gostilna kmečki hram. I told him to stop bringing any more food, or I would start looking like him (fat). The bike ride home included a stop at Tochka Beach Bar, a “not to be missed” in Brezice. I asked the cooks, the pizza or the burrito? both shouted out “PIZZA!”

I spent 4 nights in Brezice, but to get to where you going you have “get going”. My home town of Portland, Oregon (USA), is known as the “Whitest City in America;” I tell people they’ve never been to Slovenia, where it’s extremely white and this photo says it all.

WHITE CAR, WHITE SHOES, WHITE DRESS, BLONDE HAIR AND A NICE WHITE SMILE. (Hostel host)

It was a pretty long ride from Brezice to Vinica, wild camping isn’t really my thing, but there’s really no camping, hostels or hotels, so wild camping it is. I rode through some pretty small, car-free villages with lots of up’s and down’s.

I start riding along the Croatian border, which is also the Kolpa river. Only a couple cars would pass me throughout the day. There’s a border barb wire fence, then an open gate, doesn’t seem that secure. I stayed at a campground where a local Slovenian told me “this was Slovenia 30 years ago.” Then I stumbled into the town, Osilnica, home of the Hotel Kovec. This was such a pleasant surprise that is full of adventurous things to do. After 2 weeks on the road, a hotel room sounded nice. I checked out the room across the road, no wifi. I opted for camping. Camping was only 6 euro, which included an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and saunas. The hotel restaurant was top-notch and priced reasonable, considering you’re in the middle of nowhere. The menu includes deer, wild boar and bear (when in season), I opted for the vegetarian plate. I did the kayak trip. It was nice to give my legs a break and use just my arms.

I wanted to come back to the Kovec Hotel. I don’t own a car so I asked the owner if a bus came here. He told me to grab a bus to a local town and twice a day I can ride on the local school bus to the hotel, with the kids. I want to do it, just to see how it goes.

Leaving the Kolpa river valley I pushed my bike uphill for 2 hours & 20 minutes. I’m trying to follow the Croatian border as much as possible. That means an 18 km ride on a gravel road to Draga, through bear country. I stopped the one car I saw and asked for some water. Then he presides to tell me he sees a bear everytime he comes through here. Yikes!
The villages out here don’t have a nearby grocery store. I saw lots of sustainable gardening going on. It was potato harvest time, I love that kind of stuff.

I’m in Travnik and it’s too far for the next camping or accommodation. I stroll over to the local tourist office/hotel and they’re full. They call around town and find me accommodation at the the fire station in the village of Novi Kot. I leave my bike at the hotel & throw my bags into the car. Novi Kot in Slovenian means  the place where a valley meets the mountains. They had dinner for me too! Traveling without plans, can be the best travel.
I helped them split firewood and played basketball with the kids in town. One of the kids was learning to speak English, we all had fun. I get picked up at 6 in the morning, driven back to the hotel for the breakfast buffet.
I head towards Snežnik castle then take the gravel road towards Ilirska Bistrica. I kept seeing these hand made wooden signs leading to Forest house Mašun. It was a very busy hotel-restaurant, everyone sitting outside. They let me camp for free, I set up camp and headed for the restaurant. I ordered the vegetarian plate, best meal of the whole trip.

BEST MEAL OF THE WHOLE TRIP, THE MUSHROOM IS ACTUALLY A POTATO

HERE’S A VIDEO OF THE INSIDE OF THE RESTAURANT

They next day was full of downhill, I earned it. Little isolated villages, no cars, no stores lots of views.

i got to Kozina and thought about staying in a hotel. I could only find a casino hotel. or a AirBnB camping. I opt to try to make it to Koper, made it. I was going to stay in Koper, then I asked at the bus station when’s the next bus to Ljubljana? 15 minutes. Took the bus back to Ljubljana.

Back in Ljubljana there were billboards for the FUCK OFF ILLUSION gallery showing in Koper. So I went back the next week to Koper.


HERE’S A MAP OF THE BIKE TOUR, IT’S NOT EXACT BUT PRETTY CLOSE.

PUT YOUR BIKE ON THE TRAIN, BUS OR ROAD AND START SEEING THE WORLD UP CLOSE.
THANKS,
JEFF

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