In 2011, I wanted to cycle around Paris, but the bike share system wouldn’t accept my credit card. So, I went to a bike shop and the only bike I could rent was an E-bike, ok? I rode and around Paris in 5 hours and was totally sold on E-bikes. Came home and bought an e-bike kit for an old bike. It changed my life, I ditched my car and the E-bike became my first choice transportation option.
The recent record temperatures of Climate Change requires we think about how we travel. Slovenian’s love of bees, nature and abundant water are all at stake. Slovenia’s great public transportation is a great option to help you reduce your carbon footprint. I biked through Slovenia in 2013, while biking from Lisbon to Istanbul. Living in America it’s hard to be Car Free. But Slovenia’s mix of train’s, buses, Prevoz rideshare & a bicycle have enabled me to live here car free. I was watching for some clear weather at the coast and found 3 sunny days the first week of June. The train now goes to Koper and with a bike it’s only 11 euro, cost less than 3 days of just parking your car in Izola.
I biked the 5 km to Izola and stayed at the Hostel Alieti for about 20 euro, depending on the season. When I travel in the off season, I usually have the room to myself. The hostel has a small kitchen you can use, I’ll make some breakfast, but like going out too. Now your at the beach, the sun is out and you got your bike (you can rent bikes & e-bikes too). The Parenzana trail is a great route to ride to Portoroz and Piran.
In Piran, I usually eat at Ribič Baja, always good and affordable. This time I tried some new places, Fritolin Pri Cantini, comes highly recommended. For Beer? Cakola Caffe Piran has Slovenia’s best, Vega by Maister brewery. There a several quality arts & craft stores, this time I visited Nika’s Tiny House. Besides her tiny houses, she has some unique & original post cards, that she designed.
I biked to Koper to catch the next train, then I spotted the Ljubljana express bus. I was able to put my bike underneath the bus. Mixing travel modes is exciting and adventurous. Environmental travel is possible, once you learn how to navigate all the options, a car free vacation is something everyone can afford to do.
We had a wedding celebration dinner at Jesharna with some friends. While enjoying desert at our house they mentioned they were going mushroom picking the next day. I happily invited myself to join them, they said OK.
Sorica was only a 1/2 hour drive from Skofja Loka. The sisters, Mateja and Majda grew up here, so they knew where to go.
It’s great to go mushrooming with someone who knows where to go and find them.
LET’S PARK HERE
LEAF COVERED TRAIL
ANOTHER VIEW OF SORICA
LOOKING AND LOOKING
It is so peaceful up here, no freeways in the background or traffic on the one road for that matter. I’ve been buying wild mushrooms at the farmers market, so I’m pretty excited to actually find some myself. LOTS OF DIFFERENT MUSHROOMS
I FOUND MY FIRST MUSHROOM
CHECK UNDERNEATH FOR OLD AGE, THIS ONES PERFECT.
MUSHROOMS GROWING OUT OF DEAD TREE TRUNCK
MUSHROOM LIFTING UP BRANCHES
PILE OF BRANCHES COVERED IN MUSHROOMS
We scoured the hillsides and found quite a few mushrooms. I’m still not very good (or at all) speaking Slovenian. But I get a lot of sympathy (help)
MATEJA BROUGHT HER TRANSLATION BOOK, JUST IN CASE.
It went a lot quicker than I first thought it would.
I KINDA LIKE HIKING
TIME TO HEAD BACK
SWAPPING SOME MUSHROOMS
THEY SENT ME HOME WITH THE DAYS FINDS
I COOKED AND FROZE THE MUSHROOMS FOR WINTER USE.
Living in such a small country there is always someone you know who lives somewhere near where your going. On the way home we stop at Mateja and Majda Mom’s house to visit and have some coffee.
Slovenia may be a small country, but there’s is lot’s to explore and experience. The mountains, lakes, rivers, bike paths, architecture, arts, history and of course it’s people! they truly makes it a great country. Did I mention there’s one hot women here that I love? There’s that too.
There’s a tradition here about putting your 50, 60,70th…..birthday via an announcement tree sculpture. I blogged about this some before.
This is the first bicycle one I’ve seen. I told Natasa that’s what I want for my 50th birthday. Speaking of which, I was reading the other day that the confirmed date for getting old is now considered 60. I’m having my 60th birthday on January 1, “next” year.
We had some friends visit from California, Russ and Jill. Russ married my high school sweetheart, Jody. We’ve remained in touch even thought Jody passed away from cancer 10 years ago. There sending me some photos from their visit and will do a blog story about there visit. When they got back from Slovenia, they wrote a story about their visit, it got published in the San Francisco Chronicle.
I’m trying to clean-up the backlog of Blog stories before heading to London, so hang on, here they come. NEXT: BIKING AROUND MARIBOR, SLOVENIA
Thanks for reading
Jeff & Natasa
I’m sure most people saw this on Facebook, it’s short.
The tunnel talk has gone on for forty years. So the EU stepped up by giving Slovenia 35 million euro of the eventual 53 million euro total cost. The route was confirmed in 1991, the year Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia. The financial details were resolved in 2006 and construction started in 2013, the year I got here.
THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THE NEW TUNNEL, ONE WAY TRAFFIC ONLY
Natasa and I made a bike ride we call the “Super 8”, it’s 8 km from Skofja Loka. For 2 years we rode on the new “highway”, before it opened. It was really interesting watching the tunnel and new road take shape. I took photos all during the construction up to and including the opening ceremony.
TRENCHING TO MOVE WATER FROM THE HILLSIDE
THEY LAID PIPE IN THE TRENCH
PLACING “BIG” ROCKS FOR STONE WALL
FINISH WORK ON THE STONE RETAINING WALL
WHERE TUNNEL COMES OUT
TUNNEL IS THROUGH, BUT INTO A PILE OF DIRT
WE CONSTANTLY RODE BACK TO SEE HOW THIS WAS GOING TO BE PUT TOGETHER
Slovenia is mountainous, so there are lots of tunnels, it must be quicker in the long run to bore through the mountain, than build a road over the mountain. I walked and rode my bike through several times, days before the official opening. THESE ARE PICTURES A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE OFFICIAL OPENING
TO REMOVE WATER OR KEEP YOU AWAKE WHILE YOUR DRIVING? i JUST DON’T KNOW
VIEW OF THE OLD ROAD
FINISHED BRIDGE & RETAINING WALLS
SOUND PROOFING WALL
WOOD FIBER PANELS
PUT A BIRD ON IT
NATURAL ROCK WALL COMBINED WITH BUILT STONE WALL
FENCING USED TO KEEP ROCKS OFF THE ROAD
THE ROAD ON THE RIGHT IS THE NEW SUPER 8 ROUTE
THE ROAD NOW ON THE LEFT IS PART OF SUPER 8
LAST TIME THIS DOG WILL BE LEASH FREE ON THE HIGHWAY.
in the middle of the tunnel it echoes and is noisy, but they wrapped 10 meters at each end of the tunnel in soundproofing material. It’s amazing how quiet it is, probably to help the neighbors sleep at night. The day of the opening I was riding to Ljubljana, so I stopped by for a last look. A worker stopped me, I explained (In English), I wanted to just ride through, then he waved me through. I know it was the English that got me through. , he obviously didn’t speak any.
NORTHEAST TUNNEL ENTRANCE
SOUTHWEST TUNNEL ENTRANCE
A DRONE TO CAPTURE THE EVENT
NO PROJECT WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A RELIGIOUS SACRAMENT
EMERGENCY TUNNEL ESCAPE IN THE MIDDLE OF TUNNEL
EMERGENCY TUNNEL ONE WAY
THEN THE OTHER WAY
EMERGENCEY TUNNEL PANORAMIC VIEW
I KNOW WHERE ALL THE POLICE ARE TODAY.
LOTS OF PEOPLE SHOWED UP
SKOFJA LOKA’S MAYOR, MIHA DEDICATING THE TUNNEL
THE BICYCLES WERE THE FIRST ONES ALLOWED TO RIDE THROUGH THE TUNNEL
CLASSIC COW BIKE HORN
WOODEN FRONT WHEEL
AND WOODEN REAR WHEEL
We were out of town when they had a celebration for reclaming of the old town. The big trucks and lines of cars waiting to get between the buildings, it was time for a tunnel. The tunnel seems to be mostly good except for one thing.
WITH ALL THE CARS PASSING BY HERE, HITCHHIKING USE TO BE EASY
NOW? NO CARS AND NO HITCHHIKERS
Natasa talked with the people who live on the ‘old” road. They said big trucks were still using the old road and felt the new road wasn’t on truckers GPS yet, who knows.
I’ve been super busy, hence not much blogging, but rest assured we’ve got lots of adventures to share, that’s why we’ve been busy. There’s a balance between living the adventures here in Slovenia and writing about them.
I came across this article on BBC about Slovenia:: THE LAKE AT THE END OF THE WORLD
I’m going to England for the Climate Change March on Nov. 29, then Bristol to see Courtney Barnett, then to Paris where the World Climate Change Summit is taking place.. First I plan to volunteer for the protest and in between be a tourist for a couple days.
IF WE SAY “IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN” THEY’LL LISTEN!?
LAST TIME I CHECKED CRAIGSLIST THERE WASN’T ANOTHER PLANET FOR SALE. LET’S TAKE CARE OF THE ONE WE HAVE.
If your in London on Nov. 28 or Paris Dec. 12, email me and we’ll meet up at the Protest.
and whoever you are out there, thanks for reading our blog. NEXT: MUSHROOM PICKING IN SLOVENIA
TILL NEXT TIME
A couple winters ago the Slovenian winter storms damaged the train route from Ljubljana to Koper, at the coast. I heard they repaired the problems and you could now ride the train all the way to Koper. Last time I went to the coast I borrowed Natasa’s car, this time I’m taking the train.
The train was 30 mins. late leaving because it was waiting for a train from Germany to make a connection. I got to sit up front with the guy driving the train, we spoke some English too! I only had 10 minutes to make my train connection. I missed my connection and ended up putting my bike on the bus the rest of the way to Koper (for free).
10 MINUTES AFTER I ARRIVED IT STARTED POURING RAIN, BREAKFAST AND COFFEE TILL THE STORM PASSED-RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
30 minutes of rain stopped, I then headed to Piran, Slovenia. I rode past Izola, but was planning to go there after Piran.
LOOKING DOWN ON IZOLA
ROUTE TO PIRAN
ROUTE TO PIRAN
THIS LONG TUNNEL WILL MAKE MORE SENSE AFTER I RIDE TO IZOLA USING A DIFFERENT ROUTE.
THE TUNNEL WAS PERFECTLY DRY, IT WAS IN AMAZING SHAPE
I’m so lucky to be in good enough shape to enjoy all these biking adventures. Speaking of luck someone did a study and said luck doesn’t just happen. Talk to the people around you, be truly interested in them, share your knowledge and insights with others. Talk to people in the bank/post office line. I do this all the time, it drives Natasa crazy Slovenians are somewhat reserved. She’s always saying how lucky I am, there’s a reason. One more thing, put your cell-phone down and talk to the person right next to you, the world will be a better place.
In Piran I stayed at the Val Hostel it was super awesome, right in the heart of the old town. For only $22 euro I got a private room with a sink (bathroom/shower down the hall) and a super breakfast. I highly recommend anyone to stay there.
CONTRACTORS HAVE TO CARRY EVERYTHING IN TO THE OLD TOWN
THIS SHELLED GUITAR IS AWESOME, I WANT IT
HE WAS PLAYING OLD ALLMAN BROTHERS TUNES, I TIPPED HIM 5 EURO
IT’S A GREAT WALKING TOWN
I VISITED THE WALL AND THE CLOCK TOWER, ONLY 1 EURO EACH.
THIS IS FOR MY FRIEND REV. PHIL
VIEW FROM THE WALL
LOOKING DOWN ON THE OLD TOWN SQUARE, IT’S OVAL SO THE EARLY TROLLEY COULD TURN AROUND.
SLOVENIA IS THE DESERT CAPTIAL
THE ESPLANADE WAS GREAT, I WENT SWIMMING EVERYDAY.
IT’S CONSIDERED THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST, HENCE PALM TREES
I had 2 days in Piran, so ventured into the hills with my bike. Lots of dead end google map routes, i finally got to the top,
RISING SEA LEVELS WON’T BE GOOD HERE
SOMEWHAT LOST CAN STILL BE GOOD
CROATIAN STYLE STONE HOUSE
I SENT THIS PHOTO TO NATASA AND ASKED IF THIS WAS OUR FUTURE?
I wanted to take a different route back to Izola, it was different all right. I climbed so many hills I couldn’t count them all. The tunnel saves so much time (climbing), I get the tunnel thing now, holy shit.
IT WAS NICE AT FIRST
NATASA WOULD HAVE KILLED ME IF I TOOK HER ON THIS ROUTE
FINALLY BIKING AGAIN
IT TOOK 3 HOURS TO GO THIS WAY, 1 HOUR USING THE TUNNEL
I love Izola and the HOSTEL ALIETI. This is my 3rd time here, They are so friendly to me, it’s like home.
VIEW FROM LUNCH
STUFFED CALAMARI & VEGETABLES
ATE IT ALL
I RODE THE TOURIST TRAIN (again)
THE PIZZA PLACE BY THE HOSTEL IS THE BEST
A RARE FLAT TIRE
I (we) decided I could stay an extra day so I could attend the Sweets Festival in Koper. It’s Slovenia and it’s sweets, I could only imagine.
RIDING ALONG THE COAST I OBSERVED SOME KITE SURFING
THE BIKE PATH FROM IZOLA TO PIRAN FOLLOWS RIGHT ALONG THE WATER
OVER 100 DIFFERENT BOOTHS AT THE SWEETS FESTIVAL
SHE WAS GETTING HER FRIEND WET
THE BEST DESERTS WERE THE SUGAR FREE ONES FROM THE SAME PLACE I HAD BREAKFAST MY FIRST DAY
“LESS IS MORE”
BEST LITTLE COFFEE SET UP
YOU CAN BUY ONE FROM THEM
It only rained for a 1/2 hour the first day. I swam nearly everyday, ate great food, chocolate and now it’s time to get back to Skofja Loka. I grabbed the bus back, to bring the bike the driver wanted enough money for a coffee, 1 euro for the bike.
I had a gardening business for 25 years, so I had to get a picture of this kids shirt, on the bus.
PUSH IT PUSH IT “REAL GOOD”
I’m putting this picture here because I’m going to Paris, Dec. 7-14. One to visit Paris and the other to attend the World Climate Change Conference–as a protester because we all know like every other Climate conference, never an agreement or reduction, just an agreement to meet again. Meat and meat production causes over 50% of greenhouse gases, please avoid meat and especially beef. Go watch the movie COWSPIRACY , it’s on Netflix now. SIX EUROPEAN COUNTRIES GOING CAR-FREE
Thanks and have a great day.
Come live in a 1000 year old medieval village. Come see what life was like before the car. We have an apartment in the “center” of the old town, that sleeps 5. Bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, post office, banks,
grocery stores, museums, craft and gift shops and more all within a 2 minute walk or less.
PICTURES OF SKOFJA LOKA, SLOVENIA
DEVILS BRIDGE SKOFJA LOKA
AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
I had lived in Portland for 35 years, In 2013 I biked from Lisbon, Portugal to Istanbul, Turkey. I rode through Slovenia and fell in love, with the country too. I married Natasa and have been here almost 2 years now. Skofja Loka is what Portland wants to be, a low car use-walking town. We live in the old town and are renting the apartment that Natasa’s brother owns, downstairs from us.
You can visit most of Slovenians highlights in just a one hour drive or a nice bus or train ride.
PHOTOS OF THE APARTMENT
VIEW FROM WINDOW
BEDROOM WITH QUEEN BED AND BUNK BEDS
LIVING ROOM AND DINNING ROOM
LIVING ROOM DINNING ROOM
KITCHEN WITH ALL APPLIANCES INCLUDING DISHWASHER
ORIGINAL PAINTING ON LIVING ROOM CEILING
BATH WITH SHOWER AND WASHING MACHINE
TOWN WATER FOUNTAIN IN FRONT OF APARTMENT
4 APARTMENT WINDOWS ON EITHER SIDE OF INFORMATION SIGN
CONTACT US THROUGH THIS WEBSITE OR MAKE A RESERVATION THROUGH AIR B & B
SUMMER DAYS BY THE RIVER
I always tell the tourist to go swimming, but I hadn’t gone myself. So I started going everyday. I invited Natasa, she declined to swim but said she would go watch. After watching several times she finally put on her swim suit underneath her clothes and we made the 5 minute walk to the river. She finally went in and we both enjoyed hanging out in the river.
NEW AIR B&B APARTMENT
We opened an Air B & B apartment in the center of the old town. Natasa’s brother owned the apartment below us. He wasn’t having any luck renting it, so we decided to try an Air B&B apartment. We’ve had a few guest, if you want to come to Skofja Loka here’s the link to the OLD TOWN MEDIEVAL MANSION. FYI you can stay in the European Union for 3 months without a special Visa. Come rent the apartment for a month or 3, no car needed, it’s a great experience.
ONLY A 2 STAR?
LIVING ROOM/DINNING ROOM
MODERN BATHROOM WITH CLOTHES WASHER
2 OF THE 4 WINDOWS
IT’S RIGHT ABOVE THE TOURIST OFFICE
We would have gotten 4 stars but the outside of the building is falling apart. Owning a building with 5 other people, it seems nearly impossible to get them to agree on anything. Your best and greatest asset is your home, letting it fall into disrepair is bad money management, I wish they understood that.
THE NEW BY-PASS TUNNEL IS ABOUT TO OPEN I’ve been here in Skofja Loka for almost 2 years and all that time they have been working on a Tunnel to by-pass the Skofja Loka bottle neck.
ONLY ONE LANE OF TRAFFIC AT A TIME THROUGH HERE
I talked with the bus driver one day and he said they have talked about the by-pass tunnel for 30 years. The European Union gave Slovenia the money, but they had to finish by a certain date or they had to return the money. I would sometimes see them out there on a Sunday working, ( I don’t think they had the money to give back).
FRESHLY PAINTED BIKE LANES
WE GOT A KITTEN
Sara and Natasa had a booth at the old town garage sale. They sold a few things and got a few things too–a kitten. I’m home alone some days so I also thought a cat would be fun.
KITTEN TOBY SLEEPING IN MY BIKE HELMET
I OPEN THE CABINET
AND IN JUMPS THE CAT
PAPER RECYCLE BARREL
THERE’SLOTS OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS TO CLOSE OUT THE SUMMER
RE-INSTALLING FENCE AROUND THE PLAGUE MONUMENT
WORKING ON THE SUICIDE FIRE ROOF
NEW ROOF AT OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS HOUSE.
IT’S A BUSY TOWN SQUARE
IT’S FALL, TIME TO STORE SOME FOOD AND TRIM SOME FRUIT TREES I left a huge vegetable garden and fruit orchard, back in Portland. Our patio garden here only produces so much food. so Natasa and I enlarged her parents garden. With our tomatoes, I canned 30 jars of Italian sauce and Mexican Salsa. One of my reasons for not starting a business here in Skofja Loka was that I could help her parents. Food is a great thing to share with others, so working on a community garden is very rewarding.
MAKING THE NEW GARDEN WITH NATASA AND HER DAD, FRANC
LOTS OF TOMATOES
STUFFED ZUCCHINI FROM THE GARDEN
READY FOR WINTER, WALNUTS AND FIREWOOD
APPLES STORED FOR THE WINTER AT THE PARENTS HOUSE
HOMEMADE APPLE STRUDEL
IT’S TIME TO TRIM THE 6 APPLE TREES
A KILOMETER OUT OF TOWN, CORN BEING HARVESTED
FARMERS MARKET-RED PEPPERS and CABBAGE
SOME FUN PICTURES FROM AROUND SKOJFA LOKA
LOCAL PRIEST HOME
AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
TURNING IN MY FBI REPORT SO I CAN LIVE HERE.
MY GRANDPARENTS NEWLY REPAIRED WATCH
WOOL AND SHEEP SHOW, TRAVELING COMMUNITY RUG, OUR TURN TO ADD TO IT.
DEVILS BRIDGE SKOFJA LOKA
FAMOUS LOCATION OF MY BIKE RIDES TO LJUBLJANA
FARMERS MARKET WEEKLY SHOPPING SPREE
NATASA USING OUR NEW BIKE TRAILER
In Škofja Loka there is a legend about Prince Abraham, the first feudal lord from Bavaria, who was travelling up the Poljane Valley with his black servant. While walking through the bushes, they ran into a bear. Prince Abraham froze in his tracks, but the black servant calmly drew his bow and shot dead the bear. When they returned to Loka Castle, Prince Abraham ordered that, as an acknowledgment, the face of the man who saved his life should be depicted in the coat of arms. Since then, the Škofja Loka coat of arms has featured the black servant’s face.
FYI, there are virtually no black people in Slovenia, so this is a remarkable commemorative in more than one way.
I keep thinking I’m going to run out of fun stories, but I’m about a month behind now. We’ve used two of our honeymoon gifts to adventure around Slovenia. I took a train-bike trip to the coast. So if your a bike enthusiast (or a wanna be) I’ve got some fun bike stories coming.
I discovered this new musical artist, COURTNEY BARNETT from Melbourne Australia. I put a live show and a great album below feel free to give it a listen, pretty great music.
NEXT: WHO NEEDS A CAR WITH A TRAIN AND A BIKE!
THANKS FOR READING
We’ve gone on several vacations this year, but none compare to my solo bike tour around Slovenia. First we spent a week in Croatia on Murter Island, just laying in the shade at the beach. It was very hot all day. Natasa & I got up before sunrise and rode bikes to the bakery then to a coffee shop along the dock, we rode about 25 km each day. Our next vacation we camped overnight at the same campsite where we first met. We biked up to the Fuse Lakes in Italy (photos). Then we biked to Lake Bohinj and went swimming (photos). Then Natasa and I visited Zagreb, Croatia for a couple days. I think Zagreb has more museums than any city of it’s size. We visited “The Museum of Broken Relationships”, “Torture Museum” and “The Contemporary Art Museum.” We biked along the river and through JARUN Sports Park that had signs with photos and accomplishments of Croatian Athletes, Drazen Petrovic played for my Portland Trail Blazers.
FROM THE BROKEN RELATIONSHIP MUSEUM
GIANT WALL ART AT THE CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
AFTER THE WALL CAME DOWN THIS IS AN ARTIST MESSAGE TO OTHER ARTIST,
I LOVE PING PONG & PING PONG ART
ON THE WALLS OUTSIDE THE CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
ON THE WALLS OUTSIDE THE CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
ON THE WALLS OUTSIDE THE CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
FROM THE TORTURE MUSEUM
JARUN PARK IS ENCIRCLED WITH SIGNS OF FAMOUS CROATIAN ATHELETES
Those were nice vacations, but nothing beats a bike tour. So Natasa’s 4 weeks of vacation was over and she’s back to work. When I flew back from America this last time I grabbed the airline magazine that had a bike ride reviewed. The ride is done by some in one day, but I decided, I could make it a 4 day, I love having time to explore an area, meet people and maybe go swimming too, this trip was all of that.
I had a bike ride from my house in Portland, Oregon, that looped Mt. Hood and ended with a visit to Bagby Hot Springs, where cedar logs are carved out to make the baths (another thing I’ll miss in Oregon). I really like the idea of riding from home, no car, bus, train or plane, just biking. This ride does that too, I was able start and end my tour in Skofja Loka. The ride is about 120 km, so some easy 30-40km. days.
DAY 1 SKOFJA LOKA TO JEZERSKO
It’s paved farmers fields paths to Kranj, then ride through some small villages and then uphill to Jezersko. I always go to the tourist office, they know? and in this case they knew, The packaged teas on the tourist desk caught my interest. The Jezersko tourist office called and set a time for me to meet the local herbalist, Matej Tonejec.. I felt so lucky to meet him, his family had owned the house for 500 years. He said in the early 90’s they use to rent rooms. They use to do eye surgery in town because the weather was conducive to the eyes healing. So patients and visiting families use to stay. The hospital closed when Slovenia broke from Yugoslavia, the rooms were empty.
MATEJ NOW USES THE ROOMS TO RUN HIS TEA BUSINESS.
I camped at Senk Farm, the oldest farm in the area. I was greeted by some chickens. The food in the local restaurants is good and cheap, I’m not cooking on my next bike tour. PHOTOS FROM DAY 1
THE START OF THE UPHILL
MAP OF WHERE I’M GOING
REST AREAS JUST FOR BIKERS
MAP OF BIKER REST AREAS
WORLD WAR II BRIDGE WATCH
GIANT SPLIT SHINGLE ROOF
JESUS IN ROCK
MOWING THE FIELD
VIEW FROM TENT SITE
IS THAT THE MOON?
THERE IT IS
KILLING IT CAMPING
GET YOUR BIKE OUT.
DAY 2 JEZERSKO TO LUCE
My goal is to leave by 9am. I made my famous oatmeal and coffee bikers breakfast, I was climbing the minute I left the camp. At the top was Austria and the old border crossings check points that are no longer needed. I met a couple guys in the coffee shop, they said there was a skating event that day. There were 200 skaters and a few roller bladers. So I parked myself at a turn and waited, 3 buses of skaters came by, then they close the road for 1/2 an hour and let em’ go downhill. It’s a skate camp weekend, you pay $200 for camping and 6 or 7 runs a day, including the bus rides up. I walked uphill pushing my bike for an hour and a half. I met a cyclist along the way who is doing the route in the one day, like in the article. He caught me walking, but he was in full sweat, so I didn’t feel so bad. He also had no gear-non and I was loaded for camping. I crossed back into Slovenia and received a few messages from Natasa.
I was trying to get to this certain campground, so I started getting more serious about riding. Then I came to the Logarska dolina. It’s a national park and it cost money to drive in but you can bike in for free. It’s the end of the day, there’s no way I’m riding with gear up-to the water fall. Then I notice an electric bike sitting there, I start talking electric bikes with him and before I know it, I’m riding for free to the water fall (go figure). It’s basically all uphill, I flew by some Lycra riders, and yelled “watch out for the e-bike” I met a family of 5 with 3 little ones (2 on bikes) They rode from the campground to the waterfalls and back, my hero’s.
I opt for my 2nd choice campground, it’s getting too late. My camping neighbor brings me some hard liquor in a glass, I took a sip in front of him, but that was it, holy shit that was strong.
DAY 2 PHOTOS
STARTING THE CLIMB OUT OF JEZERSKO
ONE OF MANY FRESH WATER STATIONS, SUPER GREAT WHILE BIKING
WELCOME TO AUSTRIA
HAY BALES FOR SKATERS
MORE FRESH WATER
NEARLY CAR FREE TOURING
KAMNIK ALPS WITH FAKE SMILE
i’VE SEEN THIS A LOT IN CALIFORNIA TOO
DAY 3 LUCE TO NATURAVANTURA CAMPGROUND Naturavantura was the campground I was trying to reach the day before, but no. It was a short nearly car-free ride to the campground. I was welcomed with a glass of the traditional Slovenian blueberry wine. I knew I had found a great campground. They had a all the amenities for a great camping experience: tents & cabins, communal kitchen, dinner/breakfast available, hammock area, cold river swimming, and WiFi.
I was invited to sit around the nightly campfire, laying in my tent I thought, OK. It was just me and the 2 camp hosts. We sat up till mid-night sharing stories and laughing, I was glad I got up and out of my tent. I picked up a map that had several local bike rides. I’m planning on coming back and staying 3 or 4 days exploring the area.
PHOTOS FROM DAY 3
SOAKING MY SORE FEET
IT LOOKS FUN, BUT THE WATER IS COLD!
OUTDOOR DISH CLEANING
DAY 4 NATURAVANTURA TO KAMNIK
I don’t like to backtrack so they suggested I go further down the road and turn right, OK. They told me there was a climb going that way, I’m a professional bike walker, so I’m ready for anything. It was a great ride, till the hill. I never walked, but there was some serious climbing. I love going off the beaten path. I passed some hemp farming and several small villages. Slovenian is known for it’s honesty and what I saw only confirmed that. I went by a propane storage shed that was locked-with the keys in the lock.
THE LOW CAR ROADS MAKE FOR STRESS FREE TOURING
THE KEYS ARE IN THE LOCK
BUS SERVICE WITH SOME SOLAR ON THE BARN
DAY 5 KAMNIK TO VELIKA PLANINA by CAR
Natasa drove to Kamnik to join me.The tourist office suggested I visit Velika Planina. It was a cable car ride up and an optional chairlift, Natasa made me walk the second half. It was a traditional high mountain grazing area in the summer, but now it’s more of a tourist thing, which I’m a tourist so let’s have some fun. There were lots of people there, but the mountain is big and scattered the crowds throughout the area. After hiking around we headed back to Kamnik to a local trout farm for lunch, Ribogojnica-Mihovc
ON TOP OF THE WORLD
MOVE ALONG GIRL
CATCH YOUR OWN FISH
FISH FARM TANKS
I put the bike on the car and we drove back to Skofja Loka. I watched the road for bike friendliness, no. Taking the bus or getting a car ride seems the safest way home, good call.