Aug '18 21

Cycling Slovenia and the Julian Alps - SHOCK

As an ordinary, statistic representative of a wonderful country on the Vistula, I do not know much about Slovenia. I know you have to go through it, so that, like half of my nation, get on picnic to Croatia. I also know that you need to buy a thief vignette there, which works in all neighboring countries for 10 days, and there only 7. As ski jumping is my national sport, I know that they have a very large hill in Planica (but that it is called Letalnica no longer I knew). From known people, I know only Primoza Roglica, a ski jumper who became a cyclist. For most of my life, I associated the capital of this small country with ceramics, which I regularly see in the homes of my friends. It turned out that the pottery from Lubiana near Kościerzyna has so much to do with Ljubljana, which is my idea of ​​Slovenia with reality. Slovenia turned out to be our shock.

It's a bit like ordering a potato in a very expensive restaurant. You know the kind of potatoes, you eat them all your life, you have them under your breath, but suddenly you find that you get the Princess Potato exclusively served and your life changes.

 

 

 

Why Slovakia Slovenia?

 

The first question that arises when someone mentions that he is going to Slovenia (of course after verbal assurance that he certainly meant Slovenia, not Slovakia), is: WHY? After all, at such a distance are such good, proven places - Dolomites, Garda, Croatia, Austria ...

There are many answers to this question. We can stick to the version, it's a bit less well-designed, it's slightly closer, probably cheaper and so on, but that's not true. Anyone who returns from Slovenia is so delighted that it's hard for us to believe it. Taking advantage of a slightly longer weekend and the fact that the Kranjska Gora, where we found accommodation, is some 10.5 hours driving at normal pace on the highways (less than 1100km), we decided to check it out.

In principle, this view should answer the question - why Slovenia and the Julian Alps:

 

 Slovenia

 

 

 

Slovenia - everything I knew was a lie

 

 

Size: almost half as much as Mazowsze
Population: over 1/3 of Masovia
GDP per capita: more than twice as high as Poland
Distance from Warsaw: about 1000km

 

In the post we will focus on Triglav National Park - the only national park of Slovenia. The road loop around it is about 200km, which is as much as the lap of the Tatra Mountains.

 

Mangart

 

Highest peak: Triglav - 2864 m above sea level (encyclopedic outstandingness, 2052m, subjective eminence: awesome) - is considered a symbol of Slavicness.
Highest road drive - Mangart: 2055 meters, over 1500 meters (vertical) driveway

 


 

Climate in the Park (lower parts): 

     spring: 10 ° C - 15 ° C, from January to March the least rainfall.
     summer: around 25 ° C;
     from September to December: as in spring, only the most rainfall;
     winter: it's time for skiing

Although it is getting a good temperature from early May, most of the peaks and roads will probably be unavailable for cyclists.

 

As the visit ends in May, you can read in the VERY GOOD ENTRY on the blog niesmigielska.com, here:
 https://www.niesmigielska.com/2018/06/slowenia-w-pigulce-jak-zrobic-to-dobrze.html 

 

Slovenia
bled

 

For the cyclist, the best look is usually July and August, ie the period in which all guides advise against arrival due to prices and crowds. I confirm that in August the crowd is large, but only in the main human centers (ie around car parks, on major roads and in the most famous tourist attractions).

 


 

Additional facts that you will take away from your friends:

 

Vrsic

 

There are more than 10,000 caves in Slovenia, and the longest has about 20km.

There is one wine cellar / vineyard per 70 inhabitants.

If you walk in the woods, there is a good chance that you will eat one of 400 bears.

About 90,000 beekeepers live in this two-million-strong country.

Slovenia is one of the most eco-friendly (environmentally friendly) countries in the world. Only Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden are ahead of it.

Slovenians, with an average height exceeding 1.80 m, are among the highest people on our planet (they are also one of the oldest age nations and one of the largest smokers in the world).

Found in Ljubljana the oldest wheel in the world - its age is estimated at 5150 years.

Slovenes are the 7th most calm the nation of the world. This means that they do not like to argue, fool and should be very friendly. Our lady hostess did not say anything about it.

It is also said that the inhabitants of Slovenia are extremely nice. It's hard for me to define it - our character sitters the apartment did not let me focus on her appearance.

 


 

Useful phrases:

 

I will do everything for citizenship - Storil bom vse za državljanstvo

Where is the shop? - Kje je trgovina?

I come in peace - Prihajam v miru

Slovenia is the best country in the world - Slovenija je najboljša država na svetu

Give me water - Give me a drink

I did not know you needed a vignette - Nisem vedel o vinjetah

Help me come down from this mountain - Help me spustiti s gore

Why so expensive? - Zakaj tako drago?

 

 

Slovenia - Italy for Central Europe?

 

It's not like if you can not afford a trip to Italy, go to Slovenia.

It turns out that it is not only the richest and most developed country of the former Yugoslavia, but also one of the wealthiest in Central and Eastern Europe. For comparison: the minimum wage in Poland is 453 euros, in Slovenia: 805 euros; The average salary in Poland is: 980 euros, in Slovenia: 1582 euros.

 

bohinjskie

 

This two-million-strong country is visited by over 3 million tourists annually.

The most important finding, however, was that Slovenia is much nicer than we expected.

 

This is the first place in history, after returning from which we checked the purchase price of the property at once. We quickly understood that we did not want to live there.

 

This small country charmed us to the extent that I would be willing to return there without a bicycle. Ba, it's so great there that maybe we could even be lake sunbathers (probably you! - dop. Panda).

 

 

 

Where to sleep?

 

We are looking for accommodation in the vicinity of the Triglav National Park - it is the most western part of the country. It is so much on the verge that we do not even need a vignette for the entire stay, and bicycle routes also run through Italy and Austria. The first entry to Airnnb and Booking is a bit of a shock, because in the carefully selected area of ​​Bovec, there is no free accommodation outside one hostel. What's worse, it turns out that it is not because of the lack of accommodation, and obscenely large occupancy and prices from space.

 

kranjska goraA classic evening in Kranjska Gora.

 

The choice falls on the Kranjska Gora located on the other side of the pass. This is probably the most famous ski resort in the country. Only there we found acceptable in the category of price / quality / location of the apartments. In brief: maybe not the best, but it's expensive, though:

 

 

The English saidthat Kranjska mountain is best value when it comes to European ski resorts. 10% cheaper than in Livigno, 2x cheaper than in Switzerland.

 

 

We live in: Apartments & Rooms Banić. For 7 nights in an apartment located in the basement and covering one room, one large, but empty bathroom and kitchen, so narrow that after dinner two people will not get out of it, we pay 886 euros - we live in it three.

We choose a second apartment: a 3-bed room, a bathroom and a slightly larger kitchen, in which there is a sofa bed (perfect, you can reach both the refrigerator and the sink at the same time) - 1035 euros to be divided into 4 people (two are sleeping in a transitive kitchen). Let's be honest: around 2000 euros for 7 nights for 7 people in conditions deviating from generally accepted standards is a bit much. However, it is still the cheapest reasonable offer.

In general, we can forget about accommodation cheaper than 100 PLN / day / person, and lower than 150 PLN can be treated as a great opportunity.

 

bohinjskieThis is not our accommodation ... a pity.

 

Where is the best place to stay?

I do not know. The best driveway is in the north of the park, the best hills in the south, and cool routes are both in the east and west. Life is somewhat hampered by the fact that the number of asphalt roads crossing the park is very limited (basically limited to one) and you almost always have to smoke around. The upside is that whatever the location, it's nice everywhere. In addition, you drive a car to Slovenia, so logistic problems are slightly reduced.

 

 

 

How much to pay?

 

Slovenia sounds cheap because it phonetically resembles Slovakia. It is not cheap and it is confirmed by all people who have ever been there. However, the main costs are generated by accommodation, because the rest is acceptable. There is no Biedronka, but we found Lidle: in Lesce and Javornik - both on the main road to the east of Bled.

Kebab less than 4 euros, pizza on the main promenade Kranjska Gory, about 7.50 euros. Besides, there are Lidle, so nutritional problems resolved. Until we get a dinner at one of the bars located on the shore of Lake Bled (Cola 0,25 - 4eur, Spaghetti Bolognese - 15eur, rubber grill mix - 20eur, everything tastes like instant bag), it's possible to live.

 

slowenia lidlWe visited this hill in the background (on the left) while approaching Stol

 

In addition, Slovenians want money everywhere. Entry anywhere 2 euros, parking (usually all day) 10 euros, entry by car to the Mangart hill - 5 euros, downhill sledding at Bled - 4eur. Normally I would be nervous, but already on the first day, when we park in the afternoon at Lake Bohinj, the parking lot states that since we are just going for a 2-hour walk, we do not have to pay. Then we save even more, because the lady who charges 2 euros for entering the Savica waterfall does not let us in, explaining the rain and the rocks are slippery.

 

 

 

Slovenia and cycling

 

As for the Triglav National Park, in which we are moving, the road is here in the minority. People dominate on electricians, hardcore panniers and typical highlanders who drive in places inaccessible to us. Electric bikes can be hate, but I can not imagine that the average person would find joy riding around, using only the strength of their own muscles. This place belongs rather to those "ambitious".

 

Our holidays are usually very simple. If Strava is off, it means we either sleep or eat.

 

Let's start with the basics - bikes are important here. From Kranjska Gora, we can easily go on an asphalt, two-lane, perfectly level bicycle path, eg to Ljubljana, which is about 70 km away or in the opposite direction, to Italy or Austria. The place was simply created for cycling tourism. From time to time, they can be surprised by climbs exceeding a dozen or so percent. The bike paths I'm used to do not look like this:

 

Slovenia

 

Well, but the paths I know also do not look like this:

 

Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia

 

As befits a road blog, let's focus on asphalt. We get the first shot in the face when entering the country. It is not an ordinary plaque, but a shot from Endrju Gołoty from the years of splendor. Coming from the side of Villach, lying on the lake with the beautiful name Faaker See, we come across the Wurzen Pass.

 

Signs prompting to move 1st gear were not unfounded on it. It turns out that in the ranking altimeter, it is on the 8th place among the uphill slopes with the greatest inclination over a distance of one kilometer (17.2%). Monte Zoncolan (17.5%) is higher on the spot, which will be a bit later, and even higher Punta Veleno, which we have already visited (17.7%). Let me quote a passage that I liked very much (almost like the one that you can not drive a Fiat 126p): "Behind one of the corners (right) a long straight kilometer circle with a slope of about 18%. That is where the speed of 100km / h is not a special achievement. There is a special emergency way up if someone does not fire. The only problem is that the limit is up to 30km / h. "


The traffic is big, because it is one of the few prints from Austria that do not require vignette, poor views. However, he gives us an idea of ​​what will happen next ...

 

 

The Julian Alps remind you a bit Montserrat in Spainthey are only slightly higher, bigger, more impressive and more ...

 

 

Bitumens in the region are good and very good, in places cracked, but it does not bother anything. Driveways are steep, the network of roads is not doing it and you have to make a bit of effort to avoid duplicating long fragments after a few days. The possibility of moving by car to start loops in a place located a dozen or so to several dozen kilometers is definitely recommended.

 

 

 

 

The most straightforward loop in Slovenia.

 

If someone asked me about the best or best-known road loops in Poland, I would not know what to answer. In Italy? Best I do not know, but the most known is probably the killer Bormio-Gavia-Mortirolo-Stelvio-Umbrail (which we have done many times, of course, spread over two days, for example two years ago). In Slovenia it is easy, the most important loop starts in Kranjska Gora, goes through the Vršič pass and heads to Mangart, the most famous mountain road in the country. It looks something like this: link to Stravy and generates over 2,600 meters of elevation at 115km. I will anticipate the padawan of cycling immediately: it is difficult, of course, to pass.

 

 

Vršič ... heels

 

The Vršič pass, which begins the loop is a mordulec. It is said that this is the most known mountain pass in the country and I will tell you ... this is the most reasonable.

From Kranjska Gora to the top is 11.4 km, with an average slope of 7.2%, the maximum slope on 100 meters: 14.6%. These are not numbers that scare you, but it's hard. Stable but hard. The charms are added by the pavement sections that some of the pans covered (180 degrees). Probably a joker.

 

Vrsic
Vrsic
Vrsic
Vrsic
Vrsic

 

Vrsic

 

 

On the other hand, it is even harder - 8.8 km with an average of 9.2%. The views are also much better - I would even say that this is one of the best scenic descents on which I was allowed to move. The problem is that when driving from the side of Bovec, the access to the driveway is quite tiring. The whole is 32 kilometers with an average inclination of 3.6% - it will be quite good to mentally.

 

 

The movement is quite substantial, but it does not make life difficult. At the top there is a large parking lot, from which people set out to go hiking, so paradoxically, the most empty is in the middle of the day (everyone is already on the trails).

 

Vrsic

Vrsic
Vrsic
Vrsic

 

 

The entire pass has a total of 49 numbered reeds.

 

From Vršič, an endless descent begins (the mentioned one, having 32km), from which it is worth to take a bite to Bovec to fill the water bottles in front of Slovenian creme de la creme - Mangart and we move on.

First, about 10 kilometers of invisible drive around 4% to get to the village of Log pod Mangartom, which passes in another 5km / 8.6% under the Predel pass, to start the proper driveway at Mangart - over 10km / 9%. When we sum it all up, our legs will hurt.

 

 

Mangartsko Sedlo

 

It does not matter. Mangart is worth every pain. This is confirmed at the very start -Predel viadukt is the bridge with the largest span of the bow in the whole Alps. Then it's only better. Beginning through the forest, then the gate collecting fees from cars, and then only the classic, alpine streamers, which every meter of reward reward a better and better panorama of the surrounding mountains, to culminate on the culmination of all the attractions that we have seen so far.

 

Mangartsko Sedlo

 

The road, built in just 6 months by the Italians defending themselves against the Yugoslav army, reaches 2055 meters. So for illustration: it's more or less as much as the Red Verses for which we've been climbing recently. The entire length is narrow, just 1.5 times the width of the car. This makes life difficult, especially during a downhill ride, because the situation in which cars have to go back several hundred meters to pass is natural. Along the way we pass another 5 tunnels, a sign of an entry ban, which is ignored by all vehicles, an episode destroyed by sliding stones and, as usual, countless motorcyclists.

 

Mangartsko Sedlo
Mangart
Mangartsko Sedlo
Mangartsko Sedlo
Mangart
Mangart
Mangart

 

 

The peak is original because the road on it makes loops and turns back. Yes, the road to Mangart is a classic road to nowhere (or rather: to the parking lot). At the end, it is worth giving up the bike for a while next to other, abandoned bicycles (for example Pinarello F10 on Borach) and walk a few minutes behind the hill, because behind it there is an amazing view of the Austrian mountains and lakes. Even better, abandon the bike in the trunk of friends, change into a comfortable sportswear and go to the real peak, that is:

 

 

 

King Mangart

 

Yes, this year we did an experiment and decided not to limit ourselves to visiting only by bike. It was a great decision. Because it's such a strange feeling when you seem to be riding a bicycle to the top of something, but you see that everyone is going all the way up and playing well. So we left the bikes parked on the Mangartsko Sedlo and continued with the shoe.

 

Mangart

 

Walking routes in Slovenia are a different state of consciousness. It took me many days to search for physically demanding, but technically simple routes that could take several hours, and reward tiredness with views. I will tell you: it was not easy. Even the routes marked as simple are difficult - at least for me. Mangart has 2679 m and three roads lead to its top: very heavy, heavy and ordinary. As the first two require helmets and harnesses to beat via ferrata, we decide on the third. I check on Google Street View that children and dogs reach the top, so it can not be that bad. Today I know that if there is a 1.5 year old child at the top, it is still no argument.

 

 

In the Julian Alps, easy routes are difficult, medium routes are difficult, and difficult routes are impossible.

 

 

For illustration, a very difficult route looks like this. It took us a bit to find a man here:

 

Mangart

 

I belong to people brought up in the lowlands, my fear of heights appears even in an apartment on the 11th floor. According to the rules of overcoming your own fears and being a better version of yourself tomorrow-today-with yesterday and a deep conviction that if you can not get something and you want it, you decide to get on this Mangart. Life, of course, brings me down to earth (thankfully painlessly) as usual, cutting off all PauloCheisms quite early.

 

The dominant thought of a man with fear of heights next to a large exhibition is: maybe I will fall away and calm with this descent.

 

The approach of the easiest route to Mangart starts very nicely. Polanka with a huge cliff pulls until the first stones appear. Then some ladders, the road getting narrower, the higher, the more and more boulders - the man begins to wonder when he last extended. Nice view of the road we came here and the huge rock that turns out to be ... the most difficult route. I estimate my abilities in the eye for 2 meters of this route. Then I would stick to the wall forever and rescuers from the helicopter would have to unhook me.

 

Mangart

 

The piston is large, people present a complete technical and equipment check: from full climbing outfit to sneakers. We regret a bit that we did not take bicycle helmets. Limestone rocks and the mass of smaller and larger stones have considerable potential for falling. I'm afraid that after such a tearing, I would roll for a good minute, and then for two more falls down.

 

 

Mangart
Mangart
Mangart

 

In fact, Mangart is the king only on the road. The real king is of course Triglav, for which we plan to enter ... until we see what it looks like and how much climbing it takes.

 

 

Do not look down!

 

Entry to the top takes about 1:30 hours, descent similarly. The route for our amateur legs is quite difficult in terms of condition and it seems ideal for beginnings with climbing adventure. My body stops me about 200 (vertical) meters before the summit. The exhibition is large, the chasm too. The end occurs when I turn around and look down. Then, one hundred thousand thoughts come, which can only be understood by a person with considerable fear of heights. The calculations start, because it's easy to go up, but you have to get back somehow. The problem is that when you come back, instead of looking at the wall, you look down. I'm doing a small experiment with looking at the abyss and the trip ends. I stick to the wall for 5 minutes, move into a nice place in my head and I turn back with a dupo-shuffling technique. It's a bit embarrassing, but I assume that any technique that allows you to survive is good.

 

Mangart
Mangart
Mangart
Mangart

 

I rarely manage to achieve my goal, but here my own head breaks or, as I prefer to explain it myself, I want to live. Despite this, I think that even the passage of a part of this route is a great experience. The views are really impressive and I have a quiet hope that regular turning back from the trails will one day bring a positive result.

 

We can continue the loop ...

 

Now only relaxation is waiting for us. It means only when we get off Mangart, because it's not difficult to get down at the exit. Many of the corners are without barriers to facilitate the avoidance of cars. I really appreciate the drivers who are trumpeting during the driveway. Deep in my soul, I dream of a shield - the hoop is so hot that I can touch it. This is again during this trip, when I decide not to invest in "non-company" circles. Minimizing the chances of hardware defects is a priority for me in such places.

 

Slovenia

 

We pass the bridge again and head down, across the Italian border. A few serpentine is still stopping at Lago del Predil. Emerald, post-glacial lake, in which we decide to swim for a while, so that the legs regenerate after walking. The water is dramatically cold, and the stones on the beach are just as painful as the physiotherapist's visit. Then there is only a long descent along the dried up river and abandoned mining buildings. Apparently, zinc and lead were copied here a thousand years ago. It's so ugly that it's nice. We jump again to the bike path, which along the mountains will lead us straight to Krajska Gora.

 

Slovenia
Planica
Planica

 

Those who are eager and eager for impressions can take a few more kilometers to reach the empty and beautiful road on the hill in Planica - Letalnica. A real Pole must see the hill! Especially that it was on it Kamil Stoch broke the world record by jumping 251,5 meters. Some 30 years ago there was also a record of attendance at the competition - almost 100,000 spectators. It was also on her for the first time in history that the border of 200 meters was broken.

 

Planica

 

Due to the fact that a month after our visit, the famous Red Bull 400 runs here, during which people run up to the top of the hill, we can not deny ourselves the attraction of overcoming a large number of stairs with tired legs. A visit to the starter bar allows you to look at jumps from a slightly different perspective. I do not think I'll ever become a jumper.

 

This loop is so good that I would be able to devote a 3-day weekend for two days in the car and one day of driving on it.

 

We see Mangart on that day many times and from each side. No matter where it is, it makes an electrifying impression.

 

 

 

Stol (Hochstuhl)

 

Stol, meaning a chair. If you already come to terms with your fear of heights and find that Triglavski Park has for you either very mundane routes, or those where you will always be in the mountains, you will still be looking for another mountain range. This is not a problem, because as it turns out, there are quite a lot of them in the area. We manage to find a car, less than an hour away, the highest peak of the Karawanka range (that is where the Wurzpass, which was at the beginning). The mountain, which is 2,236 meters high, provides about a 6-hour walk and views not much worse than from the peaks that we passed by bicycle.

Our route looks like this: The route on Stol.

We start from the parking lot at the hostel, which can be reached by car (if you do not like it, because it is steep and gravely).

 

table
table
table
table
table

We go steeply through the forest, across the grassy slopes, through the stones, until the trail breaks into two parts. In order not to double the path, we choose the left one (the right one is covered with the return route). It soon turns out that the choice was good, but ambitious: we crawl on all fours on camouflage.

 

In general, routes in Slovenia are marked well (some 7000km), only all with the same symbol and color.

 

At the top of the classic - great views, birds stealing food and sheep. Next to it is a shelter and an outhouse on the neighboring hill. Going down the east side is a bit easier, but it's a bit tedious. Due to the loose surface, you must maintain concentration all the time.

 

 

Stol does not seem to us a huge mountain until we leave it. When we see him from the vicinity of Lake Bled (and thanks to the characteristic construction we are able to recognize him) our perspective is changing significantly. It's a huge mountain and I recommend it to everyone, especially beginners mountain hikers. soreness in calves we have for 3 consecutive days.

 

 

 

Lake Bled

 

If you enter Poland on Google, maps and emblems will pop out if you enter Germany: map, flags and some funny memes; by entering Spain, you will get maps and photos of beaches. Slovenia is a sensation, because by entering its name, 90% of the results will be pictures of Lake Bled. To make it funny, most of the same perspective.

 

The history of the creation of the lake is very interesting. In the valley there was a meadow, with soft and green grass. They danced on fairies on it. It was unfortunate that the nearby sheep also liked this meadow. Fairies have asked the shepherds to build a fence that will protect the grassy dance floor. They pleaded with the request, sheep ate the grass, so the fairies decided to flood the entire valley as part of the retreat, leaving only a small island in the middle where they held their night dances. It sounds a bit unbelievable, but looking at how the neighborhood looks - I believe it.

 

bled

 

Because Lake Bled is an icon of Slovenia. This is one of the warmest alpine lakes (during our stay it was 25 degrees). In its center is the only island in the country and the church. The church is exactly the same as all other churches in the area. I have the impression that each of them is built here exactly from the same model and differ only in size.

What is unique in Bled is the combination of the position and color of the water. It is impossible to deny it is beautiful. In particular, if we decide to swim around with a rented boat or board (rowing alone or with the man). These with a man are a bit magical (they are called Pletna), because the guy rows in such a way that we did not believe that the vehicle has no hidden engine.

 

But

 

Bled is like a pier in Sopot or Morskie Oko in the peak season. You're lying by the lake, but 3 meters behind you there is a street with a permanent cork made up of tourists. It is a tourist center of the whole area, and maybe even the country. Fact, there are no ugly stands, banners, shops and other attractions known from the home yard, but the number of people makes it quite difficult.

 

bled
bled

 

There is a castle above Bled. If you plan to visit it - forget about bikes, it can not be reconciled. Checked.

Around the lake there are many view hills with breathtaking panoramas. We have one visit to this lake, because not much further (about 30km) there is:

 

 

 

Bohinjskie Lake

 

 

Which is a real hit. There is no island with a church in the middle, but there is not a lot of people. Instead of an asphalt road with a cork, mountains and gravels surround them. We base our bikes on a random tree - as it turns out, it is probably the best known tree in the country: bohinjsko drevo (googli link). From the lake you can trough the Savica waterfall or take a cable car to the top of Vogel, where you will have a great view of the surrounding hills and lakes. Alternatively, you can of course enter the shoe.

 

Bohinjskie

Bohinjskie

Bohinjskie

 

The lake is around 11 km long and is an ideal activity for a break from lying on the shore. 80% of the lake is over 20 meters deep.

In the vicinity of the lake, we can find two-storey buildings, unique for Slovenia, serving mainly for drying grain (kozolec- especially in the area around Studor.

 

 

What to ride?

 

I have a problem with consulting specific loops. After passing the obligatory loop, we went from Kranjska Gora to various directions - each was good, but especially those to the east - to Italy.

 

Slovenia
Slovenia

Slovenia

Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia

 

The route along the Socza river, which then goes into the Baca river, deserves special mention. We will pass waterfalls, plains, meadows, and all this on level asphalt and surrounded by high mountains. We forgot to check the recommended driveway to Tolminske Ravne on the way, but we found another, quite by chance, at Dražgoše, and then the exit through the town of Dachnik. Places that we pass, look something like this (a working eye will notice the similarity between the church in the distance and the church at Lake Bled):

 

 

When you meet such paths, deliberately random loops, you start to wonder how many of them you missed. Such a question arises during our stay obscenely often. The signs for valleys, paths, waterfalls, strollers, bridges, hills and viewpoints passing each moment mean that we would like to extend our stay for at least a week or two.

 

I'm unsatisfied. A week is not enough

Panda

 

Especially that from the Triglav National Park is dangerously close to other, much more well-known places, such as the Dolomites. Every morning we have a problem to do. There are so many choices. Piotrek throws the password: Zoncolan - it turns out that it is just an hour's drive from the place where we spend the night. No one has the courage to protest.

 

 

 

Zoncolan, Italian springboard.

 

I know, Zoncolan has nothing to do with the Julian Alps, but it's close, so it counts. Besides, it's a classic that should not be missed.

 

However, people are stupid. If there is a hill, it will be on it. If there is a stone on the hill, they will come to this stone. As it is possible, it is best that this stone lies just above the abyss. Then they'll do a swallow on him and jump.

 

Zoncolan is mainly known for being heavy. It is said that he asks to assemble a specially compact crank, that three gears were assembled in the past and that pain, death and destruction are at all. Who would we be if we did not check it out ?!

Most of the photos from Zoncolan are presented below - not without a reason, the rest is a forest:

 

Zoncolan

 

We leave the car under the shop in Sutrio. Bad luck wants that this heavy driveway is located on the other side of the hill, so we add a free ride to another hill. Here comes a bit of astonishment, because it turns out that on the one hand, we come across a mordulca, and on the other - there are quite a lot of them here. Each of them is much more scenic than the Zoncolan and much nicer both visually and cycling (greater elevation, longer distances).

The segment we start with is called Suttrio - Crostis and is 24.4 km / 6%. Pleasant numbers, until the moment you look at the profile and it turns out that the final 5 is absolutely flat and after a thick gravel, on which the road bike works on average. The driveway is amazing. It starts as usual with forest, then there are exposed streamers, from which we can see both the Italian mountains, as well as steep and harsh Slovenian, to finally greet us on grass pastures located at an altitude of 2000m. I feel a bit like on the most beautiful French pass.

Even better is the downhill, where we meet quite a few cyclists - 13.6km / 10.1%. It is a pity that the exit is not sensibly connected with the driveway - for a few kilometers of gravel between them, I would not decide to repeat this route, but I can definitely recommend it to the curious world. The views are worth it - as usual.

 

Then a few small, vertical walls to Ovaro, where we shop and time on Zoncolan. I make the first 4 kilometers of Zoncolan with a foil net on the back - there are cakes, chocolate bars, two large bottles of drinking and something to crunch. The girls started the drive earlier, the guys went shopping - that's the fate. At the second kilometer, we take a picnic stop - perhaps this destroyed the perception of this mountain by us. While eating, we meet a nice Italian who takes trash for us in exchange for a packet of unopened cookies. I have reasonable suspicions that he appears for this purpose at every dying group of cyclists.

 

Zoncolan is a classic driveway known for being heavy. This is probably the only positive thing that can be said about it.

 

Zoncolan is heavy, really. From Ovaro it is over 10km / 11.7%. With a maximum slope of 100m of 20.2% and an average of 1km of 17.5% it can give a bone. Most of the time goes on a hill around 14-16%. Seeming a lot, but still stable. There are no moments for Mortirolo, on which the road bends so much that you feel like throwing a bike and going on foot.

We are waiting for the so-called "Fuck" convinced that one day it must come. It never happens. The walls on the profile turn out to be GPS errors in the tunnels, and the tip is not enough that it has serpentines to facilitate the ride, it shows the panorama of the surrounding mountains, so a little more pleasant.

 

Zoncolan

 

The route is also made easier by portraits of well-known cyclists placed at random distances. The first appears after a kilometer, the second one at 1500m, the third at 1700m, and so on, introducing a bit of confusion in the enormity of calculations made in the head.

For three kilometers before the finishing line my spokes are shot in Mavice. The wheel centers itself and rubs against the brake pads in such a way that even on small descents, I will be forced to tighten. It diversifies me a bit of the end of the driveway. The thought of searching her on the internet brings me to the top. When I changed my spokes from Bora a few years ago on the pass in front of Livigno, I waited half a year for new ones ...

 

It's a funny feeling when you can not decide whether you are more worried about doing Zoncolan on a crooked wheel or trying to get a new Harfa spoke ...

 

 

Meta comes a bit surprised. We are a bit disappointed. It was hard, but we expected more from the legendary, super heavy driveway from World Tour. I think that never again will my circle on Zoncolan stand (he he).

 

 

 

Je regrette rien!

 

Rarely do we feel so much unsatisfied after returning from a trip like this time. Maybe it is by including walking in a holiday sightseeing plan. Or maybe just the number of things to do in the Triglav National Park is too big.

 

Slovenia is one of the greenest countries in the world.

 

All these waterfalls, mountains to climb, scenic routes, valleys, buried, side roads. Fear think what would happen if we were a bit farther away. After all, just around the corner are Italy and Austria, which include extremely easy routes. And Logarska Dolina? A visit to Ljubljana? Kayaks on the Socza River? Scottish Caves and Postojna? Especially, that each of the places we visit looks completely different in the morning than during the day and evening. One would like to see them several times, at different times of the day. And in the winter ... there is still winter.

 

A hill in the distance is, of course, Mangart.

 

Slovenia is brilliant. Maybe not a 100% cycling holiday, but a combined trip. With my wife, future wife, lover, family, children, grandmother - everyone will find something for themselves.

 

In our personal ranking, he lands just behind Azores and Norway.

 

 

Sample routes:

 

A visit to Italy
The most epic loop
A visit to the lakes
Around the park
Zoncolan

 

 

* if nowhere in the post I have made a mistake and did not enter Slovakia instead Slovenia - it will be a miracle. At googlaniu I did it regularly.

 

** when writing about Slovenia, I mean, of course, only the area surrounding the Triglav National Park, which accounts for about 5-10% of the country. After visit to Istria I am deeply convinced that the south of the country must also be wonderful.

About the Author:
Every day I work in IT: I restart servers, I click on things and I ask if it has already been repaired. I spend my free time with friends on cycling. We visit the best parties, overcome the most spectacular routes, we ride in the toughest races. Blog allows me to develop my passion and describe the best of adventures, so that you do not have to repeat our mistakes. I am trying to stick to the unpopular rule that quality counts not quantity.


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