While time has passed since we returned from our summer trip to the Slovenian Alps, the memories haven’t faded. Part of the reason I love to write about our travels—and the meals we eat—is that it helps me mentally preserve these adventures and I relive the experiences as I share them with you.
To say that Slovenia is photogenic, is an understatement. It’s breathtaking. Awe-inspiring. Drop-dead gorgeous and downright pristine. There are endless hiking trails that take you through the battle-fronts of the First World War. Trenches have been preserved and recreated to commemorate the atrocities that played out in the deep, cold winters.
Now verdant and carpeted with flowers, affording insane views, these mountains don’t let you forget what has happened on their slopes, and rightly so. We visited the outdoor museum at Kolovrat and walked through the trenches, disturbing about one million crazy grasshoppers—which was kind of weird. Then I decided I needed to run up the summit to see the vantage point from up top.
When we left Nebesa – the haven just above Kobarid, where we spent three days, it was with a heavy heart. With Lake Bled our destination, I asked Bojan, our generous host at Nebesa, which route we should take. One way would take us through Austria, while another would take us directly through the mountains via the Triglav National Park with its turquoise rivers, forested mountains and the famous Vršič Pass, the highest mountain pass in Slovenia at 5,285 feet. He didn’t miss a beat… it had to be via the mountain pass.
And so we set off, following the Soca river initially. It is crystal clear. Cold. And very inviting on a mid-summer boiling hot day. After threatening to stop a few times, I finally pulled over on the shoulder to dip my toes in its waters. We scrambled down a rocky path from the side of the road to get down to the river bank. There wasn’t much of a shore, so Monkey embraced the challenge of leaping across the water.
From here, we started to climb upwards, stopping briefly in Bovec, a small town which had a few hostels and restaurants and bars. From what I could tell it is a base for a lot of the paragliding activities that are on offer in this stretch of the Alps. But a paraglider I am not, so do your own research if this is of interest to you.
As you might expect, the road through the mountains is narrow, windy and slow, so although our journey wasn’t far in miles, it was slow-going. We stopped towards the summit to take in the views and get our bearings. It really is majestic.
Once we traversed the Vršič Pass, it was all downhill from there (naturally). The road from there to Lake Bled was reasonably straightforward, although a little busier than the rest of our journey. All in all, while I had been enamored with the idea of flirting with Italian, Slovenia and Austrian borders all day, Bojan was right. If you have an opportunity to visit Triglav National Park, you should seize it immediately.