Thursday, May 20, 2010

Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth



Breakfasts at the Penzion Berc are lovely - a wide assortment of breads, fruit, and cereals in a charming breakfast room. I love bed and breakfasts for this reason; it's a great way to start the day. Today we are driving out to the Julian Alps and will follow Rick Steve's driving tour which will take us west towards the Northwest corner of Slovenia near the Italian and Austrian borders. The mountainsides are so lush, covered in different hues of green from conifers and deciduous trees in various degrees of budding and leafing. Ski resorts dot the landscape and we take a detour past Jesenice and Kranjska Gora at Planica to see the world's highest ski jump. I can't imagine jumping from that height; obviously those people are made up of something different than I! I can see 2 men working at the bottom and they look like ants in contrast to the hundreds of stairs and height of the platform. This region is very close to the Italian border, which Ray is excited to pass through and photograph, just because.

Apparently, it had rained for 14 days before we arrived, but we today is breezy but clear. Our drive takes us into the Triglav National Park and the beginning of 50 hairpin turns, cobbled for traction, 24 up and 26 down. The temperature dips quickly and we are among the snow. High above the green valleys, the granite looms gray and cold. It is windy up here and pretty desolate and I wonder what would happen if this very basic Slovenian rental car were to break down. The road reaches a summit and on the other side, we can see the Soca River Valley below, with the turquoise water meandering through the green fields. Coming down, the river churns in places and flows placidly in others. The small villages have only a few houses. We stop at a small restaurant for lunch and I wonder when the last guest was here and how they can keep food fresh with so few passersby. As our food is served, the lights go out! The road follows the river for miles and miles and the color is so blue and tranquil.

As it is getting late, we decide not to continue the loop, but to take a shorter route back to Lake Bled. Our B&B is in a residential neighborhood just a 5 minute walk through a shortcut path to the lake. There are many houses under construction and from our balcony, we can see homes and gardens. It has been quite a day! We find ourselves back at the pub again, today quite busy with groups of people from England. We eat and call it a day.

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