Day 18 – From Vintgar Canyon to Bled Lake
Again a decorated breakfast, and since it was Sunday an excellent strudel cake Mojca baked. We drove to Vintgar Canyon and arrived at 9:00, before all the other tourists. In the Canyon the colors green and turquoise reigned supreme again. You walk on small bridges and move from one side of the canyon to the other. At the end of the trail there are two waterfalls. You have to go through the entrance from the opposite side and go down the stairs to see the second waterfall. At the end and the beginning of the trail there is a restroom. We walked at a slow pace and it took us 3 delightful hours.
Eventually we arrived at the Tolmin Canyon, near the town of Zatolmin. We walked in the canyon and climbed the bridge and saw the river from above. At one point we had to go down narrow stairs with no railing, but we were too tired and preferred to go back to the entry point. We went to see the river on a trail near the entrance, and here too, after 15 minutes of walking I couldn’t go on and had to turn back around, but my husband proceeded and came back with great pictures.
Across the road from Camping Koren there is a small parking lot to your right. We parked the car and walked from the right side of the entrance to the camping section on a dirt road which joined the river shortly and then ran by its side. The turquoise color of the Soča River was hypnotizing and we went up on the suspension bridge and were reminded of the Capilano Bridge in Vancouver. We continued to the waterfall, passing small bridges with no railing till we reached the end, and behind the rock appeared the waterfall, descending to a pool of water. A gorgeous sight. The trek took us an hour and 50 minutes in both directions.
Day 14 – The Predjama Castle carved into the mountain
We drove to Postojna cave, and though I'd heard it was beautiful, I didn’t know how much. A sort of train cart leads you inside for 10 minutes through huge halls filled with stalactites, through a chilly route. After the halls I couldn’t figure out why people even proceed on foot, what else is there to see, but while walking you can spot different shapes and examine them from up close. It’s a 1.5 hour walk on a concrete trail, mostly downhill, but you do work your muscles, so don’t worry because it’s not easy. At the end you can see the river and only afterwards you exit with the train cart on a slightly different route from the one you came in on. The cave is amazing, huge and rich in rock formations. The entry fee is €20 per person.
We made it to the 13:00 tour. During the month of May the last tour departs at 15:30, and we were very happy not to be on the last tour. The entrance fee is €14 per person. The ticket saleswoman warned me that inside the cave you have to go down and up 500 stairs. As if I wasn’t terrified enough of the cave already… inside the cave the temperature is 12 degrees (c) and I carried my down coat with me, a decision that turned out to be a big mistake. I took off the coat right away and had to carry it all along, switching from hand to hand. The beginning of the route is on a trail outside the cave, a downhill slope and a fast pace. I finished it wet, and had to catch my breath while the guide gave us an explanation about the cave. We formed two groups and I asked the guide to walk at a slow pace so I could finish the trip without collapsing, and she did. The cave is amazingly beautiful – not so much because of stalactites, the trail sticks to the deep canyon, the cave ends isn’t easy – 200 stairs you have to climb straight. When you go outside you can see the path of the of the river between the cliffs, which is also a beautiful sight. The walk took us 2.2 hours, and not 1.5-2 as we were informed before.
We continued to Velica Paklencia reserve – which is a cliff reserve. Just before we arrived we stopped by a bridge over a very wide river. In the reserve we were asked how much time we planned to spend inside, and when we told them just an hour they sold us juvenile tickets that cost only 6 kn instead of 40 kn. Inside the reserve there were a lot of mountain climbers and grooved cliffs, and down one side of the cliff flows a nice stream with a lot of vegetation. The reserve ended after 25 minutes of walking when we came to the beginning of a long climb and realized that most of the beautiful sights were concentrated in the first half an hour. That was our cue to head back to the car.
At 9:20 the first bus departed to the entrance of the reserve. On the way you could already see the turquoise canyon formed by the Krka River. When we got off the bus we were told that the boat sailing to the island didn't leave until 14:00, and the other boat takes a 3.5 hour cruise and leaves around 12:00. Both options weren’t that appealing so we decided to go hiking inside the reserve according to the description in the brochure. First we walked by foot in the reserve for an hour and 15 minutes, crossing small wooden bridges over waterfalls, the most famous of them was Skradinski Buk – a wide waterfall descending with tremendous force. When crossing the nearby bridge you get small splashes of water from the waterfall and it’s very impressive.
The walk to the lake was easy and took us an hour. From there we took a boat for 20 minutes to the other bank of Lake Kozjac. From here we followed the G2 trail which led us through countless waterfalls and lakes with a deep turquoise color. Until you reach the reserve you really can’t comprehend how the color green has so many shades and how it fits the blue and turquoise, with waterfalls in different size and form coming at you from every direction. When we got to the rail cart after another 45 minute walk with mild slopes muscles I didn’t know I had were aching. We decided to leave the reserve and after waiting for the rail cart we went on another 30 minute walk, with a view of the reserve from above. That walk was easy too.