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Slovenia

Curious what backpackers do in Slovenia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day302

    Instead of using Calor gas bottles that aren't available outside the UK, we've invested in a system that allows us to fill up with LPG at petrol stations. We use it for cooking, warmth, the fridge and hot water so it is pretty essential. MyLPG.eu is one of our essential apps and allows to find LPG stations all over Europe.

    Anyway, you might be wondering where we are going with this! To cut a long story short, Will emailed Matija, the inventor of myLPG.eu and after several messages back and forth Matija recommended a whole list of places to visit in his home country of Slovenia. He also invited us to drop in to see him where he lives in Idrija and we took him up on his kind offer!

    Using Park4Night, a new (to us) app, we found a small farm with two spots for campervans just 2km away from the town. After a stunning drive through lush mountain scenery, we climbed the steep, winding single track road and parked up at the farm. We were greeted warmly and enthusiastically by Maria, the owner, who told us we could walk down the hill and be in Idrija in 5 minutes, so off we went past the orchards and bee hives.

    Matija drove us the short distance to his home and we said a quick hello to his father in law before going to his restaurant for the local speciality of žlikrofi (similar to ravioli). At the end of the meal we met Matija's wife Mateja and their beautiful three year old daughter and baby son.

    After a short sightseeing drive around town, we climbed to the top of St Antony's chapel hill. From here we could see all of Idrija and Matija pointed out the various landmarks, explaining the history of the town, including that of its mercury mine. Up from the chapel there was a series of paintings of Jesus housed in small stone structures set at alternating sides of a winding track. Apparently this was a common sight accompanying Catholic churches in Slovenia, to symbolise the journey of Christ with the cross.

    We've been amazed at the number of people who speak English here in Slovenia and with Matija, we didn't feel we needed to moderate our words or slow down, because his level of English was so good.

    The Idrijca river flows through the town and we followed the valley upwards towards its source. The scenery was incredible, the water so blue and clear as it flowed over its light coloured limestone bed, bordered by mixed forest that climbed the steep sides carved by the river. The road was quiet and we chatted away as we drove. Not only was Matija going out of his way to show us this marvelous area but he was really easy to get on with and we found ourselves enjoying his company.

    A place called Wild Lake was our first stop, a point at which water surfaced from deep underground and, depending on the amount of rainfall, either flowed into the Idrijca, or from the river back underground. Despite the water clarity we could only see a rich blue at the centre and deepest part of the pool. Sheer rock rose behind, in the middle of which was a clear fault line, reminding us again of the area's mercury rich base.

    Just up the road was a rope bridge and natural swimming pool that locals frequent in warmer months. Even further upriver water spilled through a dam that we walked out on to. Driving higher into the mountains along gravel tracks the van could never have accessed, the slopes became steeper. At one point we needed to turn back because logging was taking place and the route was blocked by a stack of tree trunks. We adventured on foot along a shallow section of river where it flowed over small wide waterfalls into little pools. It was tranquil and we really felt we'd come to the heart of nature.

    An interesting innovation created to move wood downstream to Idrija for the extraction of mercury was the klavže; blockades built accross the river where logs were piled before a great amount of water was released to wash them into the town in a flood. They aren't used now, but are still maintained and we got to walk out on the wooden platforms that led to a 20 metre drop to the river below. The craggy mountains around made us feel very small as we stood in the bottom of the steep v-shaped valley.

    Towards the end of our Idrijan tour we journeyed up through the clouds to the highest town in Slovenia, Vojsko and climbed the short distance up the Śkolj peak to 1128m. Matija showed us too much to recount everything here and we feel the words we've found to describe what we saw are inadequate. We ended our tour of the Idrijca valley overawed and wondering how we could ever thank Matija enough. He then asked if we'd like to join him and his family for dinner in their home! Of course we said yes and had a lovely evening with locally produced cheese and domači želodec (Slovenian salami) bought at the town market. They had some beautiful lace designs in their home that they were made by their families and Mateja herself. She even showed us how it is made and left Vicky fighting the urge to get some bobbins and learn!

    It had been an incredible day that we will never forget. The kindness, openness and generosity of the family and the indescribably beautiful countryside were a combination that truly blew us away!
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  • Day303

    After a peaceful night we woke to intermittent drizzle and stunning mist drifts over the sides of the hills and town. After hearing about Idrija's mercury industry we walked down and joined our Dutch campsite neighbours in a guided tour of the now disused mine. Will was quite chuffed to qualify for the senior discount for entry, although at €10 even the full price wasn't expensive. We learned a little about how mercury was discovered and how the extraction process developed and grew, before donning hard hats, protective jackets and descending into the mine itself. We dropped down 20meters but were 100 meters underground due to the presence of a hill above. The tour was packed with information and had illustrative models with mining equipment. We learned about the now obvious mental and physical health problems caused by exposure to the chemical and working conditions, but we also learned that relatively few people died in accidents compared to British coal mining and that there was a fund for ill miners that was set up relatively early on.

    We picked up a hot burek (savory pastry) at a bakers for lunch which we ate while sitting outside the lace school. We got the impression nearly every woman in Idrija had attended lace school as a girl. From here it was on to the smelting plant, where we learned a lot more about the properties and uses of mercury, including its use in telescopes and early seismographs. This time it was just the two of us who were taken on a guided tour of the plant equipment. Thomas, our guide was engaging and enthusiastic with a sense of humour. His father had worked in the mine so he knew his stuff and spoke great English.

    We were getting pretty tired by now but there was just one more place Vicky wanted to visit before we wended our way back up the hill. The lace museum was a permanent exhibition inside the town castle with different styles of lace from around Europe and video demonstrations of how it was made and its history in the town. Vicky found it really interesting but already has 1 and a half large boxes of knitting and crochet equipment in the van so learning the skill will just have to be one of those things that she hopes to do at some point in the future.

    Back at the van we spent the evening trying in vain to digest all that we'd experienced. Maria's husband who owned the site with her came over and apologised profusely for not having introduced himself before, because he had been at work. He was genuinely concerned as to whether we'd enjoyed our time in Idrija and again apologised for not being available to show us the town. They were a lovely couple and the €10 per night was well worth the stay.
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  • Day301

    Dobar Dan (hello) Slovenia!
    Leaving Italy on an unusually good quality road, we whizzed through the understated border and were in Slovenia before we knew it. You wouldn't think that a few kms either side of a border would make much of a difference, so we were surprised how quickly the changes appeared. Drivers seemed more courteous and careful, the upkeep of buildings, the road and roadside more assiduous and the countryside more verdant.

    It wasn't long before we came to our stopover, a vineyard in a the little town of Zalošče. Slovenia doesn't allow wild camping and may fine you up to €300 for staying somewhere not designated as a campsite. €20 a night was more expensive than we've been used to but it was at a convenient point on our route and when we'd parked on our own little grassy terrace between the vineyards with forested hills all around we felt it was worth it. Sitting outside for lunch we listened to birdsong and the buzz of bees pollinating the wildflowers.

    The countryside looked so alluring that we soon set off to explore. We'd heard Slovenia had good walking and cycling trails and in this case we found it to be true. Passing three donkeys in a field with the faint smell of woodsmoke in the air, we followed a gravel and earth track and arrived at the bank of the Vipava river. Will tested the water and decided to go for a refreshing dip before we returned. At dusk cicadas chirped in the trees but even they stopped as the evening turned to night and we relished the quiet.

    Having looked at the web of walking trails on Maps.Me, Will planned a trip to a reservoir about 5km away. The temperature had cooled so it was nice walking weather and we really enjoyed climbing the Peach and vine covered hill and following a very quiet road to the water's edge where we had our picnic. The country air was scented with Rowan blossom and we were amazed by the variety of flowers we saw along the way, most of which you wouldn't find back in the UK. We kept hearing rustles in the undergrowth and near the end of the walk Vicky caught sight of a dark snake slithering up the side of an almost vertical drainage ditch. We are getting more used to the presence of snakes now and the fact that all the ones we've seen have been retreating has helped Vicky to be less on edge.
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  • Day18

    Zgodnje vstajanje in do doma nas loči samo še pot na letališče in dva dolga leta do Zagreba, potem pa užitki domače postelje. Ta zapis nastaja nekje nad Indijo, ko so še vtisi sveži. Malezija torej, zanimiva izkušnja. Tudi zato, ker je to bilo prvo tako dolgo potovanje na drug konec sveta z malo popotnico, ki se je super odrezala. So bili trenutki, ko smo bili vsi utrujeni, žejni, lačni, ko smo rabili počitek, pozornost, ampak vse skupaj smo se imeli izredno lepo. Potovanje nam je srečno teklo, nihče ni imel niti en dan kakršnihkoli težav z želodcem. Na vročini in vlagi je treba ogromno piti, naslednjič moramo biti še bolj pridni, saj smo se proti koncu kar malo "opustili", kar je morda botrovalo k vročini male popotnice predzadnji dan. Sicer pa mirno rečem, da je mala popotnica oz. "Little princess", kot so jo prav vsi klicali povsod v Maleziji, včasih bila celo bolj trpežna od staršev :)

    Malezija, muslimanska država, multi kulturni svet, kjer vse štima. Že prihod iz letala pred dobrimi dvemi tedni je bil zanimiv. Povsod opaziš opozorila in zagrožene kazni, ne smeš kaditi, kazen 2000 EUR in 3 leta zapora, imaš drogo, smrtna kazen z obešanjem, in tako povsod. Tudi prvi stik z ljudmi je tukaj malo drugačen, na Tajskem so nas zasipali s smehom in prijaznostjo, tukaj deluje vse bolj resno. Pot iz letališča do Kuala Lumpurja že da videti, da je Malezija bogata država. Povsod gradijo in tako je dejansko povsod, kamorkoli smo potovali. Povsod rastejo novi resorti, bloki, naselja, centri. Kuala Lumpur kot metropola upraviči svoj sloves, vendar mi ves blišč in vrtoglave cene v luksuznih nakupovalnih središčih nista tako zanimiva. Večje doživetje je bilo preizkušati hrano v Chinatownu, kot pa hoditi po centrih. Dejstvo je, da so cene enake našim, oziroma tisto kar oni uvozijo "od nas", celo za spoznanje dražje. Kar pa je drugo dejstvo, za potovati z otrokom je Malezija super država. Povsod imajo urejeno vse za otroke. Greš pogledat Petronas dvojčka, je zraven super park, ki ima poleg igral tudi kopališče na odprtem za otroke, zraven je aquarium, na Penangu je ogromno raznoraznih atrakcij kot so "Upside down museum" itd...greš v nakupovalni center, pa je noter pravi zabaviščni park z vlakom smrti, skratka, otrokom ne bo dolgčas in imajo tako dobro urejeno, da še starši uživamo.

    Prevozi znotraj države so tekoči, ceste so urejene, tu pa tam se vidijo ob cestah tudi opice (seveda ne na avtocestah), mnogo bolje kot v drugih državah JV Azije, skratka, veš da si v Aziji, pa vseeno ni tistega občutka, ki ti ga da prvič Tajska ali Vietnam recimo. Svet se tukaj dejansko meša, Malezijci, Kitajci, Indijci, živijo v resnično slogi in miru. Nikjer nikdar ni bilo čutiti kakršnekoli napetosti, tudi muslimanska molitev iz zvočnikov 4x na dan je nekaj povsem normalnega. Tisto kar je očitno, je to, da težje dobiš alkohol in da so relativno strogi glede kajenja, saj na ogromno atrakcijah, mestih, parkih, itd. ne smeš kaditi, kar sicer ni slabo. Alkohol v restavracijah je prisoten pri Kitajcih in Indijcih, pa še kaki Indijci ga nimajo, ostalo pa so kar povečini brezalkoholne pijače, še dobro da so naravni sokovi odlični. Pa za WC imejte s seboj vlažilne robčke, ker je ponavadi samo cev z vodo.

    Ljudje so prijazni, vendar vseeno ne tako "topli" kot na Tajskem recimo. Taxiji imajo več ali manj povsod določeno tarifo, tako da vsaj nimaš občutka, da te kdo prinese okoli. Penang in Langkawi sta zanimiva otoka, vendar niti en mi ne daje občutka, da bi bil top lokacija za plažo. Langkawi je večji in ima lepe plaže, vendar se na te lepe plaže moraš pripeljati. Predvidoma s čolnom. Zagotovo so plaže in otok na vzhodni strani lepša izkušnja z morjem in mivko. Penang in Langkawi sta v redu, vendar ne kristalno čista voda in norenje ob in na plaži na Langkawiju z vsemi možnimi prevoznimi sredstvi ne daje občutka, da je "na easy". Zato tisti, ki želite belih plaž s kristalno čistim morjem, Tajska, Maldivi ali vzhodna obala Malezije oz. kam drugam.

    Hrana je odlična, kjerkoli smo jedli, je bilo okusno, odlično. Kljub vsemu še vedno mislim, da je hrana v Vietnamu bila najbolj raznolika in okusna, Tajska pa takoj zatem. Čeprav najdeš v Maleziji vse našteto, kakor tudi seveda hrano vseh nacij, ki tu živijo, pujska ni. Govedina, piščanec, morska hrana v vseh oblikah, tofu in zelenjava. Pa radi imajo čili in vse je dobro začinjeno, kar ni nič slabega. Verjetno pa vsem to ne ustreza, ampak se ni treba bati, saj je za t.i. zahodnjake poskrbljeno z vso paleto verig hitre prehrane in podobno.

    Je dražja Malezija kot ostala Azija, ampak ni pretirano. Celotni budget potovanja je bil 1.283 EUR za avio karte z zavarovanjem rizika odpovedi, cca 1900 EUR za vse notranje prevoze, 2x bus, 2x notranji let, vsi taksiji, vse nočitve, vsa hrana in pijača, skratka vse. Vse skupaj za tri osebe torej cca 3200 EUR za 17 dni.

    Malezija je lepa, krasna, zanimiva. Morda je ravno kapital kriv, da so ljudje drugačni, da je morda preveč vsega. Nič ni to narobe, vsekakor je to potovanje bilo super, dejstvo je, da sta npr. Vietnam in Tajska naredila name večji vtis. Po vrnitvi iz Tajske sem želel z enosmerno karto nazaj, danes si želim domače postelje in ko bomo oprali popotniški prah iz sebe, počasi naredili nove plane. Za tja, kjer še nismo bili.
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  • Day40

    Didn't write last night because we had too much fun and got into our room really late. We got into Piran which is in the farthest west coast point of Slovenia. Absolutely stunning. Climbed the bell tower,146 steps to the top, and took some great photos. Walked the promenade and had a great lunch. Drank some wine in our room and then met a couple of guys for drinks later. Had a ton of fun laughing and joking with them. One was from Bosnia and the other was local. The weather was warm sunny and 17 degrees.
    We were supposed to get a ride to Trieste Italy but had to grab a cab instead. We got into Trieste at 11 am. Christy crashed and I headed into town to explore.
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  • Day59

    Beautiful little country. Stayed in a hotel just outside the capital (Ljubljana - try and pronounce that) that was the friendliest I've ever been to. Owners just couldn't do enough. It was well after lunch when I arrived and asked if there was something light I could have from the kitchen - ended up with a veal roast, vegatbles, salad and the obligatory bread I couldn't jump over. Kept asking me if it was alright so I was obliged to eat the lot 😨. I had to settle for a fruit dinner in case I exploded.

    Slovenia was designed by a god that loves motorbikes - beautiful scenery and fantastic roads. I'll post pics in my next footprint for Kranjska Gora. In the meantime I'll leave you with a pic of a little church and some food.

    Ohh, a lot of the hotels are pet friendly....pretty much whatever pet you want to travel with. A small compact car pulled up for an overnight stay - mum, dad 2 kids, 2 huge dogs and a smaller one. No idea how they fited them in the car, or their room!!!!
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  • Day8

    Another day in Črniče. We hiked to the end of town, found a rough trail to a gurgling river and followed it upstream among the boulders and dense trees. We returned to have lunch at the Arkade tourist farm and the food was so good. We had intended to eat a light lunch, but at the insistence of the owner, Silva, we each had a dish of mangalitsa pork that the Cigoj family raises. I've never tasted pork like that. It was rich, deep and delicious. Silva cajoled into trying one of her light, refreshing white wines made with a grape that is unique to Slovenia, Malvazija. It was indeed refreshing and bright - it tasted of a breezy sunlit Saturday or maybe that was just my imagination. This region of Slovenia is subject to seasonal intense winds they call The Bora (or Burja), which can reach up to 120 mph. The intensity and impact of these winds has shaped the towns and landscape. Towns are packed tightly, with labyrinthine roads hedged by high walls or houses themselves. Terra cotta roofs are kept in place by stones (pictured).Read more

  • Day60

    I thought that mountain road behind Zargreb had some twists and turns. The roads and scenery to this Alpine resort town are just fantastic. Lots of people visiting tjough nothing like during the ski season. The scenery just kept getting better each time I went around a corner, and there were lots and lots of corners. The roads, leading up to the alpine pass (Vrsiska road) were prefect for motorbike riding mostly good fast speed corners on almost perfect tarmac. But the alpine pass was something else steep and sharp corner after sharp corner. As you get closer to the top the hairpins are all cobbled rather than bitumen, I'm guessing it needs less maintenance but it's quite rough and makes it interesting on a motorbike and there were motorbikes everywhere. The hairpins are numbered 1 to 50 and it climbs almost 1000 metres in a very short space.

    I did see one funny/strange sight. A hiker walk along the road had 6 or 7 sheep following him, when ever he stopped did they, when he went off again, so did they. He just looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and said they had been following all afternoon and he couldn't get rid of them. I guess if he got lost he could always have lamb for dinner.

    I stayed at a resort in town (much cheaper in summer) the room and food were great and the views of the surrounding mountains were beautiful.

    Down the other side of the range the next day, nowhere near as steep..but fantastic riding, and I'll be in Austria.
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  • Day155

    Still in need of water and a toilet emptying facility, we got on the motorway, set the cruise control to 80kmph and the sat nav for a stopover in Jeruzalem, Slovenia. After border controls, where we were waved through with only a flash of our closed passports, we started to pass through Slovenian towns and noticed a marked improvement in the quality of the houses compared to those in Croatian towns. Many were brightly painted with detail around the window frames, their gardens ornamental as opposed to practical. We put this down to the effect of the recent Croatian war.

    Jeruzalem stopover was in the Tourist Information car park, down from the church with great views of hillside vineyards. We had hoped to get a toilets key from the tourist information office in order to fill a few containers of water but unsurprisingly it was closed!
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  • Day5

    After settling into our hotel we walked around the city. The old town is situated along the banks of the Ljubljanica river and is an interesting mixture of 17th-19th century architecture from the mediterranean (particularly Italy), Germany and eastern Europe (a nod to its past as part of the former Yugoslav republic). Like many European cities that had its roots in pre-medieval times, there is a castle on a hill looming over the town. We hiked up and enjoyed some great views from the top.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Slovenia, Slowenien, Slovenia, Slowenië, Slovinia, ስሎቬኒያ, Eslovenia, سلوفينيا, ܣܠܘܒܢܝܐ, Sloveniya, Славенія, Словения, Sloveni, স্লোভানিয়া, ས་ལཽ་ཝེ་ནི་ཡ།, Slovenija, Eslovènia, Slovinsko, Slofenia, Slovenien, སིལོ་བེ་ནི་ཡ, Slovenia nutome, Σλοβενία, Slovenio, Sloveenia, سلوانیا, Slowenii, Slovénie, Slovènie, Slovenie, Sloveenje, An tSlóvéin, સ્લોવેનિયા, Sulobeniya, סלובניה, स्लोवेनिया, Słowjenska, Szlovénia, Սլովենիա, Eslobenia, Slóvenía, スロベニア, სლოვენია, ស្លូវេនី, ಸ್ಲೋವೇನಿಯಾ, 슬로베니아, سلۆڤێنیا, Sirovenya, Slovenië, Siloveni, ສະໂລເວເນຍ, Slovėnija, Slovēnija, Словенија, സ്ലോവേനിയ, स्लोव्हेनिया, Slovenja, စလိုဗေးနီးယား, स्लोभेनिया, ସ୍ଲୋଭେନିଆ, Словени, Słowenia, Eslovênia, Isluwinya, Siloveniya, Solovenïi, ස්ලෝවේනියාව, Republika Slovenija, Slloveni, ஸ்லோவேனியா, స్లోవేనియా, Eslovénia, สโลวีเนีย, Eslobenya, Silōvenia, Slovenya, سلوۋېنىيە, Словенія, سلووینیا, Xlô-ven-ni-a (Slovenia), Sloveniyän, Eslovenya, Orílẹ́ède Silofania, 斯洛文尼亚, i-Slovenia