Saksida wines, Zalošče, Slovenia! #8April 23, 2017 in Slovenia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
Dobar Dan (hello) Slovenia! The 8th country we plan to tour.
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.Read more