Italian

Travel to Slovenia: week end between nature and cities

We decide to travel to Slovenia during a long holiday week end. Slovenia is a young state next to Italy and it surprised me by its vitality, but also for its ability to progress while keeping intact its own assets, cultural and natural. The visit began at Postojna Caves, magnificent natural works of art throughout the subsoil of the area, made up of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites that emerge from the rock; we then proceed directly to the quiet capital Ljubljana, and finally, turning to North West, we are back in Italy pausing for a night in the Triglav National Park, on the shores of Lake Bled.

Postonja caves and Predjama castle

A few kilometers from the Italian border, in an area of large karst formations, is located (in my opinion) one of the greatest natural wonders of the planet: the caves of Postonja. Consist of miles of underground rooms and corridors with the ceiling and the ground made of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites sharp (in the field I am a bit ignorant and despite all the times they tell me what is one and what is the other, after a moment I already forget it). Access to the most spectacular rooms is preceded by a short train journey (reaaaally economic!) But the most emotion you can enjoy during the journey is on foot. The fame and beauty of this place attracts thousands of tourists each day and unfortunately this takes off the surreal and romantic atmosphere that emanates. On the other hand, apart from economic factors that I do not want to consider is a bit like a cat that bites its tail: the place is wonderful and so many people want to know, the human presence will ruin the atmosphere, but if you do not allow people to see anyone could enjoy its beauty. The solution may be restricted access, but in this case the entry fee to pay would rise and waiting lists would become interminable, with the need to book a visit months in advance. For these reasons I think it is proper to keep the opening to the caves (limiting access to a short stretch of them as is still done to ensure an adequate environmental conservation), with good pace of romantic like me, who have many other isolated places, and equally exciting on this planet, especially in the small Slovenia. An obvious example is the near Predjama Castle, built in the middle of a high rock wall of 123 m, much less crowded than the most famous caves. Isolated, hidden, embedded in rock, this castle offers a bit medieval and romantic atmosphere.

Ljubljana

In this country, a little larger than Piedmont, we pass within a few kilometers from the life of campaign of Postumia and around to the more lively and modern atmosphere of Ljubljana, the capital. In fact the city is small and compact around its castle, completely different from the western metropolis. With its churches and palaces, is one of the finest examples of Baroque in Central Europe. Closed between the river Ljubljanica and castle's hill  from which you can enjoy the splendid view of the city, currently has about 300,000 inhabitants. In the center of the city are still visible traces of the past: buildings, defensive moats, walls, towers, statues and religious testimony to the high level of civilization reached already in the distant past. 
Strolling in the small market town center or climbing up the castle along an alley between high walls, take us back a few centuries, when the life flowed slowly, the car was replaced by horse and wagon, the money from barter, the TV doesn't hypnotised in front of its screen thousands of children who were playing skipping the puddles on the street. They were definitely hard times, life could also be removed by a trivial or terrible epidemics, but it was a life lived fully, without the filter of a screen as what I have in front of hours while I write ... forgive me for this brief digression, but I have left to carry the imagination, we return to our trip now!

Triglav National Park

After we have spent a day in the capital and having walked the streets far and wide, we are preparing for the return in Italy and we head towards the north west. Just before the famous ski resort of Kranjska Gora, on the edge of the Triglav National Park, less than 50 km from the capital, is a lovely lake with a small island in the center where has been built a church. This is the heart of the Park: Bled, a true paradise for those seeking natural beauty and peace. Three exceptional pearls can be admired in this mountain village, the old castle, the lake and the island in the middle of the lake with its church. Bled castle is a silent witness to a distant past and proud above the top of a rocky ridge dominates the lake. In the lake are reflected the high peaks of the Julian Alps with Triglav to overcome them.

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Leo

Slow bicycle traveller with a passion for writing and photography. If he's not traveling he loves to get lost along the thousand paths that run through the beautiful mountains of Trentino and Lake Iseo surroundings where he lives, both on foot and by mountain bike.
Eternal Peter Pan who loves to realize their dreams without leaving them too long in the drawer, has devoted much of his life to cycling, traveling in New Zealand, the Balkans, Norway Argentina and many other countries. Lately he spent ten months by bike in South East Asia and crossed the Andes by bike.

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