Slovenia: Triglav National Park

Today we drove. We drove, and drove, and drove.
We’d decided to do a tour of Slovenia’s Triglav National Park by car. We’d heard of a fantastic tour from Bled that does a similar route for €60, but with our own car felt we would have more flexibility and fun to do it ourselves. With apparently just 2 and a half hours driving in total this seemed really doable. I’d debate how it took us over 7 hours of driving the achieve the same route – we must have been looking at very different trips! However if you’re up for some exploring here is our adventure!

We more or less followed the outer perimeter of the national park in the pic below:

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After an hour or so of driving to get us off the motorway we stopped for some classic Slovenian grub. Cor, do they know how to cut up a piece of cake – look a the SIZE of these things!! I had layers of cream, apple, pastry and…well I don’t know what else it is made of but it was awesome!

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Breakfast done, we got back on the road. The beauty of driving yourself is that you can stop wherever you like. Our first unscheduled stop was this beautiful lake outside Kranjska Gora. The water was completely clear and looked so fresh. In fact it would have definitely been drinkable as it came straight off the mountain and was icey cold! (Much colder than you’d believe from the photo which numbed my feet and ankles for the next hour!)

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Once we got back to the car we hit the hills, and boy were the fun to drive! I was thrilled to be in the driving seat (and I think the others were happy about this too once I established my road position, having never driven a left-hand drive before!) – we wound round 180 degree bends going higher and higher, with our ears popping. We passed so many cyclists that I felt pretty guilty for powering past when I should also be training! About half way up we found a super stopping point with mountain views, a little mountain track walk and some good history. We leant that the mountain pass was built by Austrian prisoners of war, many of whom died in avalanches during the build.

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And can you spot the face if ‘the Pagan girl’?

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I stopped a few more times on the way up the mountain for photo opportunities, as every angle offered something new! (Not sure the others agreed, as they sat in the car overheating..)

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Our next, and probably best spot (you’ll spot it as its virtually impossible to park with all the other cars there, and it’s the last point in the road before you start going down again) was the top of the mountain, the highest point you can drive to. We grabbed a drink in the little restaurant and then while the girls finished their beers I decided to take a hike. It honestly was one of the best things I did all day! Like a little mountain goat I scampered up the mountain side which has a slight path but is mainly rock-hopping and sliding. I would have loved to carry on up to the mountain pass but was conscious of time as the others waved from me, the size of ants, below. I’d definitely spend longer up here if I did it again, it was stunning.

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From here you can also see the wiggly roads we drove – awesome!!

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I went and joined the others and managed to persuade them to do more walking with me back up the other side of the mountain. I just didn’t get bored of the views – everything was so vast, yet fresh and clear too.

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Back to the car, and back to the wiggly wobbly roads.
This time our destination was the source of the Soca river. We found a place to park up by part of the river and headed upstream. It was a pretty treacherous route but so much fun to climb and worth every step!! The source is a drop down to a crystal clear (well, blue) pool that was mesmerisingly still, clear and deep.

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After all of this we were faaaamished so had a little stop off for some Slovenian sausage.

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Back to the car (are you beginning to see how it stacked up to 7+ hours of driving?!) but almost the furthest we could be from home we decided to crack on with a big section of driving. Every village in we passed seemed to end just a few metres from where it started which meant they were all very small and quaint. In fact so small that our maps didn’t pick them up so we did have to do quite a bit of guesswork in our navigating but all seemed to go well. We had a quick stop off at Most Na Soce for a quick dip and beer before another long old bit of motoring to Lake Bohinj.

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Lake Bohinj was so stunning, particularly in the 7pm light. I could have spent a lot longer here if we’d have had more time to spare. It was so still and blue but did lack the feel and familiarity of our lovely Lake Bled…

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I desperately wanted to end our adventures with a trip to Slap Savica, a beautiful waterfall, but hadn’t realised you need to pay to get in, plus at this time it was closed so we missed out on that but I think were all happy to head ‘home’ and there was a huge sigh of relief when our fave lake came into view. All ready for bed pretty immediately!

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