When everything becomes still, the streets empty, the noises die down, the silence becomes overwhelming and I can finally hear it. The winter is here. First snowflakes lightly fill the air and the world turns calm and beautiful. Our hearts fill with joy and our minds with fantasies about our favorite corners of the world turning white. We go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of You
It’s that time of year again! We are all cheering, laughing, dancing, spending time with our loved ones, cooking, baking, and making our lives a little brighter at least for a few moments. I’m sure we’ve all seen better years or at least calmer and less stressful ones, and to be honest, more joyful years, too. I’m also sure that our biggest wish this year was to return things back to normal. Funny, right? For all those wishes we usually have and the little things that bother us and wish to change, once faced with a real situation with lockdowns and social contact restrictions, normality seems like heaven. Oh, the beautiful times when I shipped the kids to school and got those 7-8 hours for calm work! Oh to all those lunches and dinners that we spent at my parents’ (without having to cook or clean afterwards!)! Oh to all crazy get-togethers with my friends! Oh to all hikes, climbs and time I spent in the real mountains!! Life is not quite the same without all that, right?!
That’s why my greatest wish this year for all of us is to appreciate and enjoy life and enjoy the little things that we still have and can’t be taken away that easily. While I keep my fingers crossed that in the months ahead things will get back to normal, I also wish that we’ve all realized what’s really important in life, what’s worth fighting for, and what’s worth keeping regardless of the restrictions. To appreciate the little things that breathe meaning into our lives. Have a great Christmas, happy holidays and an awesome New Year, and make sure you spend the special moments the way you want to!
Here are a few highlights of my 2020…
Chasing the sun and views in the Karawanks: from Stol to Belščica
As the very last tourist has left Bled, and this enchanting little town seems almost too big for an occasional jogger or a couple enjoying the promenade around the lake, its nature has never looked more amazing and, best of all, more tranquil. The hazy fog colors light yellow as I drive through the sleepy town, and the forest around the lake looks pleasantly vibrant in the fresh morning sun that manages to peep through the fog. I’m tempted to make a stop to absorb this autumn scene, but the tour I had opted for in the Western Karavanke Mountains would be long and we’d need every minute of the dwindling daylight.
Hiking above Bohinj: Krstenica Plateau, Mt. Jezerski Stog, Mt. Adam and Eva
Sometimes a hike is just a hike. Sometimes it’s a portal to another plane of perception. These days, when Covid-19 is firmly setting its ground and has likely affected each and every one of us in one way or another, an escape to the great outdoors has never been more appreciated. We start the car and head towards the odd world without masks and hand sanitisers. Towards the world where panic is replaced by families of serenely grazing chamois, the virtual problems with the tangible ones, and busy streets by sunny little spots with amazing views. A place where we embrace life at its fullest.
5 epic hikes and climbs in Triglav National Park that will blow your mind
As much as I love snow and a white fairytale-like landscape, there’s still that tiny corner of my heart that misses the carefree summer adventures in the mountains. The kind that comes along with a relatively small backpack and less planning. Then autumn rolls around, and the mountain huts close down for the season, the cold sets in and the daylight shortens. The mountains empty and the trails, which had been very lively even a few weeks before, quiet down, and the silence is merely interrupted by an occasional whistle of a chamois and marmot. Nevertheless, autumn brings a different kind of magic.
With the best autumn days only to come, I encourage you to head out to the very heart of the Triglav National Park and enjoy the countless dreamy hiking trails that connect valleys with the rugged mountainous world. Here are my top recommendations for hikes and climbs in the Triglav National Park near Kranjska Gora and Bled – enjoy!
Climbing Triglav with kids: possible or better to skip it?
It’s the connection we have with nature and mountains, wandering steps into the unknown, carpets of colourful flowers along the trail, drifting clouds over towering peaks, and huge expanses to rest your gaze upon. It’s a way of life, and something all outdoor loving parents would wish to pass onto their children; but the question is: are your children ready to endure some mountain climbing? If you’re dreaming about conquering Triglav, the highest mountain of Slovenia with your child… you should know that you’re not alone and that there are many ways to climb it safely.
Getting into the mountaineering mode with the Pokljuka’s classics
It seems to me that the mountains are the greatest source of excitement, fun, energy and visual beauty. They are the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living. The pulse quickens, the heart pumps, the mind searches for all kinds of excuses—and then, in one impetuous, soul-soaring moment, we say, “I’m going to do this!” And off we go.
As we switch to summer hiking mode and follow the calls of the rugged mountainous world, it’s necessary that we’ve already done our share of physical and mental preparations beforehand. This year, after a few more or less stagnant months due to the coronavirus, when mountains were completely off the chart, preparations for mountaineering seem more important than ever!
Hiking in a flower paradise: Mt. Golica and its daffodils
It had been way too many weeks of a moderate to easy lockdown here in Slovenia and just when the people were on the brink of collectively losing their minds, the government called off the epidemic, started bilateral agreements with other EU countries for opening the borders, and reopened the primary schools. We all breathed a sigh of relief.
As of today, I can finally say my life is back to normal. In this spirit, I am very excited to explore my favorite country on earth like before and perhaps inspire your next outdoor adventure. Let me reintroduce a must-do hike in spring, which I happened to do two times last month: Mt. Golica.
Check Exploring Slovenia’s Golica guided tour and available dates
Epidemic and lockdown in Slovenia finished: calling for new adventures in the mountains!
Slovenia has formally declared an end of the coronavirus epidemic! We did it guys! Moreover, the borders are reopening and even a 7-day quarantine for EU citizens arrivals has been removed! As of now, our lives are finally returning back to normal. Knocking on wood… Still knocking…
We were all pushed into this practically overnight and boy can I say my sanity would have been long shredded into pieces if it wasn’t for one thing. Nature. Those long hikes in the reawakening nature, which just started to green up after the winter and grow beautiful flowers and blooming trees. And boy, were there many hikes…
A dreamy hike from Pokljuka to Lake Bohinj
*Note: Due to the coronavirus it’s extremely important to consider the government’s guidelines about social distancing and limitation of moving outside! All my adventures are always 100% compliant with the current guidelines. Nevertheless, the guidelines might change through time and so the adventures described here might not be in accordance with the updated guidelines. My advice? Take my adventures as a good read and save them as hiking ideas for the future 🙂
I have never seen skies so clear. Blue in their most pristine form. Free of air traffic and relieved of excess pollution. I have never seen or heard nature so pure. Bees and birds buzzing and singing about, the winds moving trees, and all the rest completely silent. I have never seen wild animals so comfortable so close to us. Bears leaving their traces just a couple of hundred meters into the forest, countless deer grazing in the fields, chamois, and even a fox in the field below our house. Completely fear free, it comes to catch mice together with our kitties. It seems nature has found a new balance; so unique it will be hard to give it up once our lives are back to normal…
Below the treeless spine of the Triglav National Park in northwestern Slovenia’s Julian Alps, on the southern rim of a lush spring-fed pasture of Pokljuka – it is here our perfectly isolated mountain home is situated and where my 22-km adventure started in late March. The place is a blend of tall Alpine forests and extensive meadows, in summer sprinkled with cows and sheep, and now with spring flowers popping out of the ground. Just a couple of kilometers northwest the vast plains are replaced by jagged peaks, seemingly tumbling away as if to the very edge of the world.