“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. For going out… is really going in.” – John Muir
Family hiking: Triglav Lakes and Mala Tičarica
Our kids have finally reached the age when we can all pack the minimum of things, head towards the mountains and have a hell of a good time. Yay! Since it’s still warm (but not hot) and backpacks much lighter than in the colder months ahead, September is probably the best time to take a weekend trip to the mountains. And so we did.
Hiking in an abandoned ski resort: Zelenica
I prefer hiking alone. It’s the only space and time when I do exactly what I want. It’s also the way I perceive mountains when there is nobody there but me; it’s perhaps more adventurous and thrilling, and I definitely feel deeper and more wholesome, connecting to the nature with all senses. That’s why I was overly excited the other day to find a few hours just for myself alone and went hiking in an abandoned ski resort Zelenica.
A highly popular ski resort in the 70s and 80s, particularly so as shopping in richer Austria back then was just a short drive away, Zelenica used to be a perfect spot for professional training and recreational skiing. While it progressively declined over the last two decades, it still operated for some years until permanently closing in 2012. But the fun thing about an abandoned ski resort? The ski runs are still there for winter backcountry skiers, while hikers enjoy in easily accessible surrounding high mountains all year round. Not too crowded though, which makes it even more appealing.
At 10.30 AM light rain and misty fog and not a soul anywhere on the horizon.
Never stop having fun: adrenaline sledding in the Alps
There are days when I wake up and just need to do something crazy, something extraordinary. With that in mind, my husband and I took a few hours off work yesterday and drove to the Ljubelj Pass or Loibl Pass, one of our favorite starting points in Slovenia for hiking and other outdoor activities. This time we choose adrenaline sledding down from the oldest road pass in Europe at 1,370 m (4,490 ft) with a 320 m (1,045 ft) downhill descent and an average slope between 10-15%. We (and by “we” I actually mean “I”) dragged the sleds up all the way to the hut, enjoyed a cup of tea on a sunny terrace overlooking white mountains in the Karawanks chain, and then sled down exhilarated like two small children. 🙂
Here is a video of our sledding adventure and a few photos of the scenic hike. Enjoy!
Off the beaten path in Mt. Viševnik
It was one of those grey winter days when you need a big push to even consider going out into the cold. Just the same and just like every weekend, I showed no mercy. Equipped with sleds and skis for the kids, I packed everyone into the car and we drove to the mountains that we love so much. Our plan was to go crazy on one of the very few slopes in Slovenia still covered in snow. Well, my plan was to sneak away and hike in the real mountains. So we set off for Pokljuka, a recreational center 20 minutes from Bled with sledding for the kids, Nordic walking for my husband, and a number of easily accessible 7,000 ft peaks for me.
Although it was January, the otherwise completely white Pokljuka greeted us in green colors. Fortunately, at least one slope gave us a bit of hope for possible sledding fun, and as soon as it began, I was off to Viševnik, a 6,726 ft (2,050 m) mountain with great panoramic views over the roof of Slovenia, Triglav, and the Julian Alps.
Sledding down Šmarna gora, Ljubljana's popular hiking destination
I don’t know about you, but this is the most wonderful time of the year for me and my family. When the first snowflakes begin to fall, we all crowd by the window and watch how the snow slowly turns our little world into a white wonderland. Then, we all dress up like snowmen and hurry outside to do just another crazy thing. This time, it was sledding right from the top of Ljubljana’s favorite hiking destination, Šmarna gora. Let’s take a look.
At 2,195 ft (669 m) and a little less than a 1,000 ft (303 m) elevation gain, it is a popular hiking destination for the locals and tourists visiting Slovenia’s capital.