Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Alpine Dreams

Slovenia is a pretty small country.  It's only 20,273 square kilometers (about 8,000 sq mi), so it is a little smaller than New Jersey and a little bigger than Connecticut. It has a population of 2.05 million, so smaller than New Mexico but bigger than Nebraska.

But it packs a crazy amount of stuff into its small package.  It runs from a tiny coastline on the Adriatic, that feels very Mediterranean and Venetian, to massive peaks in the Julian Alps, that seem totally Austrian.

Because Ljubljana is a relatively flat and super green town, and the old city has narrow streets, it is easy to forget we are a stone's throw from some pretty spectacular mountains.  This is especially so when it is cloudy.  Even when it is sunny, clouds tend to sit on top of the mountains and obscure the view.  But when the sun comes out and I'm in my office, it is hard to take my eyes off of the Alps.  They just seem to dominate the view and the collective consciousness:

I have been advised by multiple people that the Alps are actually calling to be visited, so this weekend we went up to Lake Bohinj, which is just 78 kilometers away from our house.  Our first Alpine lake trip was in august to Lake Bled, which is deservedly one of the top sites in the country:
But Bohinj is even more spectacular.  Bigger, farther off the beaten path, and less touristy, it brings the SERIOUS mountain views:

The lake is fed by a river in and a river out, so it remains crystal clear:

We brought Bobo (who swam more than he walked):

Dahlia and Georgia were troopers on the 10 km hike:

It's been funny how much we've enjoyed the variety of the country.  From seashore to mountains is really just 3 hours or so, and cosmopolitan Ljubljana is right in the middle.


  1. Mary-Claire BartonOctober 15, 2014 at 4:07 AM

    So here we are in Bloomsburg PA...heading west tomorrow to Grove City and dinner with every VanTil in town. These photos are so beautiful, and I love that you do what you do in TN, hike.... and ditto for Bobo, only it is in a totally different place. What a beautiful autumn day in such an amazing place. Now on Booking.com I am getting emails about special hotel deals in: Trieste, Vienna, Cleveland, Ljubljana, Ann Arbor, Budapest, Grand Rapids.....well, you get the idea. They are all on the same screen with a picture or each. Visually the comparison between the Grand Union Hotel and the Econolodge is very interesting. Love you all so much.. momb

  2. I loved my time in Slovenia. The Navy took me to Koper in 2000, and I went back for a two week vacation with my wife in 2012. When I tell people about Bled I always talk about how impossible it is. If you went to your friendly neighborhood planet designer and demanded a picturesque lake, complete with a castle on a cliff, and an island with a church on it, he'd tell you to stop being silly. There's no way that would ever occur naturally. Yet Bled.

    We stayed the night in Bohinj, at Pensione Stare. The guy is a fantastic cook. If you ever get a chance to eat there, do it.

    Have you gone to Bovec yet?