these are the posts tagged ‘karavanke’:

tromeja = 3 borders

yesterday we joined the ics club on a hike to tromeja, which is a special hill on top of which the borders of slovenia, austria and italy meet. it was in this hill that in may 2004, officers from the 3 countries shook hands to welcome slovenia into the european union.

sunday was the perfect day for hiking, with blue skies and gentle breeze – a day just begging to be spent outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. the hike started in rateče, which is a small lovely town in itself. we’d been in the area a few times to see the ski jumping competitions, but never thought of turning right instead of left! the town is so picturesque, it’s almost postcard perfect. like my dad would say, “sometimes i feel like i’m inside ‘the sound of music'”. :)

there are two ways to the top of tromeja: quick & steep, or slow & easy. we picked the latter for the ascent, and took our time in the two-hour climb, stopping now and then to enjoy the view of the meadows and the alps.
the summit was crowded with people, since it was the day to celebrate the friendship between the three countries. the views were breathtaking and stretched as far as villach and klagenfurt on the austrian side, and planica valley on the slovenian side. there was live music, people in costumes, donkeys (!) and plenty of local delicacies from all the countries.

on the way down, we took the steeper slope, and shaved off a bit of time… though not so much, as we stopped frequently for pictures and stretched on the grass at the lower hut to recharge energies…
all in all, pretty much a perfect day :)


yesterday we went to austria for a night balloon festival, which was going to be great: 40 or so balloons in a little village in a mountain, lighting up their ‘fires’ in the night to the sound of music. just dreamy… but when we got to the hostel we had booked, we realized it was actually 20km from the festival, far up a hill… it was dark already and snowing, and i was afraid we would get stuck somewhere in the middle of the night. so… yesterday we went to austria and instead of seing a balloon festival, we spent a night in a hostel.

and it was well worth it, if only for the trip! :) just two hours away from here, austria is this snowy fairyland, filled with monochromatic sceneries and people who don’t speak english. so intriguing.

anyway, pictures. this is the view to which we woke up in the hostel, which made it all worthwhile:
the view from our hostel

and the road we had to go on for over a kilometer to get there:
the road to our hostel!

it doesn’t seem as menacing in the morning, but at night, i was pretty scared. it’s all the way up a steep hill in what looks like just a path someone drew in the snow!

on the highway, mountains and pine trees covered in snow and mist all the way there and back:

near the karavanke tunnel
on a rest stop

and the tunnels. we made 20 km in tunnels in this trip *gulp*, the most menacing of which being the karavanke tunnel:

(pardon the specks in the pictures, the water in the windshield was frozen most of the trip… :))

the mountains in the distance

friends have been asking for piiiiiiictures, but i’ve been laaaaazy to take them. truth is, we really like it here. we’ve visited lakes, castles and thermal spas, drank gluhwein, done some geocaching, and even went to austria! slovenia feels easy and relaxed, and that’s how we’ve been enjoying it. i plan to report on ‘our life on slovenia’ in more detail… but i’m postponing that to 2010 since we’re leaving for portugal next week :)

i took some photos of the karavanke mountains though, because they were the first thing that made us go “wow!” when we got here. on nice days, you can see them a bit from everywhere in the city, and if you climb all the way up to ljubljana’s castle, you can have a really good view at their snowy peeks in the distance.
the view from ljubljana castle

last friday we had a close encounter with them, while crossing the country on our way to austria (ikea!). they’re magnificent, like a children’s drawing of the perfect mountains!
karavanke mountains
karavanke mountains

what was not so magnificent was the 7.8km tunnel we had to drive through to cross them…