Posts Tagged With: mountains

Hiking in the Julian Alps

Panoramic view of Lake Bohinj from above.

Panoramic view of Lake Bohinj from above.

Our kayaking trip in Lake Bohinj was successful for two reason. First of all, it was just a phenomenal day out on the water in one of the most breathtaking locations I’ve ever been to. Secondly, it solidified the area as a jumping off point for a big day hike I had been wanting to take in the Julian Alps.

Surrounded by peaks on three sides, Lake Bohinj has enough trekking options to keep you busy for weeks, if not months. But, with just one day available for hiking, I consulted the Bohinj Visitor Center to ensure we picked a route and peak that would guarantee us some great panoramic rewards for our efforts.

The woman at the center was extremely helpful and pointed us in the direction of Vogel and its surrounding peaks, which are part of a ski resort during the winter. I was completely on board with this suggestion, but couldn’t understand why she kept stressing the importance of taking the cable car to the ski resorts base.

“No, we want to hike from bottom to top,” I insisted, even after she explained there would be plenty of strenuous distance left, even when starting from the ski resort’s base. She shrugged and explained I was adding on at least two extra hours of uphill, but sent me on my way with a map and an advance “I told you so.”

Making the climb. (It's much steeper than it looks, I swear.)

Making the climb. (It’s much steeper than it looks, I swear.)

We set out early the next day with Leedor and Michelle, two new friends from our hostel in Bled. At the bottom of the Vogel cable car we found the path that wraps up and around the mountain for service vehicles and those crazy enough to walk.

Of course, the woman at the visitor center was right, and it was complete madness to walk up the steep, loose gravel path when there was a perfectly good option to avoid it. With 90+ temperatures the whole day, we were panting, wheezing, and of course slipping, the whole way up, but I must say, we would have never had photo opportunities like the one below if we had taken the easy way.

Our friends, Leedor and Michelle, posing at a strategic rest point.

Our friends, Leedor and Michelle, posing at a strategic rest point.

Catching our breath.

Catching our breath.

After about two hours of climbing, and some minor panic that we might miss the exact path that would take us to the lodge at the top of the cable car to refill our empty water bottles, we stumbled upon a group of buildings that serve as a waypoint for hikers and skiers complete with an observation deck for Lake Bohinj and the highest peaks of the Julian Alps across the valley.

It was at this point that I no longer lamented our decision to climb from the bottom. Although we were exhausted, sweaty and thirsty, we had started at the lake that now looked so tiny and far away. I could appreciate the view and the distance a lot more knowing I had earned it.

Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak, shows itself across the valley.

Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak, shows itself across the valley.

The trek lead us through some otherworldly terrain.

The trek lead us through some otherworldly terrain.

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Categories: hiking, nature, photography, tourism, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring the High Tatras

So, as I mentioned earlier, my philosophy is the higher the better. I like hills, I love mountains, and I appreciate both exponentially more when I’ve reached the top. So when heading to Eastern Slovakia this past weekend, I had no choice but to stop by the Northern Slovakian mountain range, the High Tatras, for some hiking along the way.

Prior to my own excursion to Eastern-Central Europe, I had never even heard of this mountain range. More than likely, this is far more due to my own ignorance rather than their lack of reputation. However, if as few people outside of Slovakia realize what they are missing as I suspect, the High Tatras and the towns that lie in their shadow are being shorted of the reputation they deserve. I could go on for hours describing the undisrupted natural beauty, but the pictures tell a far better story than I ever could, so enjoy!

As far as mountain homes go, this is pretty near perfection.

View from the start of the trail

Interesting whirly weed. Not sure what it is, but I enjoy it.

Nearing the top of Siroke Sedlo

More than half way up Siroke Sedlo

We had to bundle as near the top the mountain became snowy…

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Categories: travel | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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