The end of the year is always a great time to travel, either to snow covered lands or Christmas decorated cities. I had a chance for both, but my train conection didn’t allow much time off, so I didn’t get to see much of the Christmas decorations of the Austrian cities Salzburg and Innsbruck. Nevertheless, a short stay in south Tyrol mountains was very pleasant.
As I’m getting ready for my next business trip, I realized I haven’t finished my post on the last trip. I spent 5 days in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in early September. I didn’t have much time for sightseeing, but since this was my second time there, I simply enjoyed the scenery and warm weather. I discovered some interesting bookshops, and brought home lots of new books to read in the near future.
This was the first summer in a long time when I didn’t go to the seaside for at least a day. Considering I spent more than 3 years living on the coast, and enjoying the salty air, I might think I wouldn’t miss it, but I do. A trip down the memory lane brought some nice memories of swimming in the cool sea, walking down the promenade or simply enjoying sunsets at the beach. We only have about 46 km of the coastline, but we do have some beautiful spots along that line.
The Wild Lake (Slovenian name is Divje jezero) is a karst siphon lake located near Idrija, Slovenia (45°58′56″N14°1′41″E). It’s one of my favourite places and has a special place in my heart. The lake is close to where one set of my grandparents came from, and as a teen I often cycled to the lake and back when I stayed there. The lake is protected as a natural monument. It’s located between the rocky walls, and is also partially hidden from the road. The tall trees surrounding the lake are reflected in the water, and give the lake its specific blue colour. Additionally, it’s also known for its flora and fauna. In the lake you can find the brown traut, and in the caves bellow the water numerous underground animals, including the famous proteous. Around the lake in cold and shady niches, more than 150 different ferns and seed plants, of which many are typically found in the Alps. If you’re ever in the vicinity, this is a place worth to stop by even if it’s just a short break on the road.
It’s been a while since my last post, and a lot happened in this time. Mostly, I was kept to busy to sit behind the computer, and I spent much more time outside than I did before. The reason for this was extremely nice weather, sunny and warm with little winds. Also, the days got longer, and it was great taking even longer walks in daylight. I used the opportunity and went to visit a local botanical garden Arboretum Volčji potok. Considering I bought a year ticket, I’ll be there again and many times. It’s the largest horticultural facility in Slovenia, and very well known. When travelling, I always try to visit local parks and botanical gardens, but for some reason this didn’t apply locally. Now that I’m living very close to the Arboretum, I took the opportunity and went there for a long walk. The grounds is about 80 hectare, and there’s a lot of paths around it. As I went there in the middle of a work day, and since the spring is at the beginning, there were hardly any visitors. To top it off, a very nice elderly lady I met at the entrance gate while leaving the park, made a nice comment about my age while chatting about leaving home and living on your own. Apparently, in her eyes I was a 20 year old. No need to say, I’ll be back to the park to here more comments like this. And to see the nature bloom, too.
Every now and then, I visit the Wild Lake (slovenian Divje jezero), located near Idrija. The lake is special in many ways. It is protected as natural monument since 1967. It is small, but goes very deep. The steeply inclined tunnel has been explored to the depth of 160 m. The lake is also the source of the river Jezernica, a tributary to river Idrijca, and at 55 m the shortest river in Slovenia. What I like about the place is the nature. It is surrounded by high rocks and tall trees, and is a very relaxing place with its green waters.
Couple of days spent in Brussels, gave me an impression of the city. I haven’t seen much, mostly the every day afternoon hustle and bustle of busy streets filled with tourists. First few days were rainy, and it’s amazing how a city scape can change with a sun above.
Almost all the lamp posts in the city centre were decorated with voluminous and colourful flowers.
Mannekin Pis, the world known landmark of Brussels, is hidden on a corner just slightly off from the Grand-Place square.
Almost every street near the city centre had an enormous selection of waffles with different toppings.
I was much less impressed by the Atomium, an insteresting and unusually styled building. However, given my lack of time, the impression would be likely different had I had enough time to wait in the queue to see the city scape from the highest sphere.
One of my favourite spots in every city are the parks. The Brussels park is the largest one in the city centre and it offers a green roof above the visitors.
The last few hours before boarding the plane back home, I spent relaxing on a bench in the Brussels park enjoying Agatha Christie’s novel.