Autumn is near

Last weekend I used being up early in the morning, and went for a long walk to the Arboretum Volčji potok. It helped that I didn’t have a car for the day, and I walked there. According to Google it’s 6.6 km one way. A nice distance, and very managable as the route there is pretty scenic. I started off when the fog was still there, and the day just got better and better. Almost there, the view suddenly appeared. No longer under the tree shadows, the mountains came into view with some patches of fog lifting, and made the day very promising.

A view of the mountains

I left home without having a breakfast, as I was planning to have a bite at the botanical gardens. There’s not much there, just a small cafe serving treats. And the chocolate croissant was a treat. In case you’re wandering, the extra cup of milk was for the baby, not me.

Late morning breakfast in the sun
Late morning breakfast in the sun

I didn’t stay long there, as I was in a hurry to make it home on time for lunch. On our way out of the botanical gardens, I took more photos. I was a bit surprised to see the turtles sunbathing, as I haven’t seen them before. Well, they were partly hidden in the tall grass by the pond. It wasn’t hard photographing it, as it hardly moved while I took shots from various angles.

A turtle in hiding
A turtle in hiding
Always a working bee
Always a working bee
Unidentified bug
An unidentified bug and plant
Overview of the French Gardens
Overview of the French Gardens
Green was still the predominant colour
Green was still the predominant colour

Although green was the predominant colour, autumn colours were already showing in some parts of the park. I’m definitely going back soon to see more of the changing colours.

A glimpse of the autumn colours
Autumn reflections
Autumn reflections

On the way back I passed this old water mill, and I had to take one more picture.

An old water mill
An old water mill

Destination Lake Bohinj

Last Sunday in August, I finally took my family to Lake Bohinj. I usually go there at least once a year, as it’s one of my favourite places in Slovenia. It’s a combination of wild nature, clear water and pleasant climate. Since the summer holidays were ending, I was expecting a bigger crowd at the lake, also due to the nice weather, but I was wrong. There were visitors at the lake, but it wasn’t as crowded as during the summer season. This year, the lake was unusually worm, and that attracted many people to go there for a swim and to cool down.

If you’re planing a visit to Slovenia, Lake Bohinj should be on your list if you like nature. The coordinates of the eastern side of the lake are 46.278917, 13.885511. Basically, most of the infrastructure is a few kilometers away from the lake, and that makes it even more attractive. There are a shop, a turist office, a boat rental, and several cafes close by, but it’s the landscape that brings you to the lake, and you don’t really miss anything. The lake is also a starting point for hiking trips to the surrounding mountains. Water is usually prety cold, but refreshing and very clear. This summer, however, the temperature rose to about 24°C for several days. Even this last Sunday, the water was still refreshing, and swimming in the lake made my day even better.

St. John the Baptist's Church by the lake
St. John the Baptist’s Church by the lake
Bohinj_09
Lake Bohinj
Fish in the lake
Fish in the lake
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Colours of the lake
Under the trees
Under the trees
Fish in the lake
Fish in the shallow water of the lake
View across the lake
View across the lake

A trip down the memory lane to the sea

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.

Sunset at Piran
Sailing boats
Sunset at the pier in Portoroz
Looking down at my favourite beach in Slovenia
Mooring boats at the pier

The Wild Lake

The Wild Lake (Slovenian name is Divje jezero) is a karst siphon lake located near Idrija, Slovenia (45°58′56″N 14°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.

The Wild Lake
The Wild Lake
Panorama of the Wild Lake
Panorama of the Wild Lake
The rocks reflecting in the clear water
The rocks reflecting in the clear water

Keeping busy and active

Admitting I’ve slept through most of the afternoons last couple of weeks, I didn’t have much extra ”me time” to spend online. I need to get to bed much earlier in the evenings, but reading a book isn’t helpful, as I just keep turning pages. I started reading a book (that’s actually older than I am) The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel by accident. I’ll let you know how much I liked it, when I’m done. Just a hint, I take it with me on every walk I take with the stroller, but I usually don’t find a cosy spot to read, or the baby doesn’t sleep which means I can’t stop.

This afternoon I decided to check another location close by, an artificial lake Gradisko jezero (coordinates 46° 9’28″N; 14°42’47″E). I was positively surprised by the nature there. It’s actually close by to the highway, but hardly any traffic is heard. Even the narrow road to the lake was very picturesque. I was driving, so I couldn’t take any picture. But I took some with my phone on the way around the lake. It’s about 4.2 km and the path doesn’t follow the lake shore all the way around. There are actually some short climbs, which weren’t so comfortable with the stroller, but they were worth it. For sure, next time I’m going there, I’ll bring a real camera. For now, these are some of the highlights.

Starting point
Starting point
Surrounding hills
Surrounding hills
Glimpses of the lake
Glimpses of the lake
Looking to the starting point about half way around the lake
About half way around the lake
Reflections in the lake
Reflections in the water
Daisies
Daisies

The spring awakening

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.

Hellebore flowers
Reflections
A lonely daisy
Snowdrops
Spring snowflake
Saffron crocus
Park benches
Reflections in the pond

The Wild Lake

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.

Wild Lake
Green is everywhere
Tall trees surrounding the lake area