Another Cloudy Mountain Day

Trip Start Jun 08, 2010
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Trip End Aug 26, 2010


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Monday, June 21, 2010

I remember the "Sound of Music" opening with Maria running through the Alps, basking in sunshine. I'm pretty sure that was shot on a sound stage. During this trip I've been in the Swiss, Austrian, and Slovenian Alps, and haven't seen the sun even peaking out between the mountains yet.

As you can probably guess, today was all clouds, but at least there was no rain to speak of. I left Lake Bled and went one lake over to Lake Bohinj (Bohinjsko Jezero). Lake Bohinj is another large mountain lake, but much more rustic than Lake Bled. While Bled has been a center of tourism since the late 1800's, little development has been done around Lake Bohinj. There's just a few country hotels, a little camping, and a small church.

Accordingly, Lake Bohinj is known primarily for it's wilderness activities, and as a gateway for exploring Triglav National Park (Triglavski Narodni Park). There are a few small museums, but I didn't want to bank on the Alpine Dairy Museum being as interesting as the Beekeeping Museum was, so I decided today would be all hiking.

The tourist center had a few recommended hikes, and I started the morning with an easy trek up to the Savica Waterfall (Slap Savica). There were two parking lots with access to the fall. One at the base of the hill, and another about 3/4ths of the way up. I was feeling good, so I started at the bottom.

The path was wide, well marked, and ran along a small road for part of the trip. Unfortunately, this also made it fairly boring as it went through a few fields followed by an uninteresting section of forest. It didn't approach the river until it crossed it, at the edge of the upper parking lot. From there, the falls were accessed by a paved staircase. The waterfall itself was okay. It was tall and full of water from the recent rains, and I know poets have written about it, but I've seen a lot of waterfalls lately, so they've got to be something special to wow me at this point.

I returned to my car with plenty of time for another hike. My options were a stroll around the lake or a path along a mountain river. The lake path seemed rather tame, and recent experience has taught me I like walking alongside running water, so I chose the latter.

I was glad I did. It was much more entertaining than the morning hike, mostly because it was not well developed. The morning was a stroll. The afternoon was closer to a real hike. The trail was not paved, and for a large portion it wasn't even gravel. In some places where it was gravel, the trail actually ran through the beds of feeder streams for the main river. It certainly wasn't well marked, but I didn't worry about finding my way back since I just had to follow the river. I did worry about finding my way there, though, and sometimes resorted to letting other people catch-up with me and follow where they went, that is until I decided they didn't really know either.

Despite the fact I enjoyed the hike, I didn't go all the way to the end of the trail (I think it is supposed to end at another waterfall), because the cartoon maps they give you at the tourist center aren't adequate for the task when combined with a dearth of guideposts. I came to a mountain road and a pension and couldn't figure out where I was supposed to go from there. A couple that had been following me kept going down the road, but I had no idea how much farther it was to the end of the trail, or if the road meant the trail had ended. I'm still not sure. I would have needed either a detailed hiking map or more hours in the day to make it to the waterfall.

At any rate, tomorrow, I think there will be more hiking. Although my legs aren't quite cooperating tonight, I'm sure they'll forgive me in the morning.

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