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Soča Valley Instameet

Soča Valley is one of the most beautiful and most visited parts of Slovenia, but a bit remote too – it takes two hours to get there from Ljubljana by car! It was the sixth Instameet by Igslovenia but first one at such a remote location so it took us a while to finally decide to do it. We have partnered with Dolina Soče tourist organisation and it’s representative and @socavalley administrator, Tatjana, has greeted us on Saturday morning in the charming small city of Kobarid. It was the first time that Sanja and me didn’t meet any of the participants before and they didn’t know each other so we were breaking the ice with coffee while waiting to enter the small bus, courtesy of Dolina Soče.

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It didn’t take long since the light is important for photographers and we were all there just for that – to take some photos together.

Soča Valley is very beautiful, long and popular. Success of the photos with Soča River can be compared to those with Bled Island, at least on our Instagram account. These photos are usually taken from 4 – 5 different locations  between Kobarid and the end of Trenta Valley (where is the source of Soča River). But the valley has so much more to offer and we are never satisfied with the obvious so we decided to start with some parts of the valley which are not so well known.

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Nadiža River is technically not a part of the valley – it’s turqoise waters, torrential during the frequent storms, originate under the massive Stol range. At the foot of mount Matajur it turns south, crosses the border into Italy and concludes it’s 60 kilometer journey when it joins the river Ter (Torre). Who would care about details like this since it is only a few minutes drive from Kobarid and it is in summer populated not only by locals but by people even from Nova Gorica, almost 50 km away – still  by the Soča River. And with a reason – it is very warm and has carved out pools and gorges, as well as depositing numerous shingle beaches. It is one of the cleanest and warmest Alpine rivers, some even say it has healing properties.

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Tatjana was also part time our tour guide and she proposed to start exploring with Nadiža throughs, one of the most beautiful parts of the river and even less crowded since the access by cars is forbidden. We parked the bus in a small village Kredo to reach the river after 10 minutes walk which was not without surprises.

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We had to cross the river with a hanging bridge and find a narrow steep path to the throughs – not without some effort but for a good reason though!

 

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The untouched wild beauty just put everybody in his own movie and the day finally really begun.

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More surprises on the way back to the bus – how to persuade one of the two horses to step over the wires back into its designated places. Just one hint – success is not proportional to the number of photographers who want to help:).

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Next stop on the Nadiža River was the famous Napoleon Bridge. The famous stone bridge crossing the Nadiža gorge dates to around 1812 and stands mute testament to the routes crossing the area since at least the time of Ancient Rome. The bridge used to form part of the ancient route from Pradol and Robidišče along the Nadiža riverand further to the east. Current bridge was built at the time of the French emperor’s conquests, hence its name. Its uniqueness and technical accomplishment make it a precious architectural monument and a memorial to times past.

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The bridge is just a few steps from the road so we were all immediately in full action – searching for different views, angles and approaches.

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We were never short of voluntary models.

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Of all sexes…

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and species…:)

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Photo by Ingmar Wein

There is a great photo of our dog, Tara, also in @sebo262‘s feed!

 

Our next destination was Robidišče: The village of Robidišče lies on the western edge of Slovenia. From the north, west and south it is enclosed by the state border. Across the border lies the Venetian Slovenia to which the village always gravitated. The old village is itself a living monument of times past.

After WW2 in 1947 Robidišče was cut off from Venetian Slovenia by the Iron curtain. Because of this more than 150 locals packed their belongings onto wagons, crossed the border into Italy and never returned. The village was drastically changed in 1976 when an earthquake with magnitude 8 on Richter scale shook the village. The reconstruction of the village was never completed and the village decreased. In 1869 the village had 178 inhabitants and in 1910 the number rose to 228. In 1991 there were only 17 people living in Robidišče and the number fell to 8 in 2000.

 Robidišče is a nice starting point for hiking in the neighbourhood and admiring the old architecture. The highlight is the Vanče’s house which is over 300 years old and in which the original smoke kitchen is preserved. /breginjskikoten.wordpress.com/

IMG_5600The village is charming but we have to admit that itself does not offer many photo opportunities – the village is small and houses renewed . We didn’t say it offers none though:)

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There is a magnificent view on Mt. Stol just beside the village but the sun was already pretty high and the skies clear – sunrise or sunset are definitely worth trying.

It was a hot day and after two working stops a short break with courtesy refreshments at Turistična kmetija Robidišče made no harm to anybody. The all local food was great too but we had to leave. Hop-on, Hop-off bus was waiting on us. It was his first day on duty in the season or better to say, a pre-day of duty since it served only our group – otherwise it is a seasonal service which a few times a day drives to some more remote tourist destinations like Robidišče. Visitors thus don’t need to drive their cars or rent them and are also start their cycling or hiking tours at the optimal starting points etc..

FullSizeRender-19Narrow and steep road took us again over the Nadiža upper stream, a pretty popular bathing spot and quite crowded already, so we just checked out @ingmarwein‘s levitation skills. We have already found out before that Tina of @followsunsets is a great model:)

Our next destination was Breginj, a village nested bellow Mt. Stol. The clustered old Breginj was an architectural pearl of Venetian Slovenian architecture. The ground plan of the village was round with concentric alleys called landrone. Most of the houses were built from stone with wooden exterior corridors (gank), stairways, balconies (linde) positioned on wooden or stone pillars with big overhangs and agricultural frescoes on the facade. The farmhouses were joined by intriguing sets of underpasses and overpasses. After the earthquake of 1976 the whole village was completely rebuilt. The remaining traditional houses are now a local museum/breginjskikoten.wordpress.com/

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Unfortunately rebuilding the village was focused only to give the people shelter and no historical elements were taken into account. Bot location itself is a very charming one and there are some views on the village, the mountains and the church above the village we wanted to explore.

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A short examination from the best photo spot above the village cut down our expectations  – it was middle of the day and clear skies, the light not appropriate for taking photos there so we decided to leave it for some other time. Photos above are from our previous visit.

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One of the most popular destinations around Kobarid and in the valley itself is a Kozjak Waterfall. The picturesque Kozjak waterfall is caught in a stony amphitheatre not far away from Kobarid. It can be reached by an easy walking path by the riverbed of the emerald Soča River. /www.dolina-soce.com/

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The Kozjak brook, feeding the Soča river from the east (on the left), springs high beneath Mt. Krnčica (2142 m), and runs through many pools making six waterfalls. One of Slovenia’s most picturesque waterfalls, the Veliki Kozjak, was created in the outlet of the lower Korita of the Kozjak Brook.

Approximately 250 meters lower, the water falls again. Here, the waterfall carved an underground hall. Its bottom is covered by a vast blue and green pool, and its walls are reminiscent of those in the Karst caves. A 15 meter high white water column offers its visitors an unforgettable scenery./www.dolina-soce.com/

Unfortunately popularity equals crowd. It is tough already to get a decent picture of the waterfall given the closed natural amphitheater with scattered source of light. When crowded it is even more difficult to get a shot without people standing in the way. But for dedicated photographer nothing is too difficult:)

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Photo Ingmar Wein

Activity on the photo is illegal though:) You can check out a bit more classical take at the waterfall on @lukakotnikphoto‘s, @alanjereb‘s and @dejskovski‘s feed.

It was time for beer, some great pancakes (salty editions) in the camp near the river and slowly saying “goodbye, nice meeting you”. Phones were also ready for first posts:) Also girls from @igposocje took break in their studying for exams to greet us on their home territory.

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On the way back to Kobarid some of us stopped at another classic spot to photographing Soča River, another bridge called Napoleon’s:).  @dani.kla got his classic shot with kayaks there (check out in his feed) and I got @ingmarwein  and @feinerkerl in action.

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Some of us stayed for the rest of the day or even weekend, some headed for other great photo spots in the area. A week would probably be enough to cover only the best spots of the valley, not even trying to hike the less accessible waterfalls, villages, pastures and peaks.

We had a great day, made great photos and most important – some new friends! We thank everybody for joining us and especially Dolina Soče for hospitality!

More photos from the event: #instameetsoca and feeds of the participants. More detailed descriptions of some destinations are available in Where to in Slovenia section and we will be adding more of them.

Photos @zokus_gf ,  @sanya_lt  and @ingmarwein.

Narration:@zokus_gf .

Instameet in Soča Valley

Yes indeed, finally we are meeting in the beautiful Soča Valley! On Saturday, 17th June at 8.00 we meet in Kobarid in front of TIC Kobarid (Trg svobode 16) and leave to explore some more distant parts of the valley at 8.30 with a mini bus Hop ON, Hop OFF (special route for us courtesy of @socavalley).

We will be heading  to Nadiža River first – Podbela and Napoleon Bridge, followed by a visit of Robidišče, an old village on the border with Italy. Next stop will be in Logje on our way to Breginj.

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We will be back in Kobarid sometime in early afternoon, proceeding on our own with exploration of Soča river and probably some waterfalls, depends on the weather and inspiration.

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Number of participants is limited. Apply by email: info@igslovenia.si. Please state your full name and your Instagram user name in application.

See you there!

Ljubljana Castle

I’ll be honest: Ljubljana Castle is my favourite photo-spot in Ljubljana. Perched on top of a hill, just above the old town, it offers amazing views on the whole city and surrounding area, all the way to Kamnik-Savinja & Julian Alps. Wherever you look, whatever you do … there is something to see & photograph; the castle itself, architecture details, people (getting married), couples in love, rich cultural program, view on the city, mountains in the distance … It really doesn’t matter what are you looking for … you will find it!

There are many trails leading to the top of the castle and every one of them offers different photo opportunities. Ok, the easiest way to get up there is to take the funicular (located near the central market, on the Krekov trg), but taking photos from the funicular is no fun (due to the ‘dirty’ windows you will never get the photo you are looking for).

Ljubljana Castle window

So – walk! My favourite time to visit the castle is spring, when colour green takes over the castle forests. Walking up there between lush green trees opens ‘windows’ in the trees allowing you to take picture perfect photos.

I also love the views from the castle in the winter, when you can see almost all city. I prefer view toward Trnovo district (south-west of the city), where you can take best sunset photos. Don’t forget; You will never be alone at the Castle Hill in the sunset time, so if you are looking for a really nice place and photo – be there before sunset!

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Also – don’t forget to visit the Castle Tower! It offers unobstructed (360) view of the city so – it’s a must! The views of the city from here are the best and you can capture details of the rooftops & Ljubljana’s notable bridges, squares and buildings.

If you get hungry  or thirsty… there are 2 restaurants (that I really, really like), Strelec & Gostilna na Gradu and a Castle Coffe House, so … just sit down and enjoy. If you need more ideas about perfect photo spots don’t forget to check out an amazing SNAPP guide to photographing Ljubljana by dear friend, Luka Esenko.

So … when in Ljubljana … Castle is a must. Also – let me know you are around. I’ll just might join you.

Sanja

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Instameet No5 – Brdo pri Kranju (Brdo Estate)

Park of Brdo Estate is beautiful in all seasons but autumn has a special charm. It was a beautiful sunny day which exposed all the vibrant colours for us. But let’s begin from the beginning – we organised this Instameet with the help of Brdo Estate marketing team which made sure that  more than 20 participants didn’t need to pay the entrance fee and we got more than rich welcome snacks and picnic baskets before the sunset.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.21.33Hotel receptions/estate guide explained some of the rich history of the estate which you can read on their site or shorter version in our announcement.

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We passed the modern congress centre just after the entrance and the exploration went under way. Everybody tried to get a nice shot of the red tree.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.20.22Colours, swans and reflections were the key words of the day.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.31.27We indeed had a lot of fun with the swans…Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.21.01...especially the black model….

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.20.36…but also with each other! A threesome here…

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.19.35There is a small herd of Lipizzaners at the estate, available for riding but also working.

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This time we didn’t try to keep the group together, everybody explored the park by themselves but there was an important meeting point.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.18.03Picnic baskets provided by the host were full of local specialities and nobody stayed hungry. Just imagine a beautiful summer day under the trees with the picnic basket and some more romantic company…

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Picnic took place at the beginning of a very special tree-lined lane, an ideal photo setting.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.17.33Eating we had been waiting for the sunset – it was not spectacular since the weather was so bright and dry but still – worth the wait.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.23.47Photo by @zupssss.

More photos of the Instameet are to be found in the album Instameetbrdo on Facebook page and on Instagram under tags #instameetbrdo and #brdoestate. Much more about the Brdo Estate  in Where to in Slovenia in coming days. Stay tuned, also for the next Instameet coming soon.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

 

Instameet in Kranj, Slovenia

What? Instameet!

Where? Kranj, Slovenia

When? Friday, 2nd of September, 6 pm

Who? @igslovenia & @visitkranj & YOU!

We will meet at Khislstein cafe (MAP), get a coffee and check the open Instagram gallery on the Khislstein wall. At the meeting point we will give you the insight of the city and its 6000 years of history. Than we will discover the Old Town of Kranj and Kokra canyon. In search of the best and most photogenic locations we will wander the small and charming streets of Kranj. Street art, historic sites, artistic shops and bustle of the city will accompany us along the path. The Instameet will end at the sunset. After the last photo snaps we will head to a local microbrewery “Kranjsko pivo” and enjoy the deserved beer!

Who can come? Anybody! Instagramers, photographers, mobile photographers or people who would like to discover Kranj, meet some Instagramers and have fun.

We kindly ask all of you who will join to let us know that you are coming so it will be a little easier for us to organize everything; Send us an e-mail to info@igslovenia.si.

Looking forward to meet you all!

Photo by Leena Jerončič, @stellap0laris

Photo by Ian Rožanc, @ianrozanc

Photo by Leena Jerončič, @stellap0laris

What is an instameet?

An InstaMeet is a group of Instagrammers meeting up to take photos and videos together. That’s it! An InstaMeet can happen anywhere and be any size. They’re a great opportunity to share tips and tricks with other community members in your area, and an excuse to get out and explore someplace new! For more information check Instagram Community page.

A photo from our last instameet in Koper, Slovenia. We had so much fun!

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Instameet in Koper was amazing!

As you all know we had an Instameet in Koper, Slovenia on the 25th of June. The plan was simple: To meet Instagrammers in front of the beautiful Praetorian Palace and then go for a walk around the town. Our dear friend, local photographer, Jaka Ivančič, promised that he will show us everything there is to see and help us find the best views Koper has to offer. And we were not disappointed! Not at all.

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First Instagrammers on Titov trg / Square.

First of all; more than 30 people showed up on that day. Most of them from Slovenia but we had also a big group of people from Russia. We always get some people from other countries so we can say; Igslovenia Instameets are international! And it is always great to meet new friends!

After a cold drink (We needed it. The day was just hoooooooooot!) we had the pleasure to enjoy the Praetorian Palace with a guide of our own. Thank you, TIC Koper & Nika!

Discovering the town was a special kind of fun; Jaka picked the best streets and told us everything there is to know about Koper (Did you know it was an island once? And that it had city walls bigger than Dubrovnik??)  Also when 30 people with cameras are walking around the town, photographing everything there is and especially each other … fun is guarantied!

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Old Town Koper.

Looking for the best view.

The views from the church tower were just perfect and well worth of 3XX steps (I’m quite sure the number is close to 400!?) that we had to take to get to the top. But Jaka saved the best for the last; Tomos building which is now empty & closed for public was just ours. This part of the Instameet was just for the bravest, but the ones who climbed to the roof were not sorry. Not only this is THE building to be to take best photos of Koper, there were  tons of opportunities to photograph the building itself and feel its (probably not so happy but extremely interesting) history.

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View from the church tower.

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Looking down from the church tower.

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View of Koper from the Tomos building.

 

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At the top of the world.

 

Industrial touch

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Only the brave ones.

We will not tell you anything more about how fun it was to spend also the evening in Koper, drinking beer and having fun with new friends. Next time – be sure to join us. #simple

Thank you all who helped & thank you all who came. Hope to see you soon again! ***

Sanja Leban Trojar, @sanya_LT

Instameet in Koper, Slovenia

What? Instameet!

Where? Koper, Slovenia

When? 25. 6. 2016, 18:00.

Who? Team @igslovenia, @jaka_ivancic, @visitkoper & YOU!

Since summer is just around the corner and since we haven’t met for a while, we decided two things; We have to do an instameet and we have to do it on the Slovenian Coast. The plan is simple;

Team @visitkoper will welcome us at 18.00 in the beautiful Praetorian Palace (Pretorska palača)* in Koper, then @jaka_ivancic, our dear friend and an amazing local photographer, will show us around.

*check the location on the MAP.

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We will be discovering Koper through the eyes of our cameras, trying to find just the best photo locations. Jaka promised he will show us some nice places, some of them you might already know and some of them are a secret to all of us. (We can only tell you that you can’t visit them if you are ‘just a tourist’ in Koper:-0)

We are planning to walk around and snap photos until the sun sets (just to get the best light) and then we will go to a local beer festival and focus on the ‘meeting’ part.

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Who can come? Anybody! Instagramers, photographers, mobile photographers or people who would like to discover Koper, meet some Instagramers and have fun.

We kindly ask all of you who will join to let us know that you are coming so it will be a little easier for us to organize everything; Send us an e-mail to info@igslovenia.si (there are some bottles of really good beer (thanks to 4. Cameralov Festival Mikropivovarjev) waiting for those who will apply first)

Looking forward to meet you all!

PS; Since some of our guests aren’t drivers, please; when applying – let us know where you are coming from, if you have a car and if you can offer a ride to another Instagramer. Thanks!

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*all photos by – Jaka Ivančič!

 

It is – instameet time!

What?  #igslovenia #instameetIMG_1421

Who? @igslovenia team, our special friend –@muenchmax and all of you!

When? Friday, 29. 5. 2015 at 16.00.

Where? Ljubljana, Kongresni trg (Congress Square)

We are planning on starting with a coffee (a must when in Ljubljana) and then we will do a photo-walk together. You will have the opportunity to see the streets and squares of Ljubljana, the famous Ljubljanica river and its bridges, for better views we will climb on the Castle Hill and we are planing also on discovering some hidden gems of Ljubljana that are just perfect for taking photos. During the walk we will (for sure) exchange some information about photography, best photo apps and best photographers to follow on social media.

Anybody can join us; people who love Ljubljana, tourists, photographers, Instagramers or people who just like some good company. We would be also happy to listen to your ideas; what is there to see and where we just must go … and if you own a bar, restaurant or just want to welcome us – don’t hesitate to let us know. You will get all the additional information at info@igslovenia.si.

We kindly ask all of you who will join to let us know that you are coming. This way you will make it much easier for us to organise this meeting and find a bar big enough to fit us all … when we will get thirsty. So – once again; apply by sending an email to info@igslovenia.si. 

Looking forward to meet you!