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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.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.25.02Photo by @selecshine

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…

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.24.29Photo by @simm_photography

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 Brdo Estate – Brdo pri Kranju

Autumn colors are in full blow but won’t remain for long. So it is a right moment for the next #instameet in the right surroundings of The Brdo Estate Park. Park is now open for public and represents a unique study of history, culture, architecture and nature thanks to 500 years of uninterrupted development. Many of the park’s trails lead visitors past buildings from various historical times. We’ll have free entry and a guidance.

Instameet will take place on Saturday, 29th October at 14.30 until sunset. Meeting point is at the reception of Hotel Brdo where we will start with a coffee and some introduction. 

Hastags: #instameetbrdo #brdoestate

Due to the limited number of participants an email application is obligatory: info@igslovenia.si.

More about this unique location from their web page:

A mansion was built there already in 1446. Most ob the 20th century it was closed for public – between 1935 and 1941 Brdo was under the ownership of the Karađorđević family (Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and his wife Olga). They thoroughly restyled the castle and the land and Brdo soon became one of the most beautiful estates in Yugoslavia; a luxurious government summer residence. Besides the royal family, only a few chosen ones were allowed to access the estate. After the war it became a residence of Josip Broz Tito and even today it is in a protocolar use.

Between 1785 and 1790 Karl Zois designed the first Alpine botanical garden in Slovenia. He planted it with a variety of Alpine plants, which he  collected on his mountain hikes. In addition to the botanical garden, the Brdo park also had two promenades, a viewing platform, a baroque park, a tree nursery, and the flower, winter and party gardens. At the end of the 18th century 10.686 plants already thrived in Brdo park (7.446 tropical plants and more than 3.000 fruit trees).

It was renovated many times since than but always around nature and beauty. Beautiful old trees and ponds with a castle and cottages on the estate are worth visiting for themselves. Autumn is a particularly interesting due to different colors of the nature and beautiful view at the surrounding mountains in clear weather can make your day and photo.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Lake Cerknica

Lake Cerknica, the largest disappearing (intermittent) lake in Slovenia, is one of my favourite places in Slovenia to photograph. It might not have the charm of Ljubljana castle or the definitive beauty of Lake Bled, but it has something more. I would call it the ‘raw beauty’ or simple beauty of nature that is changing all the time! When full, Lake Cerknica is the biggest lake in Slovenia, when there is not a lot of water you will ‘only see’ fields on which cattle can graze. But not only water, everything changes here, paths, colours, boats, trees, flowers … you just have to keep returning and discovering new point of views.

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If you are looking for a short (photo) visit just park your car near the Museum of Lake Cerknica and walk down by the road. Most of the photos you can see here were taken from the road. To discover the real magic of the lake and its surroundings take your time! Check all the paths you can find, search for boats in the water, sinkholes, rent a bicycle (another thing that you can to on the spot, at the Museum). Don’t forget! The lake freezes in the winter and you will see many people ice-skating on the lake!

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Source of the Krupa River

The source of the Krupa River is the largest and one of the most beautiful Karst springs in Bela krajina. Water flows from under the 30 meters high rock wall and creates a nice pool in the middle of green lush nature. Not only the spring is interesting as the home of some rare species such as the Cave Salamander and some other but it also offers some nice photo opportunities.

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The pool is actually not a pool:) It is an artificial lake since there is a dam just a few meters down the river, created to run the sawmill. The building is still there and it makes a nice addition to your photos.

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You will find the spring of the river Krupa in the village Krupa. Leave your car on the marked parking spot and walk down to the river. It is a really shot walk (5 minutes) and since the area is not that big you can take your time:) When you finish discovering the spring be sure also to take the walk down by the river and enjoy the beautiful nature. The path is marked and it passes also some other interesting spots like caves and churches but – to do a full circle it will take you around 4 hours. So if you are looking for an idea what to do on one afternoon in Bela krajina this is quite a nice idea.

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Have you been here already? Please, do share your experience with us and other people searching for ideas where to head with a camera (or phone:) in Slovenia.

By Sanja Leban Trojar, @sanya_lt

 

 

Logar Valley

The Logar Valley, in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, is one of the most beautiful Alpine glacial valleys in Europe and quite popular motive on photos tagged #igslovenia. 2.000 meter peaks in the back, green meadows & pastures in the front & crystal clear Savinja River make this place – magical.

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You can visit Logar Valley in any season. In winter you will enjoy snowy fields, in summer lush green forests, in autumn and spring the colours of the nature will amaze you. You can simply enjoy the beautiful nature here or be active; The Valley offers hiking, cycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and many other great opportunities.

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For photographers; be sure to stop at the beginning of the Valley and capture one of the most ‘typical’ Slovenian views: White mountains, green valley and a white road in the middle. The next ‘must see’ for you is Rinka Waterfall at the end of the Valley.

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Rinka is the second highest waterfall in Slovenia! It plunges a total of 105 m from the small river above to the pool below, with a single drop of 90 m. Not only the waterfall is impressive, you will be able to snap some nice photos of the mountains here as well. The second (quite impressive) thing to see here is a coffee bar near the waterfall. It clings to a rocky crag just near the waterfall. The place is called the ‘Eagle’s Nest’.

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Jamnik, Church of St. Primus and Felician

Jamnik is a really small settlement on the eastern slopes of the Jelovica Plateau, literally bellow the less traveled road between Kropa and Dražgoše  There are many similar villages scattered around those hills, but Jamnik is famous by its Church of St. Primus and Felician, which is built close to the village at an impressive location on a hill overlooking most of the northern part of the Ljubljana Basin with the Julian Alps as a backdrop towards the northwest and the Kamnik–Savinja Alps towards the east.

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We have to admit that this  is not the only church atop a hill in Slovenia and many of them offer great sights and photo opportunities. Nevertheless Jamnik is probably the most photographed one and definitely owns a lot of it’s fame to the spread of social media like Instagram and others.

jamnikAlready the road to the church itself is a fascinating view and each step further reveals a different scenery. It is beautiful in all conditions, even in not so good weather, when fog and mist can make the picture totally mystical.Never mind if on the day of your visit mountains in the background are hidden behind the clouds – it’s a dramatic view and you would have an excuse to come again.IMG_7366In late spring and early summer everything is so green and blossoming, but it has a special charm in winter, too, especially if snow covers also the mountains behind. Sun rises above mountains somewhere just behind the church, depends on the time of the year, and sunset can colour the same peaks in psychedelic colours.

 

IMG_7362If happens that this would be your first visit to the region, steep hills can surprise you, but for centuries people around here survived farming on the same hills.

Coming from Kropa you would find an exit leading to the church just when road slowly becomes less steep, but watch out since it is very narrow and windy all the time. Only two or three cars can park there so if you find it full just continue, about 300 m further you can find more space just above the village itself. Coming from the Dražgoše it is probably the best tactics to park the car wherever available once you spotted the church and entered the village area. A few steps more can do no harm but offer even more fascinating views.

IMG_7364All photos are made with iPhone 6s, but I would recommend to bring some real gear for the distance shots.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

lukaesenko

Luka Esenko. Amazing landscape photographer and an Instagrammer that – sometimes – makes me crazy. Each and every photo he publishes on Instagram could end up on @Igslovenia profile. Every day. But this only means – he is good at what he does. And this is – photography, sharing his knowledge about photography & connecting great photographers and incredible locations in his new app. I just had to ask him a few questions;,

Hi there Luka, we will start as we always do; can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you, what do you do?

Hi Sanja, I am a local photographer based in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Photography has been my work for the last eight years when I started running workshops in Slovenia and Croatia. I also love the outdoors, the Alps above all, this is why a lot of my photos are from there.

Ljubljana from the Nebotičnik / Skyscraper caffee.

Ljubljana from the Nebotičnik / Skyscraper caffee.

You are a professional photographer, I know that. What does Instagram mean to you? Or better; People say that Instagram is only for amateur photographers. What do you think about that?

To be honest I am pretty new to Instagram. I started last summer when I was on a vacation in Croatia. It soon became quite fun and I’ve had a lot of feedback and interaction on my posts. What I like about it is its focus on photography and I find it more enjoyable to browse through the feed. For photographers (pro and amateur alike) this is a great channel to promote their work and services.

Slovenia. You take people around our country for photography workshops. Can you say that there is a place that amazes people more than other? Or – what is your favourite photo-destination in Slovenia?

Quite obviously Lake Bled and its island is the most popular among my clients. But there are many other less “iconic” places that people love and make great subjects for photography. Unique to Slovenia are its hilltop churches – my clients always wonder how crazy we are in Slovenia to build churches on top of the hill – who wants to walk up there?!? I always reply – well – photographers :) Personally, my favourite place is the Julian Alps. I love the mountains, but unfortunately I’m usually way too busy to get out and spend the time I’d like to out there. For that reason every moment I do get to spend there is even more precious.

Church of St. Thomas / Sveti Tomaž.

Speaking of photo-destinations. You took connecting amazing photographers and incredible destination to a whole new level. You are a co-founder of the snappguides application. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

Recently we released SNAPP Guides – destination guides for photographers. This is a mobile app (currently available on iOS with Android coming soon) where photographers can purchase guides to destination they are traveling to. With these guides they get exact coordinates with interactive maps (routing, current position, different layers..), information how to get there, when to go, practical advice on photographing that location as well as inspirational images. We work with pro photographers around the world to deliver the best possible information and currently we have ten destinations available – new ones are being added to the collection every month.

Laka Bled; Island & Castle in the back.

Sounds amazing! And looking at the @snappguiddes social media profiles and page … you have tons, literally tons of amazing photos. Who are the photographers that you are working with? How did you meet?

We sure have a lot of great images to share! Through my previous work I met many excellent photographers from all around the world. With their help we partnered with the best authors/photographers from destinations such as the UK, California, Oregon, South Africa, Ireland, Austria and many others. Now we’re receiving requests from photographers who want to make guides with us and we’re growing our team of photographers quickly. If you have extensive knowledge of photo locations in your area and would like to build a guide with us do get in touch!

Can you share some ‘behind the app’ information with us? What are the places (locations) that people love most? How is Slovenia doing? Can we expect more photographers here soon?:)

A tremendous amount of work goes into each guide. Every spot has to be populated with relevant information, exact coordinates and beautiful images. Most of the spots have been scouted more than just once to make sure the information is valid. At the moment, the most popular guides are Yosemite NP in California and London, UK. Slovenia is doing well, but it is obvious that it gets fewer visitors per year compared to other better known destinations in the world. I’m working hard to change that!

What are the plans for the future? Which destinations in Slovenia will be presented in the app?

Right now the most popular places of Slovenia are covered, Lakes Bled & Bohinj, Ljubljana and Istria. The Complete Guide to Slovenia will follow but I can’t promise when – it is huge amount of work to cover it all! As for SNAPP Guides, we want to cover as many destinations as possible. We’re working hard to deliver new destinations, but because of our high standards it takes time.

As a local and as an amazing photographer … what would you say to a person visiting Slovenia for the first time? Where to go, what to see? (Beside – Bled, Ljubljana & Piran, that is:)

Well, the ones you mentioned are definitely the obvious, right? My first suggestion is make sure you allow enough time – Slovenia might be small but it has lots of great places to photograph! Be prepared to do some hiking and you’ll need a car. Visit one or two hilltop churches for sunrise or sunset, don’t miss the wine region (Brda or Prlekija) and be sure to explore Soča river valley.

Thanks Luka! And … all the best with your amazing projects! 

Thanks for giving me this opportunity at Igslovenia!

 

Sanja Leban Trojar – @sanya_lt

You can find more about Luka Esenko and his work on his web page, Facebook or Twitter profile & you can follow him on Instagram.