The gorge, a beautiful piece of wilderness with steep depths, vertical walls and rapid river lies only some 4 km north-west of the famous Bled Lake. It was discovered in the 1891 by Jakob Žumer, the Major of the village of Gorje, and the cartographer and photographer Benedikt Lergetporer. The gorge was impassable at the time but very soon was arranged for the visitors. Bled has a long history in tourism and no wonder that the gorge is still one of the main tourist attractions of Slovenia.
It is closed during the winter since the wooden galleries can be slippery and combined with the amount of water which flows through when snow starts to melt it could be really dangerous, hence the metal doors just after the official entrance.
In the season can be pretty crowded but we visited it just at the beginning of June and very early in the morning. We were lucky that the maintenance workers already entered the premises and we were allowed to enter it a few minutes before the official opening hours.
At the beginning we were quite shocked by the cost of visit – 10 EUR for the entrance and 5 EUR for the parking – but soon we have realised what amount of work is needed to keep the 1.6 km long gorge safe since about 90% of the path is on wooden galleries and bridges. Beside that the beautiful Radovna river can cause some problems after a heavy storm.
The river carved its way through the vertical rocks of the Hom and Boršt hills and graced the gorge with its waterfalls, pools and rapids. Since it is very steep, high and narrow the sun enters it randomly and adds to the beauty with the light plays.
It works in both directions – did we mention that you have to come back the same way unless you want to take a pretty long walk around?
The Vintgar gorge also includes two man-made sights. After some two thirds of the trail the gorge opens a bit and the river slows down just before the single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway, constructed in 1906, which crosses the gorge 33.5 m above the river, and the dam from which the water is routed to the small Vintgar hydroelectric power plant under the Šum waterfall.
It is not easy to take very good photos there – the gorge is narrow, the light pretty difficult and the crowd is always in your way – or you in theirs. Using wide angle lens helps a bit though and in a moment with no crowd a nice LE can be taken.
But at the damm the breeze from the falling water was so intense that our HuaweiP30Pro on the tripod behaved like the sail in the wind:) hence the blurred image.
Pretty soon after the damm the other entrance is reached – if you are with your own car it is probably a good idea to start from this side, which lies just above the Šum waterfall.
The waterfall itself lies outside of the to-be-paid-for boundaries since the gorge ends here. But it is difficult to take photos there since there was no easy access to the river bed and also no stance outside of the water.
We assume that the circumstances here change and with less water in the bed access is easier – but then also the waterfall is smaller though.
Can you spot the rainbow in the water drops? The 13-meter high waterfall is pretty powerful and the breeze quite strong just like at the dam above.
Have a coffee just above the waterfall as we did before heading back. It is the same trail but the sights are changing here very fast and you will sure enjoy the way back almost like as it was the first time.
Clear skies in the early morning provided for the sharp pictures even in the shade. Evening light changes everything, many times the morning mist ads to the beauty, with the fog the gorge becomes misty and mystical. You can find a lot different photos from the gorge in our feed on Instagram We will sure come back to experience it in different circumstances.
Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar.
All photos taken with HuaweiP30Pro courtesy of Huawei Slovenija.
More information about the gorge can be found here.