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Novo mesto – Ragov log

A beautiful wooden bridge connects the NE end of the old town with the peaceful and mysterious woods on the right bank of the Krka river, Ragov log. A pleasant 15 minutes walk through the woods connects this bridge with Kandijski most bridge in the city centre, the main photo spot of Novo mesto.

A shot from the left bank towards the woods is definitely a better option, especially with some fog in the early morning, snow or colourful autumn would do no harm either:).

Following the river downstream one would find a boathouse not far from the bridge. It is not in the best shape, so be cautious trying to get a shot with the colourful boats. From there a nice view of the bridge over the river opens up as well.

The upstream part of the river bank from the bridge is located bellow the buildings and it is not easy to get close to the water. The views are nothing spectacular but with some luck one always find a nice motif.

The bridge view from this side comes with the buildings in the background but with some dramatic skies and probably autumn colours and/or mist one can always make a nice capture. Not at the time of our visit though.

From here a path leads uphill to the old town – pass the Court house and stay above the river in Šolska ulica street, than follow the first opportunity back to the river to reach a small dam if you want yet another angle of the river and the Ragov log itself.

Now the best way is to head to the old town and enjoy the rich architectural heritage of Novo Mesto!

Text and photo: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

All photos are taken with HuaweiP20Pro courtesy of Huawei Slovenija.

Novo mesto – Kandijski most

Novo Mesto  is the city on a bend of the Krka River in the City Municipality of Novo Mesto in southeastern Slovenia, close to the border with Croatia. The town is traditionally considered the economic and cultural centre of the historical Lower Carniola region. The old town is located right at the meander made by the beautiful Krka river. Unfortunately the main square and the most interesting old street Pugljeva ulica were completely under reconstruction in the time of our visit so the only close encounter with the historical part we made was passing by Capital Church (Kapitelj) which overlooks the old town from a small hill, on the approach to our photo spot – Kandijski most bridge. (Note: all photos are taken with HuaweiP20Pro, no edit).

The Kandija Bridge (Slovene: Kandijski most) or the Old Bridge (Stari most) is an iron bridge which connects the old city on the left bankof the Krka River with Kandija, a historical suburb of Novo Mesto, on the right bank of the river. The bridge stands at the lower part of Glavni trg. Wikipedia says that it was built in 1898 to replace the old wooden bridge from 1600, located a few dozen metres upstream. The riveted structure bridging the Krka with a single 75-metre (246 ft) arch is a unique structure in Slovenia.

View from the Boter bar towards old town.

Most photos of Novo mesto which can be seen on Instagram (there are not many though) are from this bridge, the most classic view is of the old part with the Kapitelj church. With some fog on the river or at the sunset the views (and photos) are truly glorious.

But make no mistake, the views downstream are not worse at all. Calvary Chapel Church with Franciscan Convent dominate the sight on the left bank and the mysterious Ragov log forest on the right.

The bridge itself offered an interesting view when we crossed the river – we have never seen so many spider webs on any bridge, ever.

The river bank is easy accessible so one can get under the bridge as well, a change of the angle never hurts and reflections are much better when close to the water.

There is a bar with the terrace on the river just a few meters away, besides having a new angle again we were also lucky to spot local fisherman in an unusual vehicle for such an activity.

Some other spots are located upstream towards the main bridge but we decided to follow the path through the Ragov log grove which begins just behind the Kandijski bridge downstream. In the first few hundred meters some spots can be reached close to the river to get another angle at the Franciscan Convent.

After that the path follows the river but much higher on the slope, the woods are pretty thick and there is no access to the river and no photo spots either until the Ragov log bridge is reached after some 15 minutes of a pleasant hike. The photo spot there deserves a separate description, here is a photo just for the feeling.

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Photos made with HuaweiP20Pro, courtesy of Huawei Slovenija

Ptuj from the Drava River banks

There is something about Eastern Slovenia that makes me go back every time I can. It might have something to do with unbelievably  kind people, really good food or ‘just’ stunning nature. At the end … it doesn’t really matter why am I coming back, the fact is … I am. And I do enjoy each and every time.

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Also – there is one more important thing; Eastern Slovenia is not (yet) as popular & crowded as the Western Slovenia with lakes Bled and Bohinj, Piran, Postojna Cave and other touristy places is. I’m quite sure this will not last forever so I try to see & absorb as much of this part of my country as I can. I recommend you to do the same … and maybe … you can start with Ptuj.

Ptuj is one of the oldest cities in Slovenia and, for sure, one of the most beautiful. Any photographer knows red-tile roofs, white houses, bridges (there are 4 of them crossing Drava River) and river (here almost a lake) make a quite a nice photo-combination.

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One of the best places to take photos of Ptuj is the right bank of the Drava River. You can leave your car on one of the parking near Terme Ptuj or Grand Hotel Primus and find your way to the river. It shouldn’t be difficult, since the river is just there. But, if you are not sure, just look for the castle and walk towards it.

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Of course you can also start just across the city centre. The pedestrian bridge is an object for itself to be captured in a few different ways. It can be an additional element in the photo:

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the standing point to take a photo of the old town with the river:

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or the main object of the photo:

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which works in both directions. In the summer you can catch the sunset just in the line of the bridge.

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There are many great spots to take a capture of Ptuj along the right river bank between Terme and the second bridge. Sunrise can be very rewarding time to go for a photo walk.

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Some morning mist can make the whole scene very mystical.

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When you’re done, you can – (1) walk up to the castle

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sunset over the rooftops can be amazing

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(2) get lost in the streets of the old town

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or (3) just sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or a nice meal.

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If you’d decide to take a nice meal … there is a great restaurant garden by the river just at the pedestrians bridge. Unfortunately we can not recommend the food at the Ribič restaurant anymore since the ownership chamged hands a while ago.

For Igslovenia, @sanya_lt.

PS: Since sharing is caring … be sure to leave your experiences with Ptuj in the comment section. Let us know where to go and what to see & where to go to take best photos. Thank you!

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Lake Bohinj

Lake Bohinj is maybe, just maybe not that famous as the nearby Lake Bled, but this does not help a lot; Most of the year and specially during the summer, the place is crowded! That’s probably the reason why you will have to pay when (and wherever) you will park your car. So, our first #tip would be; Park your car only on the marked parking places and pay for the time there. Otherwise – you will pay a lot. Later:) (#beentheredonethat:)

OK, now to the good part;

If you ask us, Lake Bohinj is the most beautifil lake in Slovenia. Or at least … one of  them. Tucked under some amaznig mountains, hidden away from main roads and traffic, with mostly some crazy weather (rain, sun, fog, snow, wind … you name it … Bohinj has it:) the place is amazing!

 

Morning magic (HuaweiP20Pro)

Even if it is crowded you can find a place to swim, you can rent a boat or just to enjoy walking around the lake. Keep in mind; It is not that small & it will take you a few hours to get around. (The lake is 4.2 kilometers long, one kilometer wide, and forty-five meters deep … now do the math:)

Morning magic II (HuaweiP20Pro)

Try to visit the lake in spring or autumn, if possible – early in the morning. You will avoid the crowds and if you are lucky there will be some amazing fog on the lake that will make your photos – simply magic.

Church of St. John the Baptist (HuaweiP20Pro)

If you are like us, trying to get as many photos as you can as fast as you can, first stop at Ribčev Laz, Church of St. John the Baptist, the Gothic church with a Baroque bell tower and a covered entryway.

First signs of Fall (HuaweiP20Pro)

Specially in the morning (nothing opens before 8 in the morning) when nobody is around, you can get some nice photos of the church and the nearby stone bridge. Go down by the lake, the view there is the best.

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After that follow the signs for Ukanc. The road will take you just by the lake and the scenery there is amazing. Stop at the one (and only) church on the left side of the road and check the wodden pier that is situated across the street. Perfect place for some Instagram magic.

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The next stop must be near Zlatorog Camp in Ukanc. Park there and then follow the signs to Savica Waterfall. As soon as you cross the wooden bridge – follow the path left, back to the lake.

Ukanc from the camp (HuaweiP20Pro)

Crystal clear water & wooden bridge at the begining and the views on the lakefront latter will make you take looooots of photos.

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When you are done, you have to decide, where to next. You have lots of options, but probably you will pick – Vogel Mountain or Savica Waterfall. 

We will discous your other options some other day, today we ask you; Where did you take your best photos od Lake Bohinj?

The Fleet (HuaweiP20Pro)

 

 

Polhov Gradec

Polhov Gradec is picturesque village in the Polhograjsko hribovje hills in Central Slovenia – in the link you can check out the terms of the actual contest of Visit Ljubljana, you can win a nice prize just posting nice photos!

The main landmark and photo spot of the village is the new castle (remains of the old one can be seen on the Kalvarija hill), designed in 17th century.

The mansion is surrounded by a beautiful park.

Here is also a local museum’s permanent collection with objects related to the history of Polhov Gradec and the Technical Museum of Slovenia – Museum of Post and Telecommunications. A well with the statue of Neptun and four nymphs stands by the castle.

There is a creek behind the mansion and a nice view of the building from the back.

The best view of the village itself is from the small hill just a few steps from the main road.

The mansion is visible from this spot as well.

Somehow limited photo options of the village are greatly enhanced by the number of fantastic views in the vicinity of the Polhov Gradec. Many churches are located on the slopes and peaks of the surrounding hills which provides for great photo motifs. Reaching St. Ursula can be a pleasant short hike from the nearby touristic farm reached by car or a longer one from the valley.

A trip to the village of Črni vrh takes some more time but ii is worth the effort.

Enjoy!

 

Črni vrh above Polhov Gradec

Črni Vrh (Black Peak) is a dispersed settlement in the hills northwest of Polhov Gradec in Central Slovenia which includes many isolated farms scattered throughout the hills so the settlement itself is not a micro location in a sense we are looking for. We have picked it out because again there is one of the many small churches on the slopes and peaks of the hills around Polhov Gradec in Central Slovenia which provide for some fabulous photo motifs.

The parish church in the settlement is dedicated to Saint Leonard and t stands west of the settlement on Church Hill (Cerkovni grič). There is a point on the slope across the Church Hill where the best view of the hills and the church can be observed and photographed.

The photo point in located at the crossroads to Poljanska dolina and Pasja ravan – the exact location you can find on the map Where to in Slovenia. We visited it at the sunrise.

A few days later we passed by there in the late afternoon as well.

It was a pretty magical morning there; the settlement is pretty high in the hills, farms are far apart from each other, no traffic at all.

The sights on the other side of the street were also pretty nice but one should wait a bit longer for haze to clear and get a better photo of the mighty Mt. Triglav in Julian Alps and Škofja Loka Hills in the foreground. We are not proud of the following two photos photo but added them it for you to get the idea.

This is how the crossroad looks like.

A closer look at the foot of the Church Hill to the church is also not bad at all – there is a chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary which provides for a nice composition.

At this point the sun was high enough to reveal all beauty of the slopes around the Polhov Gradec, photo taken in front of the chapel.

And finally the view from the church itself onto the farm at the foot of the Church Hill.

As we mentioned already, there are many churches on the peaks and slopes around Polhov Gradec, St. Ursula is one of them some 15 minutes drive from Črni vrh.

Planina Summit above Vrhnika

Where to in Slovenia features micro locations for mobile photographers. Planina Hill near Vrhnika in Central Slovenia is very popular hiking destinations of the city of Vrhnika and also of  the Ljubljana area. Many different starting points and alternative routes are available for hikers and bikers and the summit is also accessible by car. There is a wooden lookout tower near the lodge…

it is 22m high and offers magnificent views over the Ljubljana Marshes…

… settlements around Vrhnika…

…surrounding hills…

… and in good weather conditions even the Julian Alps with the mighty Mt. Triglav.

 

However, without conquering the tower the views are limited and from the tower a phone camera alone won’t be enough to capture a good shot. Taking the Kuren trail or driving from Vrhnika brings you to the Kmetija odprtih vrat (Agrotourism) where a similar views are available from much lower height though.

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf.

 

Snakes’s Head Fritillary Meadow

Where to in Slovenia feature micro locations for mobile photographers. And we mean micro since this one in Ljubljana Marshes, full of fragile Fritillaria Meleagris, has no name. In fact, we’ve just made it up because we needed one for a location in the marshes where it is not easy to orientate at all. A vast plain which no landmarks, wet meadows full of drainage canals with occasional gravel road which easily ends in the middle of nowhere – and some of those meadows are in the season full of Fritillaria meleagris. 

Therefore in this case we are talking about a seasonal photo location  but the marshes are beautiful in all seasons and opportunities for a great photo are always awaiting even without these fragile lilies.

Entering the village of IG from the direction of Ljubljana find a left turn just opposite to the gas station at the beginning of the settlement. After a few hundred meters the road crosses a small river Ižica (there is another special place along this short river) and after that comes to a crossroads. The meadow we are looking for is between the bridge and the crossroads. Around the bridge is also one of the better views of the village.

The best time to capture the fritillaries is at sunset or sunrise.

Sunsets in the marshes are always beautiful but for the fritillaries the sunrise is even better timing.

These meadows are really wet, especially in the early spring when around the sunrise time could be even a bit frozen. However the flora is full of water drops which add to the photo so better prepare everything needed for the situation like this:

Totally worth getting out of bed early!

Enjoy and don’t forget to check out other Ljubljana Marshes locations like St. Anna, Lake Podpeč and Ižica.

Text and photo: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf. 

 

 

Ljubljana Marshes – Ižica

Ižica is one of the shortest rivers in Slovenia. It is a typical river for the Ljubljana Marshes with a karst source in the village of Ig. We named the spot described bellow by the river since there are no other recognisable features to use.

Coming to the village of Ig from Ljubljana and leaving the buildings behind after a few kilometers there is a road to turn to Iška Loka to the right marked with a road sign Iška Loka. Just opposite of the exit there is another one to the left, unmarked and pretty narrow. Turn left and park right away on the left side or proceed on the gravel road until it turns right and park there.

This gravel road is pretty empty most of the time, sitting in the middle of the fields and wet meadows. The landscape is full of lonely trees and the nature is full of life in any season. Flat land, black soil, green meadows, occasional water in the canals make a special feeling which changes with the seasons and is the strongest in the mornings and evenings.

The landscape itself is pretty photogenic. The flora of the marshes is specific and in some seasons the meadows are full of blossoms.

Specific for the marshes is the Snake’s head fritillary from the lily family. It can be easily spotted here but there is another place upstream of Ižica where plenty of them are to be found.

At the turning point of the gravel road just continue in the same direction as you came from. There is no beaten path, just cross the meadows until the river can be spotted after a few hundred meters. The approach to the water changes with seasons and weather but one or two can be easily found.

The meadows. The flora. The water. Upstream. Downstream

The trees. The sunrise.

Take your pick.

Take photos. Enjoy in nature. Check out some other spots on the marshes: St. Anna, Lake Podpeč and Snakes’s Head Fritillary Meadow.

Text and photos Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf.

More about Ljubljana Marshes.

Kamnik

Kamnik is a small picturesque medieval town along the Kamniška Bistrica river underneath the Kamnik Savinja Alps. Its heyday was in the Middle Ages, when it was the capital of Carniola. Nowadays only a small old centre of the town reminds of the days of its glory. Luckily this small town is worth visiting by itself since if offers many opportunities for a good photo without any heavy equipment needed. The second factor of luck is its position close to the mountains which always attract visitors. Kamnik is also one of the most prominent towns of the region called Central Slovenia – really close to the capital but with completely different atmosphere. Just now a campaign is underway promoting Central Slovenia in which everybody can take part and win a prize. Click here to learn more about the contest and here to find out more about Kamnik!

There are three photo spots worth visiting and they are very close to each other. In fact they are all connected with the fourth spot which is also the main street leading through the old town. It is called Šutna. Entering Šutna from SW the parish Church of Mary Immaculate offers a first great view.

The Šutna Street is open for the traffic but with a little patience it is pretty easy to catch is empty. Walking along the street many details offer to the photographer’s eye and the church from behind, closing the view, is also a great sight and capture, especially in the sunset. Take note of the angels above the roofs!

But probably the best way to explore old Kamnik centre would be to turn left first just before entering the street, cross the railway and head to Zaprice Castle – a two minutes walk! The castle is a 16th century Renaissance mansion rebuilt in Baroque style now housing the rich collections of the Kamnik Intermunicipal Museum.

Particularly interesting there is  the permanent collection on herdsmen’s life on the Velika planina high mountain plateau.

Behind the castle there is a fence through which opens a splendid view of the orchards and the Church of St. Nicholas.

When finished exploring the castle and it’s surroundings the next destination is probably the best known spot of Kamnik which you probably have already spotted from the Zaprice. It is called Mali Grad (The Small Castle) and it overlooks the other end of Šutna.

It is situated on the really small hill and accessible via short stairway. From this spot the best view of the other part of the old centre open before the eyes.

It gets even better if the weather is fine – the mountains in the background make a lot of difference.

The old stone wall around the Malo Grad is pretty low so climb it freely and find additional sights like this small square.

And behind the back…

Coming down from the Mali Grad there is a small open market place just across the street and a train station behind it. Find a narrow street above the station and take another three minute walk. Almost immediately  a nice view of the Zaprice offers itself to the camera – a roof is of the train station.

A hundred meters up the hill is another view of the Mali Grad – but it is through the door of the private yard and the owners’s dog has no understanding of the photographer’s needs.

Cemeteries sometimes offers motifs for photographers. We went there to find out if another view of the Zaprice opens but it doesn’t.

It does from the railway station though. Many other angles can also be found wandering around the small territory. Some would also argue that Stari Grad (Old Castle) offers nice views. It does in fact but not on the old centre since the trees cover it. That would probably change in the near future – a viewpoint deck is under construction there. Until then only views of the mountains and the Kamnik Field are available. In any case – a phone wouldn’t be enough for a good photos. The Old Castle is pretty high on the hill, a 45 minute walk or 10 minutes drive is needed to reach it. In fact, the ruins of the castle. However, the sunrise can be nice and sunset even better there.

Many other places worth visiting are very close: the source of Kamniška Bistrica, Velika planina mountain pasture and Arboretum Volčji potok to name just a few. Enjoy!

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar (@zokus_gf)

Additional info:

Visit Ljubljana

Visit Kamnik