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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, 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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If you are into animal watchin & photography; In the area, 276 bird species have been observed – one half of all European species. Lake Cerknica is home to 45 mammal species – one half of all European species; 125 butterfly species can be spotted here – a little less than a third of all European species; 15 amphibian species spawn by the lake – nearly a quarter of all European amphibians… Biodiversity of the region is truly exceptional! (Info and more info by Lake Cerknica.)

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Robanov Kot Valley

Robanov Kot Valley is a small, scenic Alpine Valley tucked under summits of Križevnik, Molička Peč, Veliki Vrh, Mala Ojstrica, Krofička and Strelovec. Like the nearby Logar Valley, Robanov Kot was also created by a glaciar during the last ice age. No valley is perfect without some creek or river, so also Robanov Kot needs one; Bela stream, a tributary of the Savinja River runs through the valley not far away from the few farmhouses. Robanov Kot Valley is perfect for hiking and climbing, but the amazing views give enough photo opportunities also for photographers.

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If you combine your visit here with visiting also the Logar Valley and Rinka Waterfall, your day will be perfect.Try to avoid visiting in high season (July, August) since you can be here (almost) alone in other months. For taking photos; Early mornings are probably the best. If you are lucky, you will catch some morning mists and be able to observe sun rays slowly spreading throughout the valley.

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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

 

 

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.

 

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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

Zelenci Springs

Zelenci Springs is a nature reserve near Kranjska Gora, at the three-country border of Slovenia, Italy and Austria. Most people will say that Zelenci Springs are the source of the Sava Dolinka River but this is technically wrong, since the water from underground Nadiža Creek (originating in the Planica Valley) just re-emerges here through the porous bottom of the shallow  lake.  Anyway, river  flowing  from here to the Danube River is Sava, so Zelenci Springs is a kind of  source of the Sava River. Lake is ‘famous’ because of  its brilliant green water which gave the name to the springs and its surroundings  (Zelenci is a deadjectival plural noun from Slovene zelen ‘green’.)

The lake.

View from the tower.

View from the tower.

But who cares about the name!? What is really important is the place itself. The best way to describe Zelenci is – nature at its best! There are numerous paths leading around so you can really explore the place. Leave your car on the parking near the bar. You can’t miss it (and – don’t miss it. You can get a nice cup of coffee there or eat a decent meal for a reasonable price).

View from the wooden bridge.

There are two best places to take photos  – the small lake itself and a long wooden bridge nearby. There is also a wooden tower beside the lake that offers even better views, but be careful! Lately it isn’t safe so climbing on it was forbidden the last time I was there.

Best views are from the tower.

Best views are the ones from the tower.

Zelenci are really beautiful in the early morning, before sunrise, when they are covered with amazing mist, or around sunset when the surrounding mountains shine in the (red) light. If you decide to visit it during the day, you will probably meet lots of people there and getting a nice photo will not be that easy.

Since the place is a nature reserve there are many unique animal species found there, as well as some sparse and endangered plants.

Nature at its best.

Otočec Castle

If you ask me Otočec Castle is simply the most beautiful castle in Slovenia. Not only it rises like a jewel from the mists of the Krka River and is the only water castle in Slovenia, you have to love this castle because it is not as crowded as for example Bled or Predjama Castle and it offers so many photo opportunities.

Leave your car on the parking space just near the river (you can’t miss it) and start taking photos. Immediately! Some of the best views of the castle can be captured from there. Most of the time you can find some boats in the river that can make a great addition to your photo (we all know boats are a must:)

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When you are done with the first few photos cross the first wooden bridge & start exploring. The island on which the castle stands is really small, it is basically just a park and you can walk all around it. You can capture photos of the wooden bridges (there are two, one on each side), trees, paths, river, swans, ducks, flowers … and the castle itself.

Even the castle is a popular wedding destinations, it is a hotel and it has a bar & restaurant, I’d advise you to – skip it. As long as I know and as long as I explore Slovenia this place is just too expensive. I don’t mind paying a little extra for something great, but whenever I was there – the coffee sucked and the service to. #myopinion

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Instead of drinking coffee … cross the second bridge and turn right. There you will find a path going up the river through some nice woods. Follow it. You will come across some great views of the castle and the river and finally (after a half of an hour walk) you will end up on a bridge near Village Otočec. The place also offers some great photo options.

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You can return to the castle (& your car) on the other side of the river (from Otočec Village), but you will be walking on a quite busy road so I would recommend you to go back where you came from.

To see everything there is to see – 2, 3 hours should be more than enough. If you are looking for great photos you already know to be there early in the morning or late in the afternoon. There are some other nice places to visit nearby so you can spend a day or two in the area.

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If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail to info@igslovenia.si or leave a comment.

Sanja Leban Trojar – @sanya_lt

laughtraveleat

Ljubljana, 16. 4. 2016 by Sanja Leban Trojar – @sanya_lt

First of all – can you tell us something about yourself? Who are you, what do you do?

Hello! My name is Nam (@laughtraveleat on Instagram) and I am a travel blogger / writer who lives in Hong Kong. I run my own blog: Laugh Travel Eat that documents my travel tips and adventures near or far. My day job is content marketing, and when I am not writing or working, you will find me stuffing my face with egg waffle and bubble tea or catching up on the latest DC TV series while online shopping.

Do you travel a lot? How you pick your traveling destination?

I like to travel as much as I can, because there’s just so much to see in the world and it has become so easy to just hop on a plane and head to an exotic location nowadays. I generally look out for flight deals, though sometimes after reading a book or watching a movie, or even seeing a picture on Instagram and Pinterest will get a place on my radar that makes me really want to go.

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Your Instagram profile is full of amazing photos from Slovenia. Can you tell us a little bit about – how you came across Slovenia, when did you decide to visit and what places did you see?

I visited Slovenia last August with my friends as a bit of a graduation trip. We actually wanted to visit Albania, but the flights were too expensive, so we headed for Pula, Croatia instead. Then my friend suggested that we go to Ljubljana and I thought, why not? So we spent two days there before taking a bus to Bled, where I stayed for 4 nights while my friends left on the second due to poor timing on my side. I had another week to go before I needed to be in Italy, so I traveled to Bohinj by myself.

Where did you find information about Slovenia? How did you decide what to see?

I looked everywhere online for a bit, the official tourism page was a lot of help, and I got a lot of inspiration from the @Igslovenia Instagram as well! There aren’t a lot of blog posts out there on Slovenia, especially in the Bohinj region, but I had a lot of help from the staff in Castle 1004 Hostel in Bled in terms of transport etc.

What was your favourite place in Slovenia? What would you say is ‘a must see’ place in Slovenia … especially if you are a photographer?

The classic view point of Lake Bled – Ojstrica. It’s the postcard, picture perfect view of Lake Bled and a pleasant hike up. I only managed to go there on my last day in Bled because of the rain during my stay, and I was so glad that I got to visit there on a sunny day!

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Is there a place or thing that you would say – skip it? Why?

Well – Voje Waterfall! Although the hike there was pleasant with a gorgeous meadow, the waterfall itself is not as grand as it looks. As reaching this waterfall involve an extra 2-3 hours hike from the Mostnica Gorge, I would say skip it unless you have the time!

Back to photography; What equipment do you use for taking photos?

My trusty DLSM Panasonic DMC-GM1; I am not a photographic expert by any means, but a semi-automatic mirrorless it’s easy to use and take great photos!

What does photography mean to you?

Photography has become a way for me to record every moment in my life, especially when I am visiting a new place. A moment capture in the camera will forever be there, however, one can easily forget about some place or somewhere. There’s also something special about looking at the world through a different angle, which you wouldn’t normally if you are not holding a camera!

Can you describe us your photography style?

In all honesty, I am a point a shoot kind of girl, though if I see something I like, I will stop and try to find the best angle for it. I can’t say I have a particular style, other than taking tons and tons of photos.

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How did you end up on Instagram?

I started my account on my mum’s phone about five years back, but didn’t really started using it until a year after. Eventually I began to post only the photos from my travel when I started my own blog last year. Instagram is an amazing community and resources that fuels my wanderlust like no other! Accounts like @Igslovenia is what keeps me around and hyped up about all the amazing places I have yet to see in the world!

Do you use any other social media channel? If yes – can you compare the experience with using Instagram?

Pinterest is the other social media channel that I use frequently. It’s similarity to Instagram ends on both of them being visual. While Instagram is like a photo sharing site, Pinterest is a noticeboard. You can find me on Facebook, also.

How often do you publish photos on Instagram? Do you interact with other people on Instagram?

I publish a photo daily! And because I do genuinely enjoy Instagram, I go through my feed every moment I get and try to comment on every photo I find interesting. Being a frequent user myself, I know that every comment means a lot and it only takes a button and a few words to make someone’s day.

What would you say are the most important ‘rules’ that every Instagrammer must follow? Or – it would be good to follow?

Try not to be fake. I know that there are lot of people who are trying to grow their accounts (business or otherwise), but the whole following – unfollowing technique is one of the most annoying thing I have ever come across. If you don’t like someone’s feed, don’t follow and expect a follow back then unfollowing them.

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Lake Planšarsko jezero

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I’ve seen this place on so many photos from Slovenia that I just had to see it. Since all the photos were amazing I was expecting something really spectacular. I was – disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. The place is amazingly beautiful but the lake itself is so small you can walk around it in 20 minutes. Twice! 🙂

Here is some information about it; “The little heart-shaped lake was made by local inhabitants in memory of a larger glacial lake that had drained away, and after which Jezersko got its name. It is a well visited spot and one could call it also a symbol of the area. In summer, it allows boating, in winter ice-skating. At the same time, it gives you a chance to enjoy tasty local food at the restaurant by the lake all year round.” (Taken from page jezersko.info where you can find more information about places nearby.)

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Probably any time of the year is great to see this place, just keep in mind – in winter you will have to deal with some serious snow & ice! Any other time – you can leave your car just beside the lake, take a walk around it and snapp some photos. It will take you less than an hour … if you are really slow.

So – I would rather recommend you to park the car in the village Zgornje Jezersko and walk towards the lake. Nature in this part of Slovenia for sure deserves you take your time and you will be able to take some more amazing photos on the way. Also; you have to walk a little to really enjoy some local food or drinks in the restaurant beside the lake.

If you plan to visit this place and you have some more time check the page jezersko.info for some additional information & ideas where to go and what to see. If you have visited already feel free to leave us some tips/info/ideas in the comment section or send us your best photo to info@igslovenia.si!

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@sanya_lt

JSFtravel

Ljubljana, 14. 12. 2015, by @sanya_lt

As most of the Instagrammers that keep amazing me I’ve found the @JSFtravel profile while going through photos tagged #igslovenia. I soon discovered that the profile belongs to a lovely American couple whose job is – to travel. Or – is this a full time – hobby? Let’s find out!

Can you present yourself? Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?

We are an American couple, Sarah & Kris, travelling full time. In April 2014, we left our jobs, sold everything we owned and set out on a journey to travel the world. What we find most fascinating about travelling is experiencing different cultures. We love learning about the people, food and local customs in the places we visit.

For 20 years, Kris worked for an airline. His flight benefits allowed him (plus spouse, once we got married!) to fly for free. He has been travelling much longer than me to places I still haven’t been, like Egypt, Brazil and Scotland. With the number of years, he worked at the airline, he was able to take an early retirement while keeping his flight benefits; therefore, we pay only a very small fee to fly, which helps tremendously in budgeting our travels.

My background is in journalism and marketing. I like finding the story about a place and sharing it with other people. When we decided to travel full time, I created our blog as a way to tell stories of the places we were visiting to our family and friends back home. Just as much as I like using words to tell stories, I also like capturing images with my camera and let the photos show the story.

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How does your life look like? How much do you travel?

We are essentially homeless – without a home or possessions to return to – so we are constantly travelling. However, we do travel slowly. Staying in one place for a month at a time allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the area. In between our longer stays, we pick destinations along the route where we might stay for a week or two at a time.

How do you pick your destinations? Where do you search for information about a new country, new destination?

There is so much of the world that we want to see that we often find it difficult to choose where we will travel to next! In our first year of full time travel, we were actually travelling ‘around the world.’ We had a goal of circumnavigating the world in a year’s time, which we did. We travelled west, starting in South America – and spent time on six continents before arriving back in the United States for a short visit. During that time, we chose destinations based on westward travel.

Now as long term travellers with no specific route, many things come into play when determining our destinations. We choose where to go based on affordability, accessibility and interest-at-the-moment. (Example: After spending winter in Melbourne, Australia, we caught the end of summer on the coast of Croatia.)

At this point, there are very few places that don’t interest us – we want to see it all!

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Are you professional or amateur photographers? What equipment do you use for taking photos?

I am an amateur photographer; a hobby photographer, actually. I use a Canon Rebel T2i with a 18-55mm lens – and I almost always carry my camera with me. In rare occasions, I use an old (and more portable) Canon Power Shot. Kris uses his iPhone and, honestly, it sometimes takes the better photo.

Can you describe us your photography style?

I don’t really have a photography style. I like to takes pictures of the things I see – and I want my photos to retain a real-life quality to them. My favourite pictures are the ones that tell a story all on their own, without any words needed.

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How did you end up on Instagram?

Instagram is a travel’s delight! We wanted to connect with other travellers, as well as have a place to display our photos – Instagram is perfect for that!

How often do you publish? Do you interact with other people on Instagram? Who would you recommend to follow?

We publish on Instagram once a day, but throughout the day we interact with the people we follow – and the people who follow us. We love the Instagram community. Seeing pictures around the world fuels our passion for travel.

Who would you recommend us to follow?

Jewelszee,  NoDestinationsTheTouristinHeckticTravels & Nomadasaurus.

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Slovenia? How/when did you decide to visit? Why?

Slovenia was on our list for a long time before we actually visited! We were drawn to the country for its beautiful scenic landscapes and the fairytale city of Ljubljana. We spent two weeks in Ljubljana last spring – which is not enough time!

What are your favourite places here?

We loved everything we saw in Slovenia – city, mountains, rural countryside, so it is difficult to pick one place. Being in the historic old town of Ljubljana was magical, but the natural beauty of Lake Bled was our favourite.

Which place is (for you) the best to take photos?

The entire country is very photogenic! We loved taking pictures along the river in Ljubljana’s old town. However, the best place to capture the splendour of Slovenia was from the hills that surround Lake Bled. The view of the lake from above by far surpassed any other vantage point.

What would you say to a first time visitor – what is ‘a must see’ place in Slovenia? See Lake Bled; slow down and take it in!

What did you miss while staying here?

So much! We didn’t make it to the coast or Piran. And, although we rode through the countryside, we didn’t stay in the rural area. We would love to explore the smaller towns in Slovenia and more of the mountains, as well.

What are your plans for the future? Coming back to Slovenia?

We plan to keep travelling for as long as we can. We definitely see another trip to Slovenia in our future – there is still so much more to see!

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aob01

Who? @aob01 🙂 Beleive it or not, photography is my stress relief. Usually I take photos on my way to work or back home and over the weekends, when we go with family out of town. That’s why my Instagram stream has so many jumps from one theme to another and that’s why I hope you’ll like it. For more of my work – check out my blog.

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Why  (Instagram)? It’s simple and it works as a crossplatform for posting on different social networks. Also – it is easy to follow others & their work.

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What (can I show you)? Let’s say my specialty is street photography, some night photography and of course everything else. Parts of Slovenia? Most southern part, called Bela krajina and Ljubljana.

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