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Dragon Bridge

The statues of the four dragons on the each corner of the Dragon Bridge are probably the most famous and recognizable images of the city. They are masterpiece by themselves and everybody rush to take photos with them. This photo point is therefore not difficult to find but we would like to turn your attention to some additional details beside taking selfies with this somewhat terrifying pieces of art.

First of all it is not so easy to take a good photo of the beasts since they are positioned against the sky and backlighted. But they are on the opposite sides of the bridge so it is easy to find out which side suits you better. All photos in this post were taken early in the morning when light is better on that side of the bridge which is just across the road of the food market.

This is also the only corner where one can safely climb the low concrete wall next to the bridge and face the beast eye to eye and also gets the perspective of the bridge and the road – when it is empty it nicely add to the composition.

 

The bridge itself is a unique creation, an extraordinary piece of technical heritage and a superb example of Art Nouveau architecture. It was constructed between 1900 and 1901 and it was Ljubljana’s first reinforced concrete structure. The parapet lamps used to be powered by gas.

The views from the bridge are packed with the most important architectural heritage of Ljubljana: the Ljubljana Castle on the Castle Hill, the Cathedral and arcades of the Plečnik’s Open Market are extremely photogenic and offers many different angles with and without the dragons.

Reaching this point of Ljubljana from the Triple Bridge one probably passes also the point just before the Butcher’s Bridge on the photo bellow. BTW, did you know that the Dragon Bridge replaced the original wooden Butcher’s Bridge?

 

Arcades of the Open Market are also very photogenic but as a rule much more facing east. This is valid from the both parts of arcades, the one just around the corner of the Triple Bridge and the second one which begins at the Butcher’s Bridge and ends close to least photogenic dragon.

We recommend to make a short walk along the left bank downstream from the Dragon Bridge to reach another small bridge. The river view is very beautiful from there – in all seasons but summer. Still a sunset or sunrise time can provide for a nice photo.

This part of the left bank ends with the Tovarna Rog (Rog Factory) which is an autonomous social and cultural centre set on the premises of a former bicycle factory. “Consensually” occupied in 2006, this vast location of 7,000 square-metres in “downtown” Ljubljana currently facilitates a rich programme of social and cultural activities and programmes. The presence of the centre is visible in the neighbourhood.

The part of the city between the river and Trubarjeva street is famous by itself but some additional sights are available from this walk.

Text and photos Zoran Leban Trojar.

All photos taken with Huawei P20 Pro

About the legend of Ljubljana Dragon.

Sources:

Visit Ljubljana

 

Boka Waterfall and the bridge over the Soča River

Let’s get some facts in the perspective first: Boka waterfall is a 144 high and 18 wide waterfall, considered to be one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Europe. It is definitely the most majestic waterfall of Slovenia and we have plenty of them here. Surely many would disagree if they were not lucky to see it in its full season when its water flow rate can reach 100m3/s. In the summer it can drop to only 2m3/s, so the seasonal flow rate ratio is 1:50! Not this summer though!

The waterfall from the bridge over the Boka stream

The waterfall is visible already from the bridge over the Boka stream in the vicinity of which most of the visitors park their cars and bikes. However, just behind the corner lies the Boka Hotel with its own parking lot which is sooo close to the another bridge, one of the only few bridges over the mighty Soča river itself. The famous shots of the kayakers on the translucent water are usually taken from the Napoleon Bridge in Kobarid – and from this one which  leads to the small settlement of the Log Čezsoški, one of the few settlements on the left bank of the river.

Towards Bovec

We were not lucky with the kayaks this time but the river itself is always beautiful and the view from this bridge is different from what we usually see in the media: it is an upstream view towards the town of Bovec and surrounding peaks of Julian Alps which just after the town divide the upper Soča Valley (Trenta) and Koritnica.

Mt. Bavški Grintavec in the background

There is even more to it – the waterfall is visible from this bridge too and the sight is even better! So if in a hurry a photo can be taken from the bridge – with a good camera it should be decent enough for a memory or a social media post.

Boka from the bridge over the Soča river

Our posts are focused on the mobile photography trying to show places where ordinary tourists can get decent photos without an expensive gear from the reachable spots. We have been doing Instagram and blog for almost 6 years now using phone cameras exclusively.  Ever since we have begun to use HuaweiP20Pro our horizons are widening – it has extremely powerful zoom which can be used handheld: the photo bellow is a zoom up from the same spot as the above photo was taken.

Zoom in from the bridge – amazing zoom of HuaweiP20Pro

 

After passing the hotel building and crossing the road just before the bridge a narrow path opens leading to the viewpoint which is accessible in some 15 minutes. It is not difficult but we would still recommend to wear a pair of decent shoes. Walking along the bed of Boka in the summer one can imagine the amount of water which flows here when the snow of the Kanin massif begins to melt (up to 8 m of snow can be accumulated in some winters there).The karst terrain with large caves can be deadly for skiers leaving the official ski runs.

The Boka stream bed

The path leading to the viewpoint is mostly in a pleasant shade of the trees with only some tricky places to watch your step.

Pleasant shade

The viewpoint is situated on the slope across the waterfall and can be pretty crowded but the views are much better than from the bridges.

 

The viewpoint view

Zoom in from the viewpoint

Most of the visitors turn around here but some other viewpoints can be reached which are higher on at the slope and a bit closer to the waterfall. Reaching them is not so easy anymore, the path gets pretty steep and can be slippery as well. We needed another 15 minutes to the next viewpoint following the orientation signs on the rocks and trees.

 

Orientation signs

Some unexpectedly good sights of the valley towards Bovec awaited us on the path.

 

The Soča Valley towards Bovec

The water is collected in the karst cave system and spring just above the waterfall, falls freely for 106 m, followed immediately by another 30m drop. The source is situated at an altitude of 725 m, the average temperature of the water is 4,5 degrees Celsium. Since the rock is pretty soft the waterfall  still increases!

 

Standing closer 

Watching this power of nature from the higher and closer viewpoint and without disruptions from other people is definitely worth all the effort!

 

Zooming in again

Returning on the the mountain paths is always more dangerous than going up so be careful stepping down! But don’t overlook this sight with which this whole short photo trip can be rounded up: the road to Log Čezsoški.

 

Left bank of the Soča river towards Log Čezsoški

Of course we had to check the situation on the bridge again when we returned to the parking lot.

Preparations

Some more luck though but not the proper light to get the effect of the kayaks hovering on the water.

 

From the bridge

Nevertheless this bridge offers excellent up and downstream views on the river and the valley caught amidst the steep mountains and it is worth to stop there for the bridge itself. The sights are ever changing.

Downstream view towards Žaga

Hey, there is some shadow underneath the kayak after all:)

Photo and text by @zokus