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Križna gora – Church of the Holy Cross

Križna gora is a small settlement NW of Škofja Loka. It is situated on the ridge above Selška dolina valley which together with Poljanska dolina valley constitute the Škofja Loka area. The village and its church of the Holy Cross are visible from afar what is usually a good sign for the views from the spot in question and Križna gora does not dissapoint.

Sorško polje plain is almost entirely in the view and the town of Škofja Loka lies just bellow your feet – at least when the plain is not covered with fog. To the north the peaks of Kamnik Savinja Alps and Karavanke mountain ridge mark the view.

Mt. Kočna, Mt. Grintavec and Mt. Storžič are the most remarkable among these peaks – photographers and followers of @igslovenia would remember them from the photos of the famous Sveti Tomaž (St. Thomas), which in fact lies just accross the Selška dolina valley.

However, the plain and its surroundings are already visible  from the road to Križna gora, from the village itself and from the dirt road leading to the Church of Holy Cross – all you have to do is pick your view and motif – while  photographing the village and church of St. Thomas and the hills above the Selška dolina valley demand some searching and crossing the meadows which are not to be crossed in all seasons. We recommend the short trail which leads to the watter collector which can be easily spotted from the road to the church soon after you pass this idyllic vintage rural spot.

There is about 15 minutes walk from the village to the church on the top of the hill.

The best motifs differ by the season. weather, time of the day and your taste and equipment – just make sure to go around and cover all angles!

Thel church on a hill above the settlement is dedicated to the Holy Cross and was built around 1500. It contains many well-preserved frescos from 1502 that depict the legends of Saint Ulrich, to whom the church was dedicated until 1867, and of Saint Corbinian. Some of the frescos in the nave, dating to around 1530, are believed to be by Jernej of Loka. The hill with the church and a Lodge of the Hunters Society bellow the hill is a popular destination for short outings by locals. /source: wikipedia/

Križna gora offers many photo opportunities but also great views of the area per se. A trip to the village is also a great insight into the way of life in the rural villages in the Škofja Loka area and a nice trip to the mostly unspoiled nature. It is also pretty easy to adjust the lenght and the fitness level of the trip – hiking all the way from Škofja Loka, starting just before the start of the ascent or driving to the village and just hike around.

 

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar

Vintgar Gorge

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.

The guarded entrance

 

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.

Maintenance workers on the galleries

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.

Wild beauty

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.

Nature regulates itself

Looking back

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.

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.

Šum Waterfall

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.

Log, Cerovo

A small private nature educational trail Following the Kingfisher Trails just bellow the village of Cerovo near Grosuplje in Central Slovenia consist of two small ponds and a few lookout towers. It is a really great spot for observing and photographing birds and other animals. The best time to photograph is early in the morning. Occasional morning mist is just a bonus.

Just above the village stop at the side of the road to capture some more misty scenes over the meadows.

Ring the owner to book your visit. Just a few minutes away is also an underground photo spot Županova jama cave. Enjoy!

Text and photo: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

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.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 18.21.16

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

Moravci – Moravske Toplice

That the village changed it’s name in 1983 tells all what is about to know – it means Moravci Spas and the whole village is dedicated to accommodation of tourist. Village Moravske Toplice lies just a few kilometers from Murska Sobota, the capital of the Prekmurje region. Prekmurje means “land over Mura river” and is a part of Pannonian basin or Pannonian Lowlands, a large geographical unit of Central Europe, most of it lies in Hungary.

While in other parts of Slovenia it is literally impossible not so see a mountain or at least some hills somewhere nearby, Prekmurje is different. The eastern part is totally flat and called Ravensko (Flatland), north of Murska Sobota is a more hilly part called Goričko but the highest “peak” of it is 418m above the sea.

polje

The region is completely different from the other parts of Slovenia. Not only are landscapes different, also language and food differs. Most  Slovenians wouldn’t understand locals speaking in their dialect since it is heavily based on the Hungarian language. But they are extremely kind and hospitable. Food is heavy but delicious and the prices are very low compared to central and western parts of Slovenia.

pot

We are not looking for spectacular landscape photography here and there are no real landmarks around. But on the other hand one can find plenty of beautiful nature motifs just wandering around.

klasi

Fog is very common at all times of the year and when it is just a morning fog with the sun slowly penetrating it one just wishes it would last forever.

megla

Prekmurje doesn’t have a lot of snow either – it is hot during the summer and mild but wet in the winter, only eastern winds are not very pleasant at that time. It is a great destination all year round and not only for spas – hiking and biking around the flats, Mura river and Goričko Nature Park can fill quite a few holiday days. Bukovnica Lake with it’s energy points is very interesting part of it.

golfvodaThere are many private accommodations available but the best and biggest spas and hotels belong to Sava Turizem, one of the largest hotels chains in Slovenia and adjacent to their hotels there is also a great golf course Livada. It is open all year round and it has the longest Par 5 hole in Slovenia. Some of the most spectacular motifs are to find on and around the course.

lokvanjiThere is also a plenty of water around and combined with the fog and sun a golfer can really enjoy the nature and photography.

partri

Autumn can be of a special beauty there.

jesen

Nature never fails to offer great photo opportunities for attentive eye.

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kapljice1

Even sunsets are different here since the horizon is unobstructed with hills.

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More about Moravske Toplice and Prekmurje region.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

 

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