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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

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.

St. Ursula

St. Ursula 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. Where to in Slovenia features micro locations for mobile photography and sometimes micro stands for really – micro. This one fits into the category but still offers many different views and options to compose a photo.

All of the featured photo spots are on the map with exact positions so we won’t bother with navigation, let us only tell you that reaching St. Ursula can be a pleasant short hike from the touristic farm reached by car or a longer one from the valley. The church is visible almost all the time on the shorter hike.

The peaks of Mala Grmada and Grmada in the vicinity of St. Ursula are popular hiking destination in these hills.

 

The “rear” view is a kind of Slovenian classic and since nothing disturbs the composition it is probably one of the best of the kind as well.

However, the church itself is only a half of the story.

The other half is definitely the view of the surrounding hills over the meadows above the farm.

St. Lawrence is another peak with a church just over the valley.

Personally we can’t wait to hike there again to observe the sunset – location is just right for that. Enjoy!

Check out also the great views of the Črni vrh in the vicinity!

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Vrhnika

Where to in Slovenia features micro locations for mobile photographers. Sometimes it is quite a challenge to define “micro”, especially in the cases like Vrhnika, a relatively big city which doesn’t provide many good photo spots in the city area itself. Vrhnika is located in Central Slovenia region on the western edge of Ljubljana Marshes and it is one of the destinations included in the photo contest by Visit Ljubljana. Its green landscape is shaped by Ljubljana Marses, surrounding hills and Ljubljanica river which has many sources around Vrhnika and characterizes the area.

This time we decided to put the “Vrhnika” geo located photo spot on the slope of the Grča Hill just above the city, more precisely to the location of the Monument to the Fallen in the National Liberation Struggle.

It is pretty easy to find one of the many sources of the Ljubljanica river in Močilnik, there is an exit just at the first turn when the road begins to ascend above Vrhnika towards Logatec. Find a path at the corner of the small parking place before the bridge and follow it for some 10 minutes to reach the monument.

The view of the city and the surrounding Ljubljana Marshes is fantastic especially in the early morning when the marshes are covered with mist and the sun is rising.

Unfortunately many trees cover the scenery so for the better view one should climb the monument itself. Or shouldn’t?

We are dedicated to mobile photography but this spot demand some serious landscape settings – even with a beast like HuaweiP20Pro you would need to use a tripod at least.

In that case you can also play with the lights on the busy road through the city.

Obviously we haven’t had one but we managed to capture the church of Sv. Trojica (Holy Trinity Church) from afar.

It is an iconic place of Vrhnika, find out why in the link.

The Močilnik source can be beautiful when it is full of water but not really photogenic. Maybe something can be done with the church on the cemetery over the fields.

Crossing the bridge at Močilnik you can easily reach another area with Ljubljanica springs – the Retovje. The bridge can be photogenic there when the water supply is high and some motifs from the river itself are worth considering a try.

When finished here in the early morning just enough time is left to catch the morning light at the Bistra Castle which is situated along the road a few kilometres towards Borovnica.

The best views of the Vrhnika area are of course from the Planina summit with a lookout tower.

The ponds at the abandoned brickworks near Verd can also provide for some good motifs along the nice walk around the area.

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

 

Bistra Castle

Where to in Slovenia features micro locations for mobile photographers. Bistra Castle near Vrhnika lies on the southwestern margins of the Ljubljana Marshes in Central Slovenia. Originally it was  a monastery but later became a grand mansion. Both settlement and manor take their name from the clear karstic springs, which issue forth from under the adjacent wooded hillside. Since  1951 the castle hosts the nation’s Technical Museum.

One of the oldest museums in the country has really interesting collections, find out more about them here. We are more interested  in the building itself and the karst source which also provides water for some early industrial objects in the castle’s yard.

Walking around these wooden structures above the Bistra source offer many beautiful motifs, mostly reflections.

The light can be an issue here since the castle is perched under a slope of the hill. Early morning light would be the best but the museum opening hours don’t support this idea in all seasons.

There is also a beautiful garden in front of the castle which is mostly used for different activities at the weddings and other events which are often taking place at this beautiful locations. What is even more interesting for photographers is the typical scenery of the marshes which can be seen next to the castle and its garden.

The morning mist, occasional tree and a horse – can you ask for more?

Enjoy!

See more about photo spots around the city of Vrhnika and Ljubljana Marshes.

Text and photos: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Ljubljana Marshes

Where to in Slovenia features micro locations for mobile photographers. Sometimes it is quite a challenge to define “micro” – we have already described some locations in Ljubljana Marshes and they are really micro-located. On the other hand the whole territory of the marshes share some common features that can be observed and captured almost everywhere so we can think of the whole Ljubljana Marshes as one location.

Ljubljana Marshes are a part of Central Slovenia region and there is an Instagram challenge underway which offers nice prizes for the best photos os certain locations in Central Slovenia, Ljubljana Marshes is one of them. learn more about the challenge!

So where the marshes start if looking from Ljubljana? Where can we draw a line between the capital and Central Slovenia region to which the marshes belong? One could easily decide to put the beginning at the at the point where Ljubljanica river, which is at the same time the Mother and the Child of the marshes, enters the city and becomes an “urban river”.

This “break” in the river’s nature happens at the quarter called Livada where a canoe and kayak club is located. We have described this place as Entering the city with Ljubljanica river. The photo bellow features an upstream view of the river which doesn’t change much over the marshes all the way to Vrhnika.

However, the residents of Ljubljana would probably agree that the real marshes begin at Črna vas, the oldest village of the marshes. There the floods are already present and the buildings have to be built on piles. However, the village is probably best known by its parish church of St. Michael designed by the famous architect Jožef Plečnik.

From Črna vas two roads lead to the two other important settlements of the marshes – the villages of Ig and Podpeč. The later is best known by its lake – Podpeško jezero.

Just above the lake and the village is a typical motif of Slovenia, a church on the top of the hill and probably the best spot to observe and photograph the Ljubljana Marshes: St. Anna!

The church itself is also very photogenic.

The vast flat landscape with a lot of mist, lonely trees, wet meadows and occasional corn field, drainage canals and gravel roads is otherwise lacking  landmarks. Early mornings or sunset time are the best to capture there. There is one spot we choose to be the best for sunrise beside the Lake Podpeč and St. Anna: Ižica river.

In the early spring some of the wet meadows are full of  Snake’s head Fritillaries so we find a nice spot to capture them as well.

The best way to explore the marshes is probably with bike, check out some nice daily tours we have designed with Visit Good Place tourist agency!

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