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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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Kozjak Waterfall

 

The Veliki (Big) Kozjak waterfall is a pretty popular sight of the Soča Valley. The waterfall is very picturesque since it is caught in a kind of a stony amphitheatre.  There are two accesses to the waterfall but we would definitely recommend the one crossing the Soča River. The reason is quite obvious.

The bridge is located behind the camping site of Kamp Lazar. Don’t try to park there in the season.

The Kozjak stream is feeding the Soča river from the  left. It springs high beneath Mt. Krnčica (2142 m) and makes six waterfalls and many pools. There is a small waterfall under the stone bridge half way to the Veliki Kozjak. The path which takes apr. 20 minutes is following the stream from there on.

The access is over the kind of a wooden bridges and usually slippery.

The waterfall carved an underground hall. Its bottom is covered by a vast blue and green pool, and its walls are reminiscent of those in the Karst caves.

A 15 meter high white water column offers its visitors an unforgettable scenery.

Only a small amount of light gets into the hall so it is difficult to make a good shot of the amphitheater. The best conditions are probably in the early fall and spring when more light enters from behind.

Of course one can always try to come closer but be careful!

All photos taken with mobile HuaweiP20Pro!

Text and photo: Zoran Leban Trojar

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)

 

 

Luče

Luče is a small village near Grosuplje in the Central Slovenia region. Driving from Veliko Mlačevo towards Krka a beautiful green valley will open in front of you and offer you some amazing views. What makes this tiny village worth visiting (beside some really good local food at the best known restaurant in the area, Bar pr’Mrtinet) are beautiful meadows and hills, endless roads and green woods. The main photo attraction must be the local church, dedicated to Saint Oswald.

If in the area, check also: Grosuplje, Log – Cerovo & Županova jama Cave!

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

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.