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Predjama Castle

According to Lonely Planet, Predjama Castle, 9km from Postojna, is one of Europe’s most dramatic castles. It teaches a clear lesson: if you want to build an impregnable fortification, put it in the gaping mouth of a cavern halfway up a 123m cliff. Its four storeys were built piecemeal over the years from 1202, but most of what you see today is from the 16th century. It looks simply unconquerable.

 

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

Since it is located only a few minutes drive from the famous Postojna cave gets a lot of attention despite the remoteness of the area. In fact,  approaching it from the other side, from the direction of Planina, one drives through the parts of Slovenia which are pretty unknown even to the natives of Slovenia.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

The place is really fascinating and calls to be photographed. It is easy to capture with a mobile camera. However, given the castle is already framed in the rock and it is not easy to get a lot of background in the picture, there are not many options left to make a difference with the shot. In addition to that it could be pretty soon in the shadow, but when lit with the sun the light can be pretty strongly reflected off the walls. Fortunately there are enough elements available to help with the dynamics of the shot, especially off the season when it is not too crowded.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro.

A few different angles available can be used according to the number off people around, the weather conditions and the season. Winter time is obviously off season so the surroundings can be pretty plain and dull. In the snow everything change to the better.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

The view from the road leading to the entrance can be combined with some plants. Stairway leading to the stream bellow – which runs into the cave underneath the castle – can be a great leading line as well as the sitting elements at the restaurant nearby.

The lower levels offer more interesting shots in other seasons than winter but always give a strong feeling of the castle’s splendour.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro.

Behind the largest cave castle in the world, there is a network of secret tunnels, from where the knight Erazem of Predjama would set out on his plundering expeditions. The Cave under Predjama Castle is the home of a colony of bats.

Text and photos. Zoran Leban Trojar

Piran

Picture perfect (or Pirano, in Italian) is a small & most popular town on Slovenian Coast. It sits nicely at the tip of Piran peninsula and it brings tons of photo opportunities for both professional and amateur photographers. Everything is pretty close so it’s ideal for a great photos using mobile only.

It’s landmark, the bell tower of the St. George’s Cathedral, is visible from many different angles. One of the best sights is from the path leading to the town from Fiesa Bay, especially at sunset (which we were not lucky to catch).

St. George’s Cathedral, taken with Huawei P20 Pro

Closer look at the tower is the best to get continuing from the same direction (Fiesa) or approaching it directly from the Tartini Square to the NE.

The bell tower from the east, taken with Huawei P20 Pro.

Piran - Tartini Square

One of the best spots to look at Piran is exactly from the bell tower of the Church of St. George. Paying a few euros to get to the top is well worth since the tower offers unobstructed views all around. Just come prepared! There are lots of steps to climb:)

Piran peninsula from bell tower

Piran beach from bell tower

However, if you don’t feel climbing to the top of the tower the views from the walls in front of the church are good enough. If you find the church door open don’t miss this photo opportunity as well!

Inside the church, taken with Huawei P20 Pro, night mode.

The tip of the small peninsula can be reached directly from the church following the path along the fence. The small lighthouse of Punta, the historical ‘point’ of Piran, is attached to the round tower of the Church of St Clement.

Punta, taken with Huawei P20 Pro.

Walking along the coast past many bars and restaurants, a sight like that would be pretty common out of the season.

Fisherman. Taken with Huawei P20 Pro.

Between the coast and the church on the top is a labyrinth of the old narrow streets so typical for the Mediterranean towns.

Steep and narrow. Taken with Huawei P20 Pro.

Shops and bars everywhere but heavily reduced number offseason.

Streets of Piran

Don’t miss the main – Tartini Square. The place where Tartini Square is located today, was once a harbour for fishing boats of Piran. Today it is the city centre, a place everybody meets, eats out and – takes some of the best photos. I, for example, love the statue of violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini in the middle of the square. He points his finger in a way you can make some nice (funny) photos using just this motive. For sure all the houses built in the Venetian – Gothic style make a great back (or fore)ground for any photo you will take.

Tartini Square

Small piers from the both sides of the harbour offer the best view – the church above the square, reflected in the water. We prefer the pier on the east side, close to the Maritime Museum.

The View. Taken with Huawei P20 Pro.

Reflections. Taken with Huawei P20 Pro.

Standing in front of the square is the best view of the harbour itself.

The harbour of Piran. taken with Huawei P20 Pro.

The only problem you’ll face here (and generally in Piran) is – the crowds. Specially in July & August the town is just full of tourists so try to avoid peak season. If you are not lucky enough and it gets to busy anyway, climb the city walls. This place offers simply the most beautiful view of the whole town and it is amazing all year round. If you get hungry … there is a nice restaurant just behind the city walls. It offers great home food and the prices are (for Piran) very reasonable. If you are lucky enough the restaurant owner will share some interesting stories with you.

Piran from the City walls

City walls

Text and photo by Sanja and Zoran Leban Trojar.

Most photos taken with Huawei P20 Pro courtesy of Huawei Slovenija.

The Best of 2018

Countdown time! The sixth year of Igslovenia on Instagram was marked with another big joint venture campaign with Visit Ljubljana to promote Central Slovenia, the campaign  finished with a very successful international two day Instameet. We have also organised two Instameets with Canon, one in Ljubljana and another one in Zagreb. We also joined an Instameet at Plitvice Lakes in January. @igslovenia community still growing and engaging is what gives us a satisfaction and pays for hundreds of hours spent to bring you the best photos from as various locations of Slovenia as possible. That has also resulted in a cooperation with Huawei since we were always focused on mobile photography, at least on our site in the section Where to in Slovenia.

Some stats first: More than 40 photographers were featured more than once in 2018 what is a bit less than the previous year. The same goes for the number of photographers which were featured five times or more – there are only 8 of them compared to 16 a year before.

Lets’s start with the best nine photos by the number of likes. They belong to eight different artist, from left to right and top to the bottom (all Instagram handles and links, more or less all of them also have a Facebook account which you can find): Jošt Gantar @jostgantarDomagoj Sever @domagojsever@auerimagesTom Strojnik @tomstrojnikHeikki @frozenblizzardPiotr Skrzypiec @piotrskrzypiec9198 @malaposastmiciZoran L Trojar @zokus_gfPiotr Skrzypiec @piotrskrzypiec9198.

Our selection of the year is in fact a result of our selection during the year: we just counted the number of features the artists made on our profile.  We are trying to feature high quality photos of different locations and not to repeat a single photographer and location too many times. But just as it happens with photos of Bled – throughout the year we post many of them and some photographers get more features than others simply because they are highly active and post different locations of superior quality.

To get into the Top 10 four features were needed. Each author is present bellow with one photo which does not always correspond to the actual featured photos on our profile.

Jaka Ivančič @jaka_ivancic managed to the first place by the number of features. Among many other recognitions he have received recently this reflects his high quality photos but also a huge amount of activity spent both in the field and on social media channels.

In the next group, very close to Jaka, were: Ana Pogačar @anapogacar

Jošt Gantar @jostgantar was also close to Jaka by the number of features but he holds the first place by the number of likes in 2018 – and 2017.

Next group consists of a few artist with the same number of features, none of them is new to our list:

Luka Esenko @lukaesenko

Gregor Škoberne @gregorskobernephotography

Aleš Krivec @dreamypixels

In the last group were:  Piotr Skrzypiec @piotrskrzypiec9198

Jurij Pelc @jurij_pelc

Klemen Zepp Dovžan @klemen_zepp_dovzan

Dan Briški @dan.briski

We thank you all for participating, tagging and engaging. Love you all,

Sanja and Zoran

Novo mesto – Ragov log

A beautiful wooden bridge connects the NE end of the old town with the peaceful and mysterious woods on the right bank of the Krka river, Ragov log. A pleasant 15 minutes walk through the woods connects this bridge with Kandijski most bridge in the city centre, the main photo spot of Novo mesto.

A shot from the left bank towards the woods is definitely a better option, especially with some fog in the early morning, snow or colourful autumn would do no harm either:).

Following the river downstream one would find a boathouse not far from the bridge. It is not in the best shape, so be cautious trying to get a shot with the colourful boats. From there a nice view of the bridge over the river opens up as well.

The upstream part of the river bank from the bridge is located bellow the buildings and it is not easy to get close to the water. The views are nothing spectacular but with some luck one always find a nice motif.

The bridge view from this side comes with the buildings in the background but with some dramatic skies and probably autumn colours and/or mist one can always make a nice capture. Not at the time of our visit though.

From here a path leads uphill to the old town – pass the Court house and stay above the river in Šolska ulica street, than follow the first opportunity back to the river to reach a small dam if you want yet another angle of the river and the Ragov log itself.

Now the best way is to head to the old town and enjoy the rich architectural heritage of Novo Mesto!

Text and photo: Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

All photos are taken with HuaweiP20Pro courtesy of Huawei Slovenija.

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:

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

the standing point to take a photo of the old town with the river:

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

or the main object of the photo:

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

 

which works in both directions. In the summer you can catch the sunset just in the line of the bridge.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

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.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

Some morning mist can make the whole scene very mystical.

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

When you’re done, you can – (1) walk up to the castle

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

sunset over the rooftops can be amazing

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

(2) get lost in the streets of the old town

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

 

Taken with HuaweiP20Pro

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.