Towards the city
After Verona we spent time mostly in the nature and in small villages. Bled is the largest town we stopped-by, it counts a bit more than 8.000 inhabitants. Kranj, with almost 38.000 inhabitants is definitely the biggest city we decided to stop in Slovenia, yet.
Even if the upper town doesn’t reach the 400m of altitude, it is surrounded by Slovenian Alps. For this reason, it is known as the Capital of the Alps. It has the largest water sport facilities of Slovenia -if anyone is interested, we know this just because we parked the van in front of the swimming centre, the only free parking not too far from the old city.
A lively town – at least on Saturday mornings
The way to the centre is calm and nice on a path along Kokra river. They built a pedestrian bridge over a small, but impressive -given the proximity to the city centre-, gorge. This is a beautiful natural spot just under the old town where one can refresh their feet in the clear water.
We climb the stairs to the centre and are surprised by the Saturday’s market. From vegetables, to cheese, wooden tools, tea and other goods. Breakfast in a nice cafe definitely wakes us up and give additional energy to walk through the town. In some 3 hours we walked through the town at least three times, we bought a National Geographic of 2008, bread, local cheese and had a nice sandwich assembled with local products. The old town is attractive with all the cafes, bakeries, market stands, antiquities shops and street artists.
We decided to have a tour of Kranj tunnels, it sounds interesting and it’s the only guided tour that attracts us available today. However, we have to wait until 4:30pm for it. Which means that we have time to go around even more. We end up doing some 10km of walking around, drinking a beer and working/reading. When it’s finally 4 o’clock it starts raining dogs and cats, we wait for the beginning of the tour inside the tourist office.
The tunnels are right under the city centre. From 1941 to 1944 they dig some 1.300 metres of tunnels, 2,20m tall and 3m large. The first works were realised under the Slovenian government; the whole thing was completed in 1944 under the German control by 132 workers. The tunnels were used a few times between ‘44 and ‘45. They now serve to touristic purposes, exhibitions and concerts.
It is humid and cold. However, there are some species of animals living here, cave crickets, bats and the weirdest fish. The thing can live up to 100 years, it can fast some 10 years. Now this creature is studied in a tunnel-laboratory where no public is allowed.
The visit closes with a simulation of the bombing, which is pretty realistic and makes one think.
A rainy night – is the van leaking?
We get back to the van, wet. We stop to buy something to eat and head towards our night destination, a parking lot by the lake Crnava. Once parked, we realise that there is a leak in the roof of the van, where we passed the cables of the solar panel. We’ll have to take care of it, for tonight M’s bed will be wet.