Early bird in Austria
The alarm rings at 7am after a rainy -and noisy- night. The fun thing is that we got to bed saying that we are glad the van is well isolated, and then spent the night hearing the drops of water hitting the metal roof.
After the last breakfast in Italy we cross the border and stop by the first Austrian village to buy rice, vegetables and bread. We follow the road 83 until Villach, where we are supposed to find a gas station selling cooking gas. After a few wrong attempts, we finally end up in the right station where we refill our gas bottle and buy cooling liquid for our radiator. We take advantage of Austrian oil prices, probably the lowest in Europe, to refill the van. Since we already spent 80 euros, we decide to buy a tarpaulin for the next rains, we did not have any protection before and we are a bit sick of everything getting humid.
Another challenge for our van
The way to Slovenia is steep: our old van and G’s limited driving skills, make of this road a challenge, which we manage to accomplish with dignity. Slovenian police officers stop us at the border. They ask where we are directed to: “Triglavski Narodni Park”, and when G tries to hand them his document they refuse to look at it and let us go with a welcoming -maybe?- smile.
The valley from above is astonishing. The grey sky and the low clouds mix with the green of the pines and of the grasses, the shy rocks show up here and there. The way down is flatter -our van is thankful. We live behind ourselves the first two villages, Podkoren and Kranjska Gora, to reach today’s destination: the majestic gorges of the river Hladnik and the tall waterfall of Jerman stream.
And guess how we are planning to do it? Two beautiful via ferrata have been equipped to explore these amazing places.
A wet climb in the clearest waters
The first via ferrata -ferata Hvadnik, we know, our Italian friends are getting suspicious on the spelling, but life is like it is- is easy, but wet, which makes it hard. It is a mixture of canyoning, climbing and hiking. The waters are the clearest we met yet. G finds pleasure in trying to take good pictures, unsuccessfully, while M rushes the climb with her fast moves.
The second, that we are able to start directly from the path descending from the first, is physical and impressive: we climb almost under the waterfall Jermanovi slapovi. We both agree that this is a must do in Slovenian Alps!
Best night-stay – for the moment
On the website park4night.com we find what is supposed to be a nice spot where to spend the late afternoon and, hopefully, a restful night. Unfortunately, the park is right on the road. We opt for the next one, which surprises us. We reach the riverside through a countryside road. We are on the riverside of Sava Dolinka, under the jurisdiction of the village of Belca… The sun is finally out, it’s warm but not hot, the wine tastes good, the table is set to work, G is going to cook pasta with pesto. Life is good.