30 September 2015

Pula at sunset

I can't believe I haven't posted here in over a year. High time I remedied that! ;)

I spent a good week in Premantura, Croatia at the end of September, and apart from lying on the beach when it wasn't too windy, my days were spent exploring the area. First I visited Pula to take photos of its famous Roman amphitheater. The afternoon was cloudy and not that exciting.

But then the sky got interesting.

I quickly ran back to the arena, went in and ran around like crazy finding good vantage points.

After an intense half hour I returned to the port where the sky was still quite dramatic:

The photos can also be viewed in this gallery.

03 September 2014

Climbing Mt. Koroška Rinka in the Kamnik Alps

The weather hasn't been really inducive to hiking and mountaineering this summer as it's been very rainy and cold, so when the forecast said there would be two sunny days in a row, I quickly made plans for a 2-day trip in the Kamnik Alps. Aco dropped me off at Jezersko on Friday afternoon, and the first part of my hike began. Mt. Velika Baba on the left was where I was headed.
Start of the hike in the Jezersko valley. My first goal, Mt. Velika Baba, is on the left, and the central Kamnik Alps in the background.

A trail through the forest took me to Jenkova planina first.
Jenkova planina

I quickly gained altitude and soon the village of Jezersko was far below me.
Looking back towards Jezersko

Forest gave way to rocks and soon Mt. Mala Baba was in front of me.
Mt. Mala Baba in front of me, still a long way to go

I timed the ascent to be at the top of Mt. Velika Baba in the late afternoon. The central Kamnik Alps basked in the sun: Mt. Planjava on the far left, then Koroška Rinka, Skuta and Dolgi hrbet.
Finally at the top of Mt. Velika Baba. The view of the central Kamnik Alps opened up: Mt. Planjava on the far left, then Koroška RInka, Skuta and Dolgi hrbet.

Looking back toward Jezersko:
Jezersko from Mt. Velika Baba

The descent was steep.
Steep slopes of Mt. Velika Baba

I took the left trail that goes on the Austrian side and climbed up to the saddle between Ledinski vrh and Storžek, just in time to catch the last sun rays.
Last sun rays from the saddle between Ledinski vrh and Storžek

Mt. Koroška Rinka lit up for a few minutes.
Rinke at sunset

Soon the light turned to pink and then it was gone.
Mt. Koroška Rinka in the pink light at sunset

Far to the east, Mt. Planjava was losing color, too.
Mt. Ojstrica in the distance, also pink

The Julian Alps with Mt. Triglav after sunset.
The Julian Alps with Mt. Triglav

I spent the night at Kranjska koča hut at Ledine. Some other guests were partying until the wee hours keeping the rest of us awake. Nevertheless, I got up early enough to set off at sunrise.
Colorful sunrise from Kranjska koča hut at Ledine

The clouds went from pink to orange in a matter of minutes, and Mt. Kočna was already illuminated by the sun.
Colorful sunrise from Kranjska koča hut at Ledine

Mt. Kočna in the morning light.
Mt. Kočna in the morning

The trail climbed up the scree slopes to the rockface of my goal, Mt. Koroška Rinka.
Interesting clouds in the morning when I was climbing towards Mt. Koroška Rinka

The ascent was not for the faint-hearted: very vertical, very airy, but with amazing views!
Climbing straight up

Soon I was standing at the top admiring the nearby peaks: Mt. Kranjska Rinka and Mt. Skuta.
Ana at the summit of Mt. Koroška Rinka

After breakfast the unpleasant descent down the scree was inevitable, and then back up to climb Mt. Kranjska Rinka. Here I was almost at the top, looking back towards Koroška Rinka.
Mt. Koroška Rinka from the trail to Kranjska Rinka

It was a beautiful sunny day, a Saturday, and many people decided to go hiking. I had to share my next destination, Mt. Turska gora with quite a few fellow mountaineers. Looking back towards Mts. Grintovec, Skuta and the three Rinkas.
From the top of Mt. Turska gora: Mts. Grintovec, Skuta and the three Rinkas

Logar Valley (Logarska dolina) from Mt. Turska gora. You can also see the hut at the Kamnik Saddle (Kamniško sedlo), where I was headed next.
From Mt. Turska gora looking towards Logarska dolina valley and Kamniško sedlo saddle

Climbing down Turska gora involves descending through a vertical opening equipped with steel cables. It's called a "bottomless barrel". :)

This stretch of the hike almost killed me twice. Just as a climbed up and out of a narrow gully, rocks started flying down from above and I escaped by a few seconds. Wearing a helmet wouldn't have helped me there. Just as I thought the worst was over, a hiker on a trail above me triggered a largish rock that came tumbling down as I was taking this photo, and I had to run out of the way to avoid it. Two narrow escapes within 15 minutes! Phew!
Kamniško sedlo saddle from the slopes of Mt. Brana

The hut at the Kamnik Saddle was teeming with day hikers. I did stop for some lunch though but then started the grueling descent back to the valley: the 1300 altitude meters did me in and by the time I reached the road, my soles were so inflamed I could hardly walk.
Final descent from Kamniško sedlo saddle

Inflamed soles aside, this was a wonderful hike mixed with some exhilarating climbing and amazing views. Now I am hoping for some nice weather in September so I can go hiking again!

14 July 2014

Sunrise on Križna gora

Sunrises in the early summer - gotta love them. The sun rises so early you need to get up at an ungodly hour to make it to the destination in time. But, this time getting up at 3.45 was totally worth it. I met Luka on Križna gora hill above Škofja Loka around 4.45, and shortly after the heavenly show began. Let the photos do the talking:

Sunrises like this make it all worth it. :)

18 April 2014

Purple carpets of crocuses on Velika planina

Every spring it's amazingly picturesque on my favorite mountain, Velika planina. Carpets of crocuses turn the pastures purple everywhere you look. A week ago my friends Luka and Andrej hiked there in the afternoon to catch the late afternoon light hoping for a nice sunset too. After shooting like crazy for a few hours we concluded the day with a hearty meal at the Domžalski dom hut.

Now let the photos tell the story:

Crocuses on Mala planina

Crocuses on Velika planina

Domžalski dom hut and crocuses on Velika planina

Crocuses on Velika planina

Crocuses on Velika planina

Chapel on Velika planina

Crocuses on Velika planina

Sunset on Velika planina

Crocuses on Velika planina in the late afternoon

Crocuses on Velika planina at sunset

Crocuses on Velika planina in the late afternoon

Clouds at sunset on Velika planina

Crocuses on Velika planina after sunset

Sunset colors reflecting in the windows of the Domžalski dom hut on Velika planina

Larger photos can be viewed here: