27 January 2009

Menina planina and first snow

One lovely Sunday back in November I wanted to get some fresh air and decided to go to Menina planina. Menina is a plateau in the Kamnik Alps, covered partly in forest and partly in pastures. Bears supposedly live there. :)

We parked the car along the road and continued to the top on foot.

Soon we passed a chapel of St. Anton.

The trail led us through the forest.

After an hour or so the summit at 1508 meters above sea level was in front of us.

The views over the Kamnik Alps were fantastic.

Mighty Mt. Planjava to the left and Mt. Ojstrica to the right.

It was windy and I almost got frostbite, so we hurried back down. But along the way I couldn't help but take photos. The late-afternoon light was turning more and more orange.
The last stretch of the road before we reached our car offered more fantastic views.

Along the road going back down to the valley, a pile of logs was waiting to be hauled away.

It was a nice walk, short but sweet. If you want, you can make it considerably longer by parking the car lower down the road.
More photos, as usual, are here.

22 January 2009

Peričnik - a symphony of icicles

Peričnik is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Slovenia during winter. Three photographers, Luka, Andrej and I, set off one early morning in mid January to capture its glory before the weather got too warm.

After a leisurely walk through the Vrata valley and a short ascent from the road the first glimpse of the waterfall took our breath away.

A huge wall of icicles and a small fir tree.

There is a single waterfall which plunges over 50 meters deep, but in winter the whole wall freezes in thousands of icicles.

Icy pattern.

Luka in front of the waterfall.

The icy water falls into a deep hole which resembles a crater.

The ice is incredibly blue and formed in various shapes.

After a few hours of shooting from all possible places, the sun finally hit the top of the wall.

These are broken icicles that fell from the wall after the sun had shone on them. Their base melted and they crashed to the ground. The roaring sound they made was overwhelming.

And afterwards, every ten minutes or so a huge chunk of ice collapsed with a thunder.

When the whole wall bathed in sun rays, we called it a day and headed home, very pleased with our photo session.

We were lucky. The weather turned very warm and wet after that and I'm sure the icy waterfall is shrinking by the hour. I only hope the winter is generous with cold and snow once again so we can enjoy and admire this glorious winter spectacle one more time before the spring arrives.

18 January 2009

Midnight mass and night skies above Velika planina

After attending a midnight mass at the chapel on the Velika planina plateau for Christmas a couple of years ago, I decided to give it another go this winter. Instead of taking the cable car (going up is ok, but the wait for going down can last up to three hours!) we hiked from the valley. It was quite romantic especially when we turned the headlamps off. Walking in the dark, first through the forest and then up the open slope, fills you with all kinds of feelings - even a little bit of fear for the fainthearted, but mostly it was exhilaration for me.

Once we crossed Mala planina, we could already see a long procession of people walking with headlamps and torches.
People were throwing all sorts of explosive devices. :)
There was a constant flow of people coming to and going from the chapel.
Around the chapel:
The village of Velika planina:
Ghosts and trails of headlamps:
A procession, star trails and light pollution from the valley:
Night illumination penetrating the fog in the valley below:
More photos here.

13 January 2009

Winter sunset

Those few days on Rogla were really spectacular. The temperature rose from -14 degrees on the first day (hence the white, snow-laden trees!) to -2 on the third and fourth days, so some of the romantic winter atmosphere was gone after the snow on the trees had melted, but if you looked in the shady places, it was just as much a fairy-tale as on the first day!

07 January 2009

White Rogla

New Year's on the Rogla mountain was great! The company was excellent and the nature was beautiful! It was very cold when we went skiing on our first day there and everything was enveloped in snow. The scenery is so romantic when the trees are white. ;)