30 April 2009

Spring colors of the Predel and Vršič passes II.

The first part of our road trip was behind us.
After driving through the Koritnica valley we turned left before Bovec and started up the Trenta valley. The weather started to play some tricks on me with clouds obscuring the sun from time to time. We made several short stops along the Soča river, one of the most pristine Alpine rivers in Europe, but I'll have to come back just for the photos of Soča - on this trip I simply didn't have enough time to explore various spots and play with the tripod.

Trenta is simply beautifully scenic. Many footbridges, typical architecture, green meadows and, of course, the emerald Soča.

Higher up the valley there is a monument to Dr. Julius Kugy, gazing towards his favorite mountain, Jalovec ...

... the peak of which was now shrouded in clouds.

The conditions at a higher elevation were still wintry.

Along the road to the Vršič pass a viewing platform offers great views over the Zadnja Trenta valley and the surrounding mountains.

One of the most striking rock faces in the Julian Alps for me: Veliko Špičje.

At the Vršič pass, which was just opened earlier that day, it was amazing to see the deep corridor cut into the snow.

Snow walls were high ...

... even up to 10 meters.

Interesting layers of snow on a milestone.

Driving back home we caught the last glimpses of sun rays on the mountains above Gozd Martuljek.

Mt. Kukova špica in the golden hour.

We were lucky to catch the last fine day. The following day the weather fouled up and it's been raining ever since. Just great, with the holidays and all. :(
The whole travelogue with more photos is here.

27 April 2009

Spring colors of the Predel and Vršič passes I.

I was waiting for April 25 when the road over the Vršič pass was supposed to be opened. Colors of spring were calling to me, and the combination of the green forests and white mountains was too appealing to resist. :)

We started in the morning and the first picture I took was in Gozd Martuljek.

We then stopped in Kranjska Gora for a cup of coffee with my aunt and crossed the border with Italy. Our destination was the Mangart lakes.

I couldn't believe the amount of snow! We walked around in short sleeves, yet there was still at least 20 cm of snow.

Steep ravines in the Mangart range:

The only peak that wouldn't reveal itself was Mangart. I took a random photo and only found out at home that there were two climbers/skiers descending down the northern slope. Can you see them?

The second lake was just as green.

More snow.

Next we drove past the town of Trbiž to the Rabelj Lake:

After climbing the Predel pass at 1165 meters above sea level we were back in Slovenia, admiring a bridge that is being built across a steep valley.

Soon the village of Strmec came into view:
Just before the village of Log pod Mangartom this panorama opened up. I think the whole trip was worthwhile for this photo alone.

Driving down the Koritnica valley we saw a huge avalanche amidst the already green trees. It will take a long time before this one melts completely.

To be continued ...

15 April 2009

Views of Kamnik from Špica

The first April Sunday was extremely warm - enough for short sleeves! After stuffing ourselves with ribs at our friends' we climbed Špica, our home hill above Kamnik. The forest floor had already started to show the first greenery. The views from the top weren't that good because of the haze but it was great to see the fields below turning green. I've had enough of the boring browns and greys!

I can see my house from here! :)))

St. Ana in Tunjice:

Zaprice Castle and orchards in the background:

I haven't been on Špica for ages - and certainly not for the last five years since I moved to Mengeš. I have to come back when the visibility is better.

13 April 2009

Rakov Škocjan and Lake Cerknica

Last Easter we went to Lake Cerknica and this Easter we went to Lake Cerknica again. :) Except that the weather was completely different yesterday. Last year it was snowing, this year it was really warm and sunny. But first we drove to Rakov Škocjan and had a look at the Big natural bridge. The water level is very high and some places, especially the river bed are totally impassable.

I had the tripod with me, of course ... but I left it in the car! Doh! All of the above photos are hand-held. Please somebody shoot me. :)

Lake Cerknica was bathing in the sun.

More photos here.

04 April 2009

Velika planina again! :)

I obviously can't get enough of Velika planina. :))) Well, what can I do? It's such a fantastic place. This time I went skiing. It used to be THE ski ground for every skier around Kamnik. The pistes are nothing to write home about, but the nature and the views are simply worth it, plus it's close to home.
I knew pictures taken in the middle of the day wouldn't be as nice as those from an early morning, but I hauled my gear with me anyway. Skiing with a heavy backpack, and off-piste at that, is an adventure, hehe!

Mt. Planjava under a cloud:

Looking towards Krvavec:

Rolling hills of Velika planina:

A cloud layer over mountains Kočna, Grintovec, Skuta and Rinke:

White plains:

Mt. Ojstrica in the afternoon sun: