22 February 2011

Exploring Kamnik

While my friend and now coworker Sebastian was visiting Slovenia, we took the opportunity to explore Kamnik a little. One morning we climbed the Stari grad hill (Old Castle) to admire the views. The castle was first mentioned in the 12th century, and after it was abandoned in the 16th century, it slowly fell into decay and is now in ruins. All that remains are a couple of walls.

Southern part of Kamnik.

We could even see Ljubljana in the distance. Can you spot the Ljubljana Castle?

Towards the north: my beautiful Kamnik Alps. :)

The Mekinje monastery.

Coming down from the hill we took some more photos of Kamnik church towers, red roofs and castles.

Then we climbed the smaller hill, Mali grad (Small Castle) with a chapel and an old watch tower.

This panorama should be viewed bigger. Click on it. ;)

Sebastian and jet trails.

One of the following mornings before work we did a quick visit to the nearby Zaprice Castle.
The main building now houses a museum. The castle was first built in the 14th century, then rebuilt a few times, and during one of the recent reconstructions remains of a wall and a few objects from the Roman times were found.

The castle has a wall and two watch towers. And a beaufitul view. :)

The inside of the watch tower has seen better days.

A window with a view.

From behind the wall.

Next to the castle there is an open-air museum with a couple of granaries that were used in the Kamnik area a few centuries ago.

I wish we had more time to explore the many attractions Kamnik and its surroundings have to offer, but there is always another time. :) Showing Sebastian around Kamnik was actually a welcome kick in the butt for me too, as I discovered I hardly have any photos of my own home town! Shame on me. :)
As usual, more photos here.

15 February 2011

A grey and bleak day in Piran, Socerb and Škocjan

My friend Sebastian and I explored Slovenian coast and Karst one bleak Sunday in February. First we went to Piran and climbed the hill with the town wall. Everything was grey and there was no distinction between the sea and the sky.

Always interesting narrow streets of Piran:

Then we quickly visited Socerb Castle.

The views towards the Adriatic Sea weren't exactly magnificent. :D

Our next destination was the Škocjan Cave. Photography is not allowed inside, but I took a few pics at the exit and from the viewpoint. The view from the viewpoint is actually very impressive, with Škocjan village on the other side of the collapsed valley and the Reka River flowing below.

The visit of the cave was a completely different story from many years ago when the Reka River was extremely polluted, dirty, smelly and covered in foam. Now it's clear and green, making the whole experience really memorable.
As I already mentioned, taking photos is not allowed and we could only take our cameras out near the exit. I could barely take one picture before our guide turned off the lights!

When outside, you have to take a path through another cave back to the entrance.

Bleak weather or not, this was a great day. :)

01 February 2011

Frosty Mt. Slivnica

It was a cold, grey and pretty miserable weekend. While trying to make the best of it, I went hiking to Mt. Slivnica and took some pictures. Frosty ones. :)

Ahhh, just getting some fresh air was worth it!