• Brighty

Cycling the Julian Alps, Slovenia

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

I’d never heard of the Julian Alps, either, but wow - so beautiful!

I hired a mountain bike from Lake Bled (€13 for the day) and made a plan to cycle roughly 50km round trip, through rustic villages and the stunning Radovna valley, to a waterfall in Slovenia’s only national park - Triglav, or Triglavski Narodni Park, depending on who you ask. 

Beautiful Lake Bled

I’m relatively fit (for an oldie) but not an experienced cyclist - a few spin classes and an occasional cycle around London are about as much two-wheeled self propulsion I’ve done since childhood. 

It should have been a challenge already but I took a wrong turn at the charming valley village of Krnica and found myself climbing what seemed to my only slightly exaggerating mind, like peaks of Himalayan proportions.

Struggling to keep going while cycling in first gear was a new experience for me, never having cycled across mountains before. Hurtling down the other side was exhilarating but at the back of my mind I was full of trepidation for the return journey.

I was annoyed at myself but also quite relieved when I realised I’d taken a wrong turn. Maybe the way back wouldn’t be so difficult. It wasn’t. The valley route has some peaks but nothing as daunting as the one I’d just flown down.

My journey to the national park was jaw-droppingly beautiful - lush forest separated by rustic dwellings and small farms, raptors bossing the skies. The kind of views that you have to just stare at in wonder.

The waterfall was lovely, but as is often the way, the joy was in the journey.

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I enjoy writing and love to travel. So I’ve convinced my lovely girlfriend to put our ‘sensible’ lives on hold while we enjoy one more year of what my dad may describe as slightly reckless abandon. I.e. no work and definitely no pension contribution. Sorry Dad: I’ll try again next year. 

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