Slovenia – an old favourite!

We bloody love Slovenia! We already thought we did, but now we are sure. It’s just a stunning place, with friendly people (who pretty much all speak English – taught in schools here from primary).

There’s mountains including the Alps, rolling hills and forests, castles, lakes with crystal clear waters, white water rivers, wildlife everywhere, gorgeous little towns, seemingly unchanged in generations. If you come (you must), switch off the motorways on your satnav and enjoy the road less travelled, it’s slow but beautiful. Also the state and the EU promote camping and there are lots of free camper stops, including many with services, including electric.

First time we came it was late spring and we crossed via the Vsiç Pass over the Alps from Austria into the Soça valley in the west, but this time we crossed from Austria into the East and are currently heading south westerly towards Ljubljana. We have encountered snow covered mountains, yet 25km later we are in glorious sunshine with no trace of snow.

Snowy mountain trails

As you see in the video, the road to a viewpoint we planned to camp at was ploughed tarmac and clear, but then it wasn’t, instead it was ploughed and gritted, but then it wasn’t, instead it was just ploughed, but then it wasn’t….. Eventually the snow got too deep and the edges too indistinct to safely proceed and we admitted defeat.

On a recommendation, we passed through the town of Trojane to try arguably the best (certainly the biggest) donuts either of us had ever had! We drank Union beers in a camp site (allowed to camp for free due to no hot water available) and had complementary Slovenian headache juice (Rakia) to wrap it up.

We visited a castle in Velenje which has been restored despite being pillaged by the Nazis after the war and now houses art exhibitions and the remains of a mastodon, discovered after a landslide in coal mine workings. There’s an amazing mining museum with tours underground and this summer will see a huge heavy metal concert staged.

We have noticed something odd in the former Eastern Bloc counties, they all have loudspeaker systems installed in towns and regularly use them: today we heard air raid sirens being tested, whereas in Slovakia, everyday started with rousing patriotic music at around 9, followed by announcements: “old man Piotr died last night… Olga’s granddaughters christening is today in church number 3…. There’s tomatoes and peppers available in the markets place….” You get the gist. Also all the air forces are busy, with intensive fast jet activity 24/7.

Arriving in Slovenia marked the completion of week 6 since leaving the U.K. and was a rest and service opportunity, with the van receiving some TLC including topping up the gearbox oil (slight weep), engine oil (some idiot forgot to refit the oil filler cap last time 😩), cleaning the inside of the cabin and defrosting the fridge, as well as washing a mountain of clothes and other stuff, which dried in the balmy sunshine.

Fuel prices here seems to be state controlled and diesel is €1.48.9 everywhere. We have seen no discernible difference in food prices, more that somethings cost quite a bit more.

After leaving our service stop, we headed into Ljubljana, pulling in to a town centre camper stop a short walk from the castle and we’re delighted to spot Laurenz and Kathi in their immaculate 2WD camper. They were just one week into a 1 year adventure and were leaving for Italy as we arrived. We hope to meet up with them again elsewhere before we go home.

As we arrived back at our van after visiting the city, in rolled Melvin and Jolien and their stunning Syncro, Pablo The Syncro. They are 5 weeks into their 1 year trip which will take them to India (geopolitics permitting). This is a lovely van with some great upgrades including a Cathargo pop roof (not jealous at all….). After a quick chat we agreed it might be nice to meet up in Croatia. 😎

Ljubljana is a lovely place to visit, with an old town and a splendid castle. Due to the dog we limited ourselves to exploring on foot, eating in a cafe in the castle (free admission and dogs welcome in the castle grounds). I’d recommend it for a city break, but for us, we are heading for Croatia!

4 thoughts on “Slovenia – an old favourite!

  1. Hi guys If you’re still in the area and haven’t already been I can recommend the Postojna Show Cave (Postojna Cave, Jamska cesta 30, 6230 Postojna, Slovenia). Have a good trip (extremely envious) Regards Sheila & Gary

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