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Kranjska Gora Travel Blog

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Hay Drying stands (Kozolec) in Slovenia

Ride - Day 8, Ribcev Laz (Bohinj Jezero), Slovenia to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

48.4km (30.2 miles)

Awoke to what was going to be another beautiful day for riding.  A polar opposite from two days ago.  Today's ride was going to be a short, but tough ride through the heart of Triglav National Park and would again offer some stunning scenery of the Slovenian Alps.

We left Ribcev Laz and Lake Bohinj (at 530m - 1740ft) and started through a smaller valley (Ribnica Suha) just north of where we had come into the lake 2 days earlier.  We rode through three small towns (Stara Fuzina, Srednja Vas, and Jereka) over the first couple miles of the ride which turned into an early warmup.

Uh oh, we're climbing again. Looking back down at Jereka.
  I don't remember if we had seen them earlier (I think we had), but the countryside was dotted with "kozolec" which are hay drying stands found in Slovenia.

At Jereka, we began our next climbing section.  Initially this climb was similar to our climb to Jezerski Vrh when we entered Slovenia 3 days ago.  A nice steady climb with lots of switchbacks to moderate the grade.  Just find your rhythm and pedal.  That worked for the first 6 km of the climb to Koprivnik (somewher around 950m - 3115ft).  At the town I waited for Klara, Carrie, Chris, and C.C. while Jeff and Steve had gone on ahead.  After a short flat section through the town we began another wicked section of climbing up to Pokljuka Plateau.  This section was not kind with switchbacks and easy grades, the road just went straight up the hill.

Low head damn outside Krnica
  There was a steep section leaving Koprivnik that moderated briefly before shooting straight uphill again.  I had caught up to some German riders on this insanely steep section of the climb (easily 15% grade, maybe 20%).  A few from this group were walking their bikes up the hill.  I was pedaling, but was not making up any ground on the walkers in front of me.  In fact they may have been walking faster than I was riding.  It was beyond tempting to get off the bike, and the grade just continued around each little bend in the road up the hill.  Thankfully after the slowest 1-1.5 miles I have ever ridden on a bike before in my life the road flattened out again.  But at this point Jeff and Steve were well gone in front of me and the rest of our group was back behind again.
WWII memorial in the Radovna valley.
  Lunch was supposed to be at the top of the hill, but I started getting nervous as I rode for a mile or more at the top and no one was around.  My anxiety was unfounded as finally I came across Renata (with lunch and the van), Jeff, and Steve, lounging around waiting for the rest of us.  We topped out on Pokljuka at around 1260m (4135ft) and amazingly we had only ridden about 19km (11.8 miles) so far for the day.

It was an absolute relief to sit in the sun and eat lunch and just recover for a bit.  There was still a slight chill in the air at this altitude (if you can call it that) today.  As evidenced by the snow still on the ground when we started riding again on the other side of the hills that we had just climbed.

What goes up does indeed get to go down again and our ride after lunch turned right back down hill again as we descended into Krnica (back down to 642m - 2105ft).

Standing in Radovna Valley with our wonderful and lovely guides, Renata and Klara.
  It was quite a descent with some steep grades in places.  One scary section where a truck was trying to back out onto the road as this group of bikers come flying down at 30+ mph.  And then near the bottom the rode narrowed and became gravel for a short time.  Several of us reached this just as a couple of cars were coming directly torwards us.  Nothing like practicing your bike handling skills at 30 mph.  Thankfully we all lived to tell the tale.

From Krnica we followed the Radovna river along a small gravel road.  It was a respite to be back on the flat for a while.  We cruised along through the valley passing some old WWII memorials.  As we approached Radovna after about 10km of cycling the valley opened up around us and we got some amazing pictures of the mountains shooting up off the valley floor.

Radovna valley with Triglav peak in the far background (almost hiding between the two foreground peaks).
  From Radovna we had one more hill/pass to  pass through which necessitated another steep climb (thankfully short though, but still 500ft elevation in less than 1/2 mile of distance).  [Jeff, do you have any of the pictures of us climbing here?]  At the top we had a last downhill into Mojstrana to end the days ride (641m - 2100ft).

We van transferred to Kranjska Gora along a main highway following the Sava Dolinka.  Kranjska Gora was a ski town and our hotel was located right on the ski slopes in town.  Had some time to kill before dinner so I went walking through town for a bit after cleaning up.  Came back and chatted with Renata for a bit who was sitting out on the ski slope near the hotel.

Loading the bikes on the trailer.
  For dinner Klara and Renata left us on our own this evening (they probably needed the break).  We went to a fairly nice restaurant in town [anyone remember the name?].  Came back to the hotel for some drinks (I broke down for a martini) before calling it a night once again.  Tomorrow's ride was the challenging day and everyone wanted to be rested and recuperated after today's effort.

Random Observations:

  • I think I was getting used to the 5-8% grades.  15-20% just suck, no two bits about it.
  • Interesting hearing and seeing some stories about WWI and WWII from this area of Europe.  A perspective not many Americans get and one that we would get more of 2 days hence for WWI.
  • Topo Map for Today's Ride
  • C.
    Town of Kranjska Gora, taken while seated on the ski slopes.
    C. and I working to get wind-breakers on before the descent to Krnica while still riding.
  • Finally getting a view of Triglav in Radovna Valley.  Would be interesting to come back to climb this mountain sometime.
  • Hudy Sport!
  • Hard to believe that we were already on the back end of the trip.  Seemed like we were just getting started.


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Hay Drying stands (Kozolec) in Slo…
Hay Drying stands (Kozolec) in Sl…
Uh oh, were climbing again.  Look…
Uh oh, we're climbing again. Loo…
Low head damn outside Krnica
Low head damn outside Krnica
WWII memorial in the Radovna valle…
WWII memorial in the Radovna vall…
Standing in Radovna Valley with ou…
Standing in Radovna Valley with o…
Radovna valley with Triglav peak i…
Radovna valley with Triglav peak …
Loading the bikes on the trailer.
Loading the bikes on the trailer.
Town of Kranjska Gora, taken while…
Town of Kranjska Gora, taken whil…
WWI memorial on Pokljuka Plateau i…
WWI memorial on Pokljuka Plateau …
Man, we just couldnt take Steve a…
Man, we just couldn't take Steve …
On the road to Kranjska Gora.
On the road to Kranjska Gora.
Hotel Alpina in Kranjska Gora.
Hotel Alpina in Kranjska Gora.
Kranjska Gora
photo by: Jollyjetsetter