Final blog entry 2021

After saying goodbye to (and exchanging blessings with) the exceptionally nice man who looked after us for the night, and promising to be back in two years to continue the walk (next year we plan to finish the French section to the Mediterranean), we walked to the railway station at Podbrdo.

It was about an hour’s walk and included a steep slippery descent through forest, just for old time’s sake. It was a good thing it wasn’t a long walk because this has happened to my boot…

Podbrbo station feels quite remote (and Trainline.com doesn’t believe it exists.

Now we are on our way to Venice, where we can stay for a bit before heading home.

Even though, with the benefit of hindsight some of the walking days were a bit too long for us, it feels good to have completed a very obvious stage of the Via Alpina- going from the coast to the Alps.

The blue dot on the map is where we got to.

In 7 days of walking we covered 115 miles. It was quite hilly- our walk included 7600m (25000 feet) of ascent. There were also a lot of trees- something like 3/4 of the Slovenian landscape is dominated by forest. And some very friendly, hospitable and generous people.

September seems like quite a good time to do this section of the walk. It was cooler than high summer and we had excellent weather. Occasionally, though, fallen leaves made steep paths very slippery and hard going.

We hardly met anybody else walking-once away from any town or village, the paths were more or less deserted.

So, I think that’s it for this year…

Cerkno to Petrovo Brdo

Today was our last day walking, as we have now reached the high mountains, where the refuges have closed for the winter.

It was a day of pleasing simplicity. From Cerkno we walked up a mountain called Porezen, and then we walked down the other side. On the way up, there were no unnecessary descents, and on the way down, it was down all the way. About half way up we rejoined the official Via Alpina route.

It was quite a long way up and down- the top of Porezen is 4500 ft above Cerkno, which our legs certainly noticed, but our spirits were lifted by the views all around, a fitting climax to this leg of the trip.

Porezen
Leaving the valley mist behind
Looking down to Cerkno
Clearing the trees on the way up. About an hour to the top

And on the other side of the mountain all that we could see was…

The highest peak is Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia and a kind of national symbol. On the high point of the ridge on the foreground is the refuge where we will spend the night after the first day when we eventually return to carry on.
Coming back into trees on the way down

We are staying the night at a small mountain lodge, run by a delightful man who has opened specially for us. He took our picture…