Goodbye Slovenia: exiting via the bloody big mountains

image

Tuesday 4th August

Miles:42

We had some intimidating inclines to tackle today, so we were up by 6 and cycling by 7.40. We spent the morning going up and down, but mostly up until we reached Kranjska Gora, which stands at roughly 800 metres above sea level.

image

We had a large lunch and then, full of food, and with the sun at its zenith (we really didn’t think this through) we set off to cycle up to 1611 metres, over 24 brutal hairpins.

At the bottom.

image

Taking a break at 1100 metres.

image

It was one of the most intense hills I have ever done. The incline was steep and the hairpins were cobblestoned to slow down cars, which made the way up all the harder.
image imageWe made a slow and steady pace, stopping for breaks more and more as we neared the top. Steve’s cycling was pretty impressive considering that this was day two for him.

Finally, at 2.20PM we made it! We sat on a grassy bank, feeling smug, watching some sheep and scoffing a bag of dried prunes.

image

Some views from the top.

image image

And then it was time to go down… yippee!

image image image

We arrived in an incredibly beautiful valley just outside of Borec, and spent the evening lolling about in the sunshine and feeling absolutely shattered.

image image image


Wednesday 5th August

Miles: 47

This morning’s cycling was absolute bliss. We sailed gently downhill for miles, following a clear river, surrounded by stunning mountains (I would even go as far as to call them majestic).

image image image

Apparently, this is the area where they filmed the Narnia films. It’s pretty amazing.

image image image

Then the unexpected Mountain of Pain happened. We thought it was just going to be a little hill. It took us from 400 metres above sea level to 1100… almost as much as yesterday’s massive climb. We sweated buckets. We cursed the mountain.

image

At the top was the Slovenian/Italian border. We stopped at a restaurant for one last lunch in Slovenia, and then passed through the unmanned border.
image

We were in Italy! And it was downhill time.

image

The buildings immediately looked more run down. We cycled through Tervisio, looking for a shop selling icecream, but couldn’t find anything. We cycled up out of the city feeling disappointed.

image

It wasn’t long until we were in Austria (three countries in one day, not bad!). We passed through another empty border station.

image image

We headed for our campsite, in a tiny place called Kuhweg. Our last bit of cycling for the day was a long, straight, agonising hill, which we crawled along in the dead heat.

That evening we sat in the bar, listening to the Tom Jones impersonator and watching a sea of middle-aged holiday-makers waving their arms in time to the music. I think we will have to reserve judgement on Austria for now.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s