Bohinj – A review of Slovenia’s only national park (Triglav) and tallest waterfall (Savica)

Triglav National Park reminds me of Rocky Mountain National Park, the place where I grew to love hiking on vacations with my parents.

A difficult three hour uphill trek rewards you with this, the Doma Na Viewpoin in Triglav National Park

A difficult three hour uphill trek rewards you with this, the Doma Na Viewpoint in Triglav National Park

There is warm sun occasioned by afternoon showers and the smell of fresh pine wherever you walk.

IMG_4002

Triglav National Park encompasses nearly all the territory of the Julian Alps in Slovenia, helps form Slovenia’s border with Italy, and is named after Mt. Triglav (2864 meters).  We didn’t get a chance to make it to Mt. Triglav but we had great views of some of its sister peaks in the Julian Alps at the Doma Na Viewpoint.

IMG_3970

Protection of the pristine mountain range and its chorus of snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, glacial gorges, rivers, and lakes can be credited to Fran Jesenko, a Slovenian PhD Botanist.  Jesenko, a Slovenian national, was first a professor of botany in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, until he took the same position at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital.

Together with his students in 1924, Jesenko drew the initial boundaries that would help form the protected area that is now Triglav National Park.  Two years later Jesenko published a paper in a daily local newspaper naming the area Triglav National Park, using the article to stress how important it would be for Slovenia to preserve and protect the area.

Ironically, after devoting a significant part of his life to making sure Triglav National Park would be protected, the Park took Jesenko’s life when he fell to his death at the Komarca slope in 1932, while visiting one of his students at Triglav Lakes Valley.

Bohinj Jezero

Bohinj Jezero

Marcela and I stayed in a nice guest house a short walk east of Bohinj Jezero.

IMG_1027

Like Bled Jezero, Bohinj Jezero has lots of activity going on above the water.

IMG_3904

While I was searching for a guesthouse to stay in I had good enough timing to witness the start of a race.

My favorite spot within Triglav National Park was the Savica Waterfall ,Slovenia’s highest waterfall.

Savica Waterfall

The Savica Waterfall rises from a fault cutting into the Komarca cliff, where Fran Jesenko met his untimely end.  The waterfall slides down 38 meters at an angle of 50 degrees from a hidden cave in the cliff before it begins its freefall, 51 meters straight down.

A village near Bohinj Lake called Stara Fuzina is a good starting point for trips to the Voje Valley and the Fuzina Alps.

IMG_1090

A golden scarab scurries across the trail

Stara Fuzina also has some fantastic exercise equipment if hiking doesn’t do it for you.

IMG_1132

The Voje Valley contains Mostnice Gorge and at the head of the gorge, the Mostnice Waterfall.

Mostnice Waterfall

The Mostnice waterfall, despite its name, is not the most nice waterfall in the park.  The Savica Waterfall mentioned above most definitely is.  In other words, it is not worth it to go the full distance to the Mostnice Waterfall, which we did.  Just check out Savica Waterfall and call it a day.

IMG_1110

While the Mostnice Waterfall is a bit disappointing, the hike to the Mostnice Waterfall, a 4 kilometer trail along Mostnice Gorge, is worth a half day hike.

Mostnice Gorge 5

Mostnice Gorge 4

Mostnice Gorge 1

Mostnice Gorge 3

 

Mostnice Gorge 2

Before the waterfall, but after the gorge trail, there is a brilliant meadow where some very Thoreau–esque folks have chosen to live the rest of their days.

IMG_3930

On our way back from the waterfall we got caught in an afternoon shower and finding ourselves umbrella-less, we hid out under one of the meadow houses to wait it out.

taking a break from the rain

With the rain, the temperature dropped considerably so we made a stop in a small local restaurant that served some excellent blueberry pie.

On our hike to Mostnice Gorge we were one of the few people to ever see the rare Triglav mountain lion

On our hike to Mostnice Gorge we were one of the few people to ever see the rare Triglav mountain lion

My overall impression of Bohinj was positive but it would not be a place I return to.  Its got some great peaks but its still not as good as the Rockies and the Swiss Alps has both of those mountain ranges beat.  That said, I didn’t get a chance to do some of the longer treks (e.g. Mt. Triglav), so this critique is limited to the three treks mentioned in this post.

Advertisements

One thought on “Bohinj – A review of Slovenia’s only national park (Triglav) and tallest waterfall (Savica)

Leave a Reply

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