In the third part of a four part series, a lucky competition winner and her travel buddy make their way through the sunny village countryside as they continue on from Bohinj to Škofja Loka.
The trip – A lakes and cities cycling tour of Slovenia from Bled through the Triglav National Park to Ljubljana including overnight accommodation in each location, cycling equipment and a map. Wish us luck!
Škofja Loka – We arrived in Škofja Loka in plenty of time to see the town, being only a short distance from Bohinj, and at the first opportunity we headed down to the Old Town to take a look round.
Škofja Loka is known as a medieval town with its history dating back to the 10th century. The Selska Sora river runs through the town with access bridges, restaurants and bars providing pretty riverside viewpoints. While the town is firmly steeped in Slovenian history, there is an air of Italian influence in some of the architecture to be seen as you walk around.
The winding streets trail up to Loka castle, the home of the local museum and one of the finest in Slovenia. Both the streets of the old town and the castle are beautiful, the latter having a fairytale tower that I have since referred to as Rapunzel’s tower. The best way to spend your time in the town?
Explore the streets of the old town at your own pace and preferably with an ice-cream in hand. It is so beautifully preserved and there was this feeling of contentment as we found our way around. I’m sure you will find the same.
The journey from Bohinj to Škofja Loka was filled with tiny woodland villages and lakeside cycle paths. The whole country only has a few million citizens after all and the breaks between each inhabited place provided extra glimpses of the Slovenia countryside. The air was so crisp and clear, you felt that it must be doing you good. To us the journey between the two destinations was as lovely as the end locations themselves, and each place along the way seemed to have its own separate little charm. This was the day we were most remotely located and yet this was my favourite day of the trip.
It was Easter Sunday on the day that we undertook this part of the journey, not realising two things. First, nothing would be open at all, (a new law had passed forbidding most shops, bars and restaurants to open on Easter bank holiday weekend only this year). The second was that the very few people we did find opening the odd small local cafe in these tiny villages did not speak any english, although some German was spoken. Naive of us, absolutely.
It was in one such small place in Zelezniki that we stopped for a drink. The conversation in the bar completed died when we entered. The hostess very kindly informed us that no food was being served that day, but we could have a coffee which we accepted and sat down quietly in a corner to wait. Now, the Slovene people are nothing if not gracious hosts and our coffee arrived with an extra special plate of treats. Hard-boiled eggs with hand painted shells and homemade potica (a traditional Slovenian cake).
We found out that these were Easter treats, normally reserved for guests of the family. It was a small token, but one very much appreciated as part of this lovely and equally awkward experience. It serves in my memory as a great example of the welcome we experienced during our stay.
Coming soon… our lucky travellers make their descent down from Skofja Loka to Ljubljana in the final instalment of our four-art Slovenia series.