Slovenian and Croatian 9/13/2007-10/7/2007
Steamboat SpringsàDenverà BostonàMilan, ItàZabreb, CroatiaàSamabor, CroatiaàLjubljana, SloveniaàBled, SloveniaàBohjni, SlàJulian Alps, SLàBohjni, SlàIzola, SlàOpitja, CroatiaàPlitvice, CràStarigrad-Palenica, CràZadar, CràZagreb/Samabor, CràMilanàBostonàDenveràSteamboat Springs
Journal Part VI:
Last view of Bled lake and chapel
We headed a
little ways back toward
This is one of the small farm in a valley we passed through. Of note is the “Apartmenta” sign. It seemed like almost every home and farm we passed had a sign for guest lodging.
neared the coast the pines thinned and hills got smaller, but still very steep
and rocky. We were passing through the
karste lime stone coastal range where we planned to return in a few days to
check out some of the world famous caves in the region. We also passed the turn off for Lipica, the
home of the Lipizzaner stallions, where we also planned on returning to on our
descended to the coast and in to
returned we took a short walk around the harbor area and took advantage of a
free tour through an old Italian navy sailing vessel. With that completed we decided that we were
ready to go back to
sometimes has a way of righting itself.
history aside we were ready to make modern history. An hour later we parked near the city center
in Izola and walked to the end of the peninsula along the small
View from the front of the hotel
The bike shop owner suggested a trail that followed a turn of the century small gauge rail track south across the peninsula to the Piran salt-pans. The path started out on a quiet road just outside of town, but soon turned to a dirt and grass path through small vineyards and fruit orchards.
The old track took us through a tunnel and out on the south side of the peninsula. From there it was a long gradual down hill through more vineyards, orchards and bamboo groves. We finally landed in a small town where Elvis was apparently hiding out selling compact economy Italian cars to Slovenians.
Outside of town we passed stone sculpture yard where pieces were in various stages of completion. The most impressive was an 8’X10’ bearded head chiseled out of lime stone.
We had a rough map and did pretty well navigating, but after a few wrong turns decided to seek help at pension on the coast. The place was basically closed down, but the owner got us a table, beer and a better map. We sat under a grape vine shrouded veranda and relaxed for a while enjoying the view.
We finally made it to the Piran Salt Pans, also know in ancient times as the Placitum of Risano. Salt was first panned here in the 804 AD, but they point out it was “modernized” in 1358. The salt pans are still producing, and in the name of historical preservation, they still use the same techniques developed in the 1300’s. After our tour of the pans we reversed course and headed back to Izola.
We got back to the bike store in the afternoon and walked back through town to our hotel. We had a brief rest and then ate dinner at an outdoor restaurant right on the bay a block from our hotel After dinner we decided to check out the hotels spa. Since the door to the spa was locked we enquired at the desk about getting in. The desk attendant asked if we had reservation. We indicated we didn’t and the attendant asked how long we needed. We were a little baffled until the attendant explained that the entire spa designed as a romantic retreat and only one couple at a time used it. There just happened to be an hour slot open right now so we took it. The spa was spacious with a hot tub, sauna, showers and massage area. The stairs leading up to the hot tub pool were lined on each side with about 40 candles.