Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Journey on the Museum Train

Welcome aboard!

The Bohinj Railway, part of the large rail network that links Central Europe with the Mediterranean, is an outstanding technical achievement of our predecessors, proof of their skill and courage. This admirable monument combines the past, present, and future. It is a story in itself and weaves a rich history and tradition with the modern expectations of railway passengers. It offers an unforgettable experience of diversity in just a few hours.

Author: Misko Kranjec
Not far from the border with Austria, at the station in Jesenice we catch the train for a pleasant journey on the remarkable Bohinj Railway. Picturesque towns and mountain villages flash by, and after the bridge across the Radovna River gorge we pass through a tunnel and stop in Bled. Above this world-famous tourist resort with its lake and island a proud cliff rises on which Bled Castle stands guarding all this beauty. More tunnels and then the line follows the valley of the Sava Bohinjka River, which narrows and then opens to reveal Bohinj, a region that like Bled is a paradise below Mount Triglav surrounded by the steep peaks of the Julian Alps. 


We continue our trip through Slovenia’s longest tunnel (6,327 meters long) and from the alpine world we emerge in Primorska, a very different region with a Mediterranean climate and vegetation. Through Baška grapa gorge, whose steep green slopes rise dramatically on both sides, we soon reach the Soča River, which charms us with its unique emerald colour. Riding along the river at the foot of the hills of Goriška Brda, one of Slovenia’s best known winegrowing regions, and across the Solkan Bridge, whose stone arch is the largest of the world’s railway bridges, we reach the Goriško plain with its vineyards and orchards of peaches, cherries, figs, and other fruit. We stop in Nova Gorica, which together with its sister city of Gorizia on the Italian side of the border has become a symbol of coexistence between the countries of the European Union.

Author: Misko Kranjec
The ride continues through the fertile landscape of the lower Vipava Valley and then we cross the rocky landscape of Kras, home of the Teran wine that is offered to guests along with karst pršut (prosciutto). Finally we cross the border into Italy where the sea opens before us and our trip ends in Trieste.

Thus, in a few hours of travel on the Bohinj Railway from the Austrian border to Italian Trieste we have encountered three distinct regions of Slovenia that differ in climate, nature, vegetation, dialects and even languages, clothing, dances, and customs. Every stop offers a new and different experience.

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