Sunday, 20 August 2017

An inspiration for a poem in the treasury of the First World War

Take a few days off and discover the natural, cultural and sports-related jewels of our turquoise land!

@Avtor - Matevž Lenarčič
The Tolmin Gorges are a part of the Triglav National Park. They represent the lowest entry point to the park. These are the gorges of the waters Tolminka and Zadlaščica. Around the water is a circular path where you can see the gorges from all sides. The most magnificent attractions are the thermal spring, the Zadlaška cave (Dante’s cave), a large triangular shaped rock (the Bear’s head), which got stuck between the walls of the Zadlaščica canyon and of course the Devil’s Bridge, which hangs 60 m above the river Tolminka. Dante’s cave is named after Dante Alighieri, a known poet from Italy. Supposedly the cave inspired him to write the famous Divine Comedy. The Devil’s Bridge was built by Austro-Hungarian soldiers during the Battles of the Isonzo. 

It even more pays off if you decide to visit the gorges in July and August 2017 because they offer the visitors a big discount. You can take a shuttle bus from Tolmin to the Tolmin Gorges and back for the price of 0,5€ per ride, 2 km each way. Here you can find the timetable, the map of the shuttle bus route and the price list. Members of Hostelling International Slovenia get 20% off when buying a ticket. 

It is estimated that you walk 4 km in one hour and a half. Rest your eyes on the beauty that surrounds you, listen to the roaring water as the strength of mother nature and exercise in the meantime. Don’t forget your hiking shoes for the best experience.

@Avtor - Matevž Lenarčič
You can relax at the Paradiso hostel in the centre of Tolmin, on the first floor of the Paradiso bar. As you can see, its name reflects the location – paradise. The common living space contains 2 computers, a TV, board games and a few books to read. Breakfast is included in the overnight stay so you can explore Slovenia rested and with a full stomach. HI Slovenia members get 10% off the regular rate.

Full of adrenaline in the company of world champions

In 2001, two six-time world rafting winners founded the Aktivni planet (in English the Active Planet), sports-tourist agency, which is located in Bovec. Bovec lies between the majestic Kanin mountain chain and the gorgeous daughter of the mountains, river Soča. Guides come from different parts of the world and are ex-competitors in rafting and white-water kayaking. 

There you can book rafting where you can choose a classic or a long slide. They say they adjust the tour to your wishes. They do it for the fearless musclemen as well as for the gentle girls, sceptical grandmas and for the mischievous grandchildren. If this is not a nice presentation, I don’t know what is. It shows that they are good with words and they know how to safely enjoy on the river Soča. You can experience canyoning in the steep riverbeds of the torrents. In the Krnica valley between Mt. Rombon (2207m) and Mt. Kanin (2587m) is one of the biggest zipline parks in Slovenia. You fly freely like a bird 1300m above sea level and you are 200m above the ground. 

See the nature in its most primal form when going white-water kayaking, you can “relax” also in a kayak for two. Test your survival abilities with an Eskimo roll. Hold on to your boogieboard and cruise through the river rapids at hydrospeed. Discover the underground world, which will remind you of a »Swiss Cheese«. Take a hike with the tennis rackets on your boots (or better known as snow shoes) by day or by night. Enjoy in the amazing views while shaping your body at climbing meanwhile the kids distract themselves on the »slackline«. Last but not least, look at this part of Slovenia through the perspective of a bird at the tandem flight. The best is yet to come because the HI Slovenia card-holders get 15% off of the sporting activities. 

To recharge your batteries after exciting adventures in the Soča valley, go to the Bovec hostel with a free wi-fi. You will find it in a more than a century old but now completely renovated house in the traditional provincial style. So that your legs won't tire out, it will take you only 5 minutes from the main square or from the bus station to get to the hostel. In the Bovec hostel, you can get a 10% discount on the overnight accommodation with your HI membership card!

How do mercury and lace go together?

Visit the Idrija Municipal Museum to culturally feed your mind. The legacy of the mercury mine there was put on the UNESCO list of world heritage in 2012. I’m talking about the second oldest and the biggest mercury mine in the world. The Gewerkenegg castle houses the Museum’s main permanent exhibition, Five centuries of the Mercury Mine and the Town of Idrija. 20 years ago, the museum received an award from the Luigi Micheletti Foundation as the best European museum of technical and industrial heritage for its work and this exhibition. 

@Author - Dunja Wedam;
In the castle, you’ll also find the permanent exhibition entitled Idrija Lace, A History Written In Thread which is meant literally. This is the history of the lacemakers, women, who were contributing to their family budgets with their skilful fingers. Today, the lace is in the spotlight on runways as an important part of famous fashion designers’ creations. Among other things in the museum, you can do the shortest 5-minute lacemaking course, presented in a video. In 2008, the Museum got the Valvasor award for this exhibition, which is the highest Slovene award for achievements in museology. 

@Author - Dunja Wedam;
Among other collections, let me also mention the homestead of the writer France Bevk, Slovenia Partisan Printing Shop and the Franja Partisan Hospital. While you are there, try the local speciality, called žlikrofi

Members of the Hostelling International Slovenia are again treated better, because they get a 40% discount when purchasing a ticket to the permanent exhibitions. How cool is that!

@Author - Foto Video Coppo di Marco Coppo;
To best anchor the freshly gained museum knowledge in your heads and to unwind, I recommend staying in the Idrija hostel. It lies atop a hill above the city, where a bed awaits you for only 9€/night. The closest cafes to seize the day are only 5 minutes away by foot. They offer you free bed linen, a towel, as well as free internet and parking. If booked in advance, an all-inclusive package is a great deal. If you decide to be their guest, remember that with the HI Slovenia membership card you get 10% off. Here you can find even more discounts, depending on the country you are visiting. 

What are you waiting for? Tolmin, Bovec and Idrija are so close that you can see and experience all of these sights in a very short period of time. As a member of HI sLOVEnia, the memories will stay with you even for a cheaper price!

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