Our Motorcycle Adventure Continues
On our second day in Slovenia, we wanted to check out the Soča Valley (pronounced Soh-cha) that we had read so much about. We had wanted to spend time there the day of our arrival, but less than perfect weather and the late time of day had us driving quickly through on our way over the pass and into Kranskja Gora.
We headed straight for the village of Soča for a couple of hikes and to see the slot canyon of the Soča River. We headed up on a hike that we thought would take us to certain falls, but the map wasn’t matching up with what we were seeing.
(This is Rebecca – adding my 2cents. Don’t tell Scott I’m telling you this but…the whole time Scott was looking and pointing at the map saying, yea yea Bec, we’re right here)
Nonetheless, we kept on and found some pretty dramatic falls that were not easy to see or reach, but we managed and got some great photos. We trekked a bit higher up the road to what we thought were bigger falls but instead followed the road until it opened to a broad meadow of a few small family farms with expansive views of the Julian Alps in all directions. Eat your heart out Julie Andrews, Slovenia has come to play!
After meeting up with a few locals just above the Soča Valley falls, we realized we were one valley too far east to find the waterfalls that eluded us in the morning. So we rode the motorbike up the right valley all the way to the end, to a restaurant/lodge that seemed to be the jumping off point for hiking (apparently straight up) into the mountains. Using our less than helpful map, we backtracked down to where the hike started for the waterfalls that we had been seeking. Just a short 10 minute hike took us to the falls that eluded us in the morning. They were really impressive and easy to approach and photograph. It was probably a 1/4 mile of hiking along waterfalls and there were probably more even higher, but we found our treasure and were content to relax by the falls. Not only were there nice falls within the river, but there were also falls coming right from the rock on the side of the river! As a geologist I had never seen this before and was mesmerized. I couldn’t get over the water flowing straight from the ground in a cascade to join the river. John Muir’s description “sublime” came to mind. Rebecca laid down on a bench by the falls to catch a quick nap while I wandered around with camera in hand taking it all in and taking photographs of all of the tiny cascades.
After the falls, we took the motorcycle to see the slot canyon of the Soča River where it has cut through some resistant rock vertically. We found the downstream entrance to the canyon but there was no way to enter, the flow was too strong, the water was too cold, and it was deep. So we followed along up at the surface and at one point simply lost sight of the river. The slot canyon was too torturous, narrow and deep to visually follow the river, even though we could hard the rapids and cascades. It was truly amazing. Where we could see calm pools, we could see trout ranging from minnow size to more than a foot long. The water was so clear I felt like I could reach out and grab them for dinner!
There is so much to see and do in the valley and the surrounding mountain towns. I felt then as I do now, that one could spend weeks adventure traveling here and never get bored or see the same thing twice. It’s kind of how I feel about Yosemite National Park, there are visual treats around every turn. Whether mountain biking, day hiking, driving, kayaking, or rafting the river, there is so much to do in this beautiful valley, it’s truly one of the countries many treasures. Our river and falls exploration over, we hoped back on the motorcycle and headed back over the Vrsič Pass for a third time (this time feeling a bit overindulgent) on our way to Lake Bled and Ljubljana.