Welcome to Our Hiking Blog

Florence and I are from Toronto, Canada. We have been hiking together for a few years. Once we started, the hiking bug bit us fast and hard. We have covered a lot of ground since we started and relied heavily on blogs from other hikers to inform our farther-from-home planning.

Katja & Florence: Tour du Mont Blanc

When reading hiking blogs we often found it really helpful if we could get a good idea of the writer’s fitness level and pace, so we could decide whether their itineraries were in line with what we were capable of. We hope to tell you as much as possible about our experience of the physical aspects of the hikes so you can adjust your plans according to your own wishes.

Overall, we like longer hikes ranging from 20-25 km per day. Having never hiked alpine terrain until 2017, we realized that this would be adjusted to more like on average of 15-20 km per day, depending on altitude loss & gain. Our hikes are strenuous but not extreme and, with decent fitness level, entirely doable. We like to hike at a pace of at least 5 kph in easy terrain and no less than 3.5 kph in more challenging terrain, though steep climbs have definitely slowed us down some. We are not big fans of scrambling, wearing helmets and via ferrata, though we have had some experience with the latter. Not living in the mountains, we have trained for alpine hikes by hiking every possible hill locally and by jogging, including a bit of hill running. It worked for us.

We hope you come along for the hikes and enjoy!

From Slovenia to Italy … on Wheels

This is a non-hiking story …

Today, we picked up our friend Karin at the Ljubljana airport. The airport is actually outside of Kranj, rather than Ljubljana. We have been told by locals that they tend not to fly into Ljubljana, rather into Vienna, Zagreb, or Venice. This is apparently much less expensive. Anyhow, our plan is to ensconce ourselves in Trieste, Italy, from where we can tool around some.

We traded our Renault Clio in for a VW Golf stationwagon. Nice car. The drive to Trieste was just over an hour. We arrived to the most amazing apartment. It has 3 bedrooms and can sleep at least 9

This large space is just the entrance foyer

Living room with wall of windows overlooking the Adriatic Sea

Florence getting her fix

A piano for Florence

Balcony

View from balcony

Original kitchen with rear courtyard balcony

A throne on its own

Larger bathroom with toilet, bidet, shower and washing machine

Washing our clothes – 2.5 hr cycle … clean, clean, clean

After getting settled, we walked into old Trieste, where we found Piazza Unità d’Italia and surrounding area.

Trieste canal

❤️

We then walked up the hill to the Cattedrale di San Giusto Martire.

Nice clear glass rose window

We ate dinner at a seafood restaurant and ordered the mixed grill. One fish seemed a little odd to us but we ate it. The head was removed. As it turns out we ate a monkfish. It is a bottom feeder which even has feet to walk along the floor of the Adriatic. It is sometimes called frog fish. That about sums it up.

Hiking up Mt. Viševnik

Today’s hike was short but demanding. We drove to the starting point at the Rudno Polje Family sports centre, inside Triglav National Park.

The ascent was only 3 + kms but elevation was at 2,000 m. Our pace was 1.8 so we can confirm it was basically a steep climb and a bit of a scramble all the way. The climb took us 2 hours and a bit. We ate lunch at the top. Of course, the way down was much quicker.

On the way we were astounded once again by the number of children and teens doing fairly steep climbing. This includes families with kids and youth groups, of which there seem to be many. We see little ones on lower mountains. By the time they are 10 or so they seem to be fully into it. They pass us easily, quickly and proudly on the trails. We also see many seniors well into their 70’s doing strenuous climbs. Overall, there is a strong emphasis on family life and outdoor activities here. It is the way of life.

It is Florence’s birthday today and we (I, Katja, and a bunch of strangers) sang Happy Birthday to her at the top of Mt. Viševnik. We were blessed with amazing weather and a perfect day.

Starting gently

Beautiful flowers and so many bees

Florence working hard

Getting chilly and rockier

Peaks emerging

The Birthday Girl with Mt. Triglav on her shoulder

Friends having a great day

Descending

Clio took us to the bakery

… where we had a piece of kremšnita

Kranj & Bled

This is not really a hiking post. At most, we strolled.

We left beautiful Kranjska Gora to go first to Kranj and then to Bled. Kranj is a beautiful small city. It is very peaceful and quiet. Bled is incredibly beautiful but overrun by visitors, both Slovenian and international. Bled borders an idyllic alpine lake with a church on an island. It has its own castle high on a hill. Bled is nestled amidst the Bohinj mountains. You are going to get visitors, ourselves included. We find it too busy but had no problem stealing away on a walk around the lake. Our place is in a more or less quiet neighbourhood. This is a good spot for excursions into Triglav National Park.

Back streets Of Kranj & a peek into the day-to-day

Beautiful, tourquoise Lake Bled

Rateče to the peak of Peč Mountain

We parked the car in the pretty village of Rateče, from where we began the climb up to Rateče-Planina. We opted to mostly follow the gravel bicycle path up the mountain, as it offered a more comfortable, steady climb than the shorter but steeper hiking trail.

Distance: 14.5 km

Time: 4:24

Elevation gain: 824 m

Elevation loss: 820 m

Max elevation: 1503 m

The pretty village of Rateče

Beautiful views of the mountains to the south

We reached the peak of Peč Mountain, where the borders of three countries (Austria, Slovenia, and Italy) meet.

Looking north to Austria 🇦🇹

We had quite a laugh when this horse snuck up to these people and started to mooch!

Perfect weather and beautiful surroundings

The hike back down was equally as pleasant

Wearing my goofy hat was necessary in this sun!

Hiking the Soča Valley

This day was a bit of a reunion with our original itinerary.

We drove our car over the Vršič pass to the small town of Trenta. From there we hiked along the azure Soča river. We walked by some beautiful traditional architecture of the area. It was an easier day, as hiking goes. Our trip ended when skies opened up, just in time to catch a bus back to the car.

We left a Tilley hat on the bus. Not to be deterred, we drove back up the mountain pass, hoping to catch up with the bus. Many hairpin turns later, we found it at Vršič and got the hat back!

On our way back down the pass we met a bus in a narrow hairpin curve. A whole line up of cars had to back up, us included, to let it by. Driving in these parts is thrilling, to say the least! Video below looks sideways but plays upright. Takes a minute to load. We have a little Renault Clio. Fantastic in these mountains.

We love Slovenia more with every passing day.

Evidence of serious rock falls from these walls and farmstead evacuations as a result

Sorry veggie friends. Home made sausage with sour cabbage and buckwheat mush. Delicious!

The spring of the river is high in the mountains

Kranjska Gora to Vrišič

Kranjska Gora is a picturesque village at the northern edge of Triglav National Park (near the Austrian & Italian borders). The nearby slope in Podkoren is famous for international skiing competitions, but this area is very popular with hikers & cyclists in summer months.

The pretty town of Kranjska Gora

We watched from our hotel window as a brief rain shower passed through.

Looking for another climb, we decided to hike up to Viršič, Slovenia’s highest mountain pass one can drive through (at 1611 metres).

Walking along the Sava River basin

The climb is up ahead, but we’re not sure which one of these peaks we’ll be climbing.

Starting to gain altitude – a great view from here

Arrived at Vrišič

And feeling on top of this world!

The face of the pagan girl on the mountain

Yay! – another destination reached! 😃

Our new friend Martina said she & her family slid down the scree of this mountain on their heels!!! 😲

Yup, they slid down all that scree! Yikes!

We’re very thankful to Martina for giving us a ride back down to Kranjska Gora.

Kamnik Bistrica to Velika Planina

After regrouping in Ljubljana we took a bus to Kamnik, then to the trail head for Velika Planina.

This was a beautiful hike up and up, through small villages and past lovely churches.

Velika Planina is a high elevation shepherd settlement in the Kamnik Alps. Although there are a few settlements left in this region, this one is situated magnificently and is well-preserved.

Still feeling happy to be safe.

Distance: 11.5 km

Time: 4:21

Maximum elevation: 1,662 m

Elevation gain: 1,428 m

Elevation loss: 528 m

Coming upon this magical sight after hours of climbing

This is what it looks like when you take the cable car back down