For the last week we have been on holiday in Slovenia – what a fabulous place! Our friends, Tony and Catherine came along with us for the first few days, which allowed us to introduce them to via ferrata. Later in the week we explored more cabled mountains….
On Saturday we introduced Tony and Catherine to the delights of ‘via ferrata’ on a mountain called Mangart. The day started up a very steep, narrow hair-pinned road that was more than enough for the hire car with 4 people aboard. We drove as far as we thought the car would manage and then started our walk up the mountain. After Richard gave a brief introductory lecture, we started off up the rocky mountain that provided a relatively gentle VF. After a short time, T+C got the hang of the cows tails and started to enjoy the scenery. Soon enough we were at the top where we guzzled our sandwiches before turning back and retracing our steps before the forecasted thunderstorms appeared. It turned out that the thunderstorms took a while to materialise, which was good because we were held up on our way down the mountains by a herd of goats and sheep!
After T+C departed back to England, Richard and I decided to tackle another mountain along a VF trail. This one was called ‘Prisojnik’ and was located about 15 km along the hair-pinned road from Bovec. The walk started in a downhill direction from the col Vršič – never a good situation. After some slightly alarming scree, we got to the start of the VF on proper rock and started to ascend. Sections of more vertical VF connected together vegetated and rocky ledges that could be easily traversed. We made quick progress up the mountain and were entertained with interesting sections of VF that included stemple ladders and tricky bits of climb. Almost near the top of the VF we caught sight of the huge hole in the rock, through which the VF finished. This part of the route was great and led to some spectacular views both of the hole in the rock and back through the hole in the rock. After finishing the VF, we made our way higher up the mountain on another VF, but after getting to the penultimate summit we turned around and started to head back down, so that we could reach the supermarket before it closed. At the bottom of the mountain we took a quick look at one of the interpretative signs and learned that a natural shape in the mountain formed the face of a girl, ‘The Pagan Girl’ –the legend says that she is meant to take care of people in the mountains!
ps. According to WordPress, Slovenia isn’t a country, so I chose nearby Italy as the country where the adventure took place.