Kranjska Gora och Škocjangrottornas – Gone Camping upplever slovenska Alperna högt och lågt

Kranjska Gora och Škocjangrottornas – Gone Camping upplever slovenska Alperna högt och lågt

If I say Kranjska Gora, some of you
will think of an alpine skier with the first name Ingemar
and the last name Stenmark. It was on these slopes
he had some of his classic runs. I won’t be skiing now,
but I will go mountain biking. Welcome to Gone Camping
and to Slovenia. A bit of everything
– that’s how I would summarize Slovenia, which is no bigger than Dalarna. It doesn’t take long to criss-cross
the country on the beautiful roads. Up north, we find alpine landscapes,
reminding you of Norway or Switzerland. Further south,
you have flat plains, vineyards, beaches and quaint coastal villages. I start off in the medieval town of Piran, which sticks out
like a rose thorn into the sea. It has all the classic ingredients
for a perfect postcard town. The streets are narrow and winding. The houses are beautifully painted
and worn down just right. You understand why it’s one of
the most photographed towns around. The prices are still relatively low
and you pay with euros. Half an hour east of Piran,
we find Camp Adria. It’s a four-star facility
with 430 camping lots and about 20 stationary mobile homes. It’s on the Slovene Riviera,
which is only a few tens of miles long, but you get lots of sun and can swim
from gravel beaches and docks. In this part of Slovenia,
the rocks are mostly limestone, which has resulted in
more than 7,000 caves in the area. Škocjan Caves are some of
the most impressive in the world. Since the dawn of time,
people have flocked to the ravine where the Reka River
mysteriously disappears under ground through a pitch-black opening
in the mountain. Caves like these form when water with
a low pH flows through cracks in the rock and slowly dissolves the lime. Millimeter by millimeter,
you get ever larger cavities, which after millions of years turn
into passageways, tunnels and halls. Stalactites hang from the cave roof
and huge stalagmites rise from the floor. There are newly-built walkways
all through the cave, and the lighting installed gives you
a good sense of the size of the caves, even in the largest hall,
where the roof is 140 meters up. The Škocjan Caves are very important, also because here began
the first explorations of the Karst caves. Inside the caves, there are more than
12 kilometers, all of the trails together. Our trail for the cave
is approximately 3 kilometers long, but all of the trails together
are more than 12 kilometers long. This is because the first cavers,
the first explorers of the caves, actually didn’t have
really good equipment. They had just torches, ropes, shoes,
so it was very difficult. It’s not hard to imagine how small
the first cave explorers must have felt when they during the late 1800s
made their way through total darkness, only equipped with simple tools. You can still see older steps
and suspension bridges. If you only visit one cave in the world,
I recommend the wonders of Škocjan. The abundance of limestone
not only gives us visitors exciting caves. It’s also one of the reasons why
really nice wines can be made here. A few kilometers from the Italian border,
we find the small vineyard Čotar. It’s the middle of September
and harvest time, which is the most stressful time of year. But we still get to visit the fields
where friends and family pick the grapes. People here have made wine
for thousands of years, but many of us would be surprised
if we were offered wine from Slovenia. Branko Čotar has spent half his life
making wine according to old traditions. The wine is fermented
for weeks in open vats. He doesn’t add sulfites and the wines
aren’t filtered before bottling. It’s all to make
as authentic products as possible. “If it worked for the Romans,
it works for me,” says Branko. Back at the farm,
Branko lets me have a taste, and his wines have a lot of taste. It’s like the difference between real apple
juice and juice concentrate with water. For a snack,
I get to sample Branko’s dried ham, which has been hanging
in the attic for 2.5 years. Magical. Before leaving, I buy a bottle of Malvasia
for tonight’s dinner. Nature reserves cover
more than a third of Slovenia. As a nature lover,
I feel right at home here. And Bled is no exception. The village sits by
the lake with the same name, and here we find
the country’s only island. I’ve seen beautiful views
during my travels, but few places are as beautiful as Bled,
even when the weather is bad. When the clouds roll in,
it creates almost film-like drama. Like here in Vintgar Gorge. I’m sure that a hobbit
would feel right at home here. My home for a few days will
be Camping Bled, right by the lake. The campsite has 280 lots
of varying size, and the prices
are about what they are in Sweden. If you want to change beds for a few
nights, try one of the glamping cabins, with a private bathroom, your own hot tub
and fresh breakfast every morning. Tonight, I’ll be making porcini risotto. There are three reasons for this.
Risotto is a typical dish around here, and mushrooms love the rain,
which is pouring down right now. And last but not least, I get to try
Branko’s tasty wine. Let’s go. Put a pot on the stove
and add some olive oil. The mushrooms have been sitting
in water for half an hour. We’ll let them drain on paper towels. You can put aside
some of the mushrooms as a garnish. Let them cook for a few minutes and
then place them on more paper towels. I have some chicken stock
simmering on low heat. Add some nice white wine,
about a deciliter. Leave it to simmer so you don’t
cool the risotto as you add to it. Onions and mushrooms into the pot.
Keep the heat low. After about a minute,
it’s time to add the rice. Time for the fun part. I’ll let
the rice cook for a minute or two. Then it’s time to slowly add the stock. A little at a time, 1-2 deciliters,
and let it cook. When it starts getting thick again,
we refill it. It takes about 20 minutes. Time for the final touch. We add
a deciliter of grated Parmesan, half a deciliter of chopped parsley,
and then we’re done. There we go, porcini risotto
and a nice Slovenian wine. Tomorrow, it’s time for
a mountain adventure. Find the recipe at Kranjska Gora
is in the northwest part of the country, and from here,
you can see both Austria and Italy. If you want to go mountain biking,
you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find some of
the country’s best single tracks, and also the Kranjska Gora Bike Park. It’s a championship downhill course, with a total drop of 350 meters
and 60 challenges. If you like gravel roads,
if you like single tracks, if you like to just sharpen your
mountain bike skills in the bike park… You name it, we have it. You want to be here a week,
a day, a prolonged weekend. Up to you, we can arrange, no worries. My advice would be to rent a guide.
The guide knows where to take you. Many of the single tracks are not signed, but if you’d like to go alone,
plenty of tracks are signed. It’s just that with a local guide,
it can be spiced a little bit. The scenery is magnificent. It’s moving being on the slopes where
Ingemar Stenmark skied the slalom, back when he put
an entire country on edge. The main mountain biking
for me is pedaling up, sweating and asking myself
why I’m doing this. But once you’re up there
with a little bit of struggle, you know that the whole fun is waiting. You have to be focused.
There are roots, little drops, you jump. The adrenaline starts kicking in,
so you go down, and you go with your friends “high five”
and you feel way better. If you didn’t bring a bike,
you can rent nice bikes here, no matter if you’re in the mood
for cross-country or downhill. Those are things you can do in this
small country with huge possibilities. I hope you’ve been inspired to pack
your car or camper and come here. I hope to see you again
on this channel or out on the roads. The beautiful caves
are called Škocjan Caves. We had a taste of things
at the vineyard Čotar. And mountain biking
is best in Kranjska Gora. We stayed at Adria Camping
and at Camping Bled.

2 thoughts on “Kranjska Gora och Škocjangrottornas – Gone Camping upplever slovenska Alperna högt och lågt

  1. Welche Sprache sprechen die?

    Slowenien ist ein echt wunderschönes Land. Schade, dass es nicht bekannter ist. Man hat Großstädte, Höhlen, Alpen und Meer auf einem Haufen und da das Land so klein ist kann man quasi überall hinfahren. Echt cool.

  2. Ich war letztes Jahr in Slovenien war sehr schön, schaut euch am besten einfach mal mein Video an 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *