Slovenia – Lake Bohinj and Savica Waterfall

We started the day by having breakfast at Hiša Franko, but then my friend had to finish a work assignment, so she worked on that and we could only check out around 11:30. The official check out time was at 11:00, but the staff at Hiša Franko were very gracious about the delay.

The previous day my friend was driving and I was navigating, so today we decided to mix it up and change drivers. Our first destination was Lake Bohinj, which should’ve been about 2 h ride away from Kobarid. So this time I was driving and my friend was navigating and after driving for about half an hour I noticed that we were in the same neighborhood as the day before, which was not the plan. We stopped to re-align on the navigation and only then noticed that my friend’s Maps app was guiding us the same way we came yesterday i.e. via Triglav National Park and Vršič Pass. They are beautiful, but it takes way too much time to drive via the same road. So we decided to turn back, drive 30 min until we were back at Kobarid and only then continue according to the intended route. So we basically lost an hour out of our day just by driving around. Another lesson learned on this trip is that we need to have certainty about the route we’re taking before actually starting driving. I had no idea that my friend’s default app is Maps when I only use Google Maps and the two apps apparently suggest a different default route for the same departure and arrival points.

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Slovenia

So we finally got to Lake Bohinj around 2:30 p.m. It was a warm day and based on all equipment renting places, it is possible to do kayaking on the lake, swim in it, and cycle or hike around it. We took a short stroll and it was extremely peaceful. Something similar to Lake Bled, but that one was much more in the middle of bustle, people, hotels, and shops, while this seemed to be located in a more remote place even though that wasn’t really true.

112_Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
114_Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
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Lake Bohinj
116_Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
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Lake Bohinj
119_Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj

We spent about an hour and a half strolling around the lake, taking pictures, and sitting and eating ice cream. We felt hungry, which wasn’t strange since it’s been about six hours since we’ve had breakfast, so I quickly googled a place for lunch. We ended up choosing a burger place called Foksner, which had a very short menu, but everything we ordered tasted really good. The server spoke very good English, burgers were done just the way we liked it, the side potato wedges were good, and we split a gigantic tiramisu for dessert, which was superb. Really didn’t expect burgers this good in the “middle of nowhere”. 🙂 There was also a small shop nearby with a great selection of craft beer, which my boyfriend would’ve loved, but alas, I had only a carry-on bag with me, so he needs to visit Slovenia for himself to enjoy the craft beer.

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Foksner

In addition to Lake Bohinj, we had intended to visit the Predjama Castle and the Savica Waterfall before driving to Piran, but due to the fact that we left out hotel quite late and spent an extra hour driving, we decided to move the Predjama Castle visit to the next day, visit the Savica waterfall, and do Piran sightseeing today instead of tomorrow.

So you know how things sometimes start going wrong and they just keep going wrong? Yeah… We started driving to Savica waterfall and there was a detour due to some road works and on the detour a biker got into an accident and the road was closed with a medical staff and a helicopter doing the first aid/rescue mission. So we spent maybe 20-30 min waiting for the road to open again and of course spent more time on driving due to longer detour road.

Finally we got to the Savica waterfall and the road close to it was really magical. This photo doesn’t do it any justice, but the forest got thicker and blocked the sun, so it really seemed darker and gloomier.

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Road to Savica

It turned out that there is a 20 min climb to see the waterfall. Unlike all other places in Slovenia, this hike up was pretty average, meaning that there wasn’t much to see before you actually hit the top and see the waterfall. It started drizzling, but the good thing about this path was that it was mostly covered by trees and leaves, so we didn’t even get wet.

126_Savica Waterfall
Hike to Savica Waterfall
129_Savica Waterfall
Hike to Savica Waterfall

The waterfall itself is actually quite nice and the view from the top towards the mountains is very serene and you just want to spend some time up being quiet. It was a bit difficult as there were maybe ten other people all of whom wanted to chat and take photos, but the view was great.

131_Savica Waterfall
Savica Waterfall

After we got down, we headed towards Piran, but it was clear that there would be no sightseeing as due to all delays we would arrive quite late. We stayed at a hotel called Max Piran, which claimed that they were reachable by car and had parking. So what happened is that Google Maps led us to Piran old town and we almost got stuck with our car in the narrow streets of Piran. We should’ve been tipped off by the fact that you needed to pay to get into this area of the city, but we decided to trust Google Maps. Now I kind of understand hop people get into accidents because “GPS told me to do it”.  Anyway, we hit a dead end of sorts and I was so tired and wound up that my friend had to back us out of one very narrow alley where we almost got stuck. When we got out, we wanted to find any parking spot just to gather our thoughts and build a plan B, but everything was taken. We finally found a spot and I started googling (Have I mentioned how I love free roaming in the EU?). Finally I found instructions that there is a parking garage not too far away from the hotel and also managed to find it on Google Maps. We parked our car there and decided to walk the 700 m to the hotel. The road was downhill, but unfortunately it was cobblestones, so it was annoying to drag our suitcases behind us all the way. We didn’t want to drive because there was a street sign for a dead-end street and we just barely managed to get ourselves out of one dead end, so we weren’t that eager to get into another one. Well, it turned that the road turned into dead end just around the corner from our hotel, so we could’ve driven there to drop our bags and driven back to the parking garage, because it actually turned out that that’s the “parking near the hotel”. Well, at least we were finally here.

We checked in and asked whether there were any restaurants still open in Piran and the guy at the desk seemed doubtful, but said that we would check the waterfront. Despite the issues with finding our way to the hotel, it was actually just a very short walk away from the waterfront. It took us maybe 4 min to walk there when it took us closer to 10 min to drive around the city. We found a couple of restaurants still open and basically chose the first one, which was Pavel 2. The “original Pavel” was like 10 m away, but Pavel 2 had actually a bit higher score on Tripadvisor. 😀

Despite the cheesy waiter, who was saying some clichés about “beautiful women” and telling us that he’s had a Finnish girlfriend and that is why he knows some Finnish words, the food was actually quite alright. In these kind of countries, I always eat a lot of dishes with squid as you never have it on the menuin the Northern Europe, so I ordered that and some wine. We really needed it after the long day. 🙂

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Restaurant Pavel 2
138_Restaurant Pavel 2
Restaurant Pavel 2

After the dinner, we stopped for ice cream in a small ice cream shop before walking back to our hotel and climbing three sets of stair to our room. We took a quick shower and basically fell asleep as soon as the head hit the pillow.

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