Just below the Julian Alps’ Kanin Mountain lies the picturesque town of Bovec. We had always intended to go to Bovec, because Brian wanted to mountain bike in Slovenia, but I don’t think any of us anticipated just how beautiful the little town would be.
We stayed for a total of four days, which turned out to be the right amount of time. Trying to fit in all of our activities, which included many hours of just resting and gawking and so forth wouldn’t have worked without staying 3 nights.
We stayed at Alp Hotel, which was right in the city center. It was a great 3-star hotel with a fantastic view. Our first morning, we discovered that this little town of about 3,000 has this 7 a.m alarm:
On our first full day, while Brian went mountain biking, Györgyi and I went on a full day white water trip on the Soča River. Zsolt’s good friend from school, Tamás Vrana, who owns the Soča Rider adventure company in Bovec, was so kind to take us on the trip. It was one of the best experiences of my life, honestly. The water was piercingly cold, so we wore full body neoprene suits, but the cool blast from the white water was a refreshing smack to counteract the climbing temperature and direct sunlight.
There’s a small part of the river that is red flagged for most groups and boats, so we walked downriver a bit to an opening in the gorge where Vrana brought the boat alone. This is what it looked like:
We could have walked even further downriver to where we could have climbed back into the boat from river level. But instead, Vrana encouraged us to jump from the rocks into the water to where he was waiting for the boat. Unfortunately, when we were throwing our oars into him, Györgyi flopped hers beyond his reach, so he had to paddle downstream and then come up to the rocks with us. We were then faced with not only jumping into the water from the rock wall, but then swimming downstream, padding to the side, and then getting back into the boat (which he had tied up). It was definitely a scary challenge but we all did it and felt amazing (though we couldn’t feel most of our extremities because of the coldness of the water). Everyone very scholarly and appropriately used their rescue swimmer positions going downriver to the boat (on your back with head upriver and legs downriver) except the constant rule-breaker Györgyi who was paddling face-first downstream with more stroking power than any championship Hungarian swimmer (she doesn’t like being cold).
The whole experience was incredible. We ate lunch halfway down on the stoney riverbanks. Brown bread, salami and paramasan sandwiches with lemon and peach tea. We discovered cookies later in the trip, which Györgyi asked Vrana to give to her midway threw the rapids (she likes cookies).
The trip was over at 4 p.m and I wish it had only just started then. I hope that we can do it again when my parents are here later this summer.
That night we sat at a local outdoor bar and watched the America-England World Cup game 1. I don’t think it could have been more perfect than that moment. Especially considering Slovenia is also in the same group with America and England.
The next day we did a morning ATV tour with Mac who owns Outdoor Freaks agency in Bovec.
It was just the four of us and Mac took us up into the mountains, the national park, and around Bovec. It was a fantastic tour and a great way to see the mountains, river and surrounding area. Plus there’s something absolutely invigorating about traveling the outlying passes on a quad. I hope that I can also convince my parents to do this trip!
Though we came into Bovec from the Italian side, we decided to take the 24 turns up and down Kransjka Gora and go back to Hungary through Slovenia. At the summit, we found snow. In June.
On the way back down (at about turn 18 or so) we started to smell the breaks burning, so we decided to pull off and wait for a few minutes at this little rest place. It was an outdoor cafe/someone’s house/maybe park ranger headquarters. You could take a shower there for 2 Euros, as long as you didn’t mind the little dog laying on the couch near the bathroom. We didn’t stay long though–just enough time for a Coke and a few pictures of the inspiring view.
I can’t wait to go back to Bovec (and I won’t be leaving behind my good camera next time either). Even without the adventure trips, I would return just to sit on a park bench, eat the Italian gelato, and take deep breath after deep breath after deep breath.