Category Archives: Trips and outings

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Winter warmth by croud sourcing

One thing to note to anyone attempting to hike up the Snežnik mountain is that the place is quite remote. If you set off from Ljubljana the road takes you past Postojna and towards Croatia and you then have to drive on a gravel road for quite some time to get to the Sviščaki village. From there the route takes you through a beautiful bear country forest.

About half an hour or so from the summit I walked onto this clearing where there was a lot of chopped wood. The strange thing is it almost looked like it was put there deliberately and to try to get hikers to each take one piece of wood up the Snežnik hut. To my surprise that was exactly what the logs were there for as described by this somewhat poetically inspired sign:

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Če star si, slabe sape,
počasi štej naprej korake.
Če pa mlad si, poln moči,
daj na ramo si par drvi.

As the sign was touting me to pick up a log if I was feeling young I decided that I will pick up two, of course. Nothing will interfere with my ego at this point and also … no one was watching … and I also couldn’t brag to anyone … except to you right now on this blog. Hell yeah, it is my blood blog anyway ;-)

When I arrived at the hut I was a little disappointed at how few other hikers have bothered to do the same log carrying as I did – you can clearly see on the photo just how few of the fresh-looking logs were taken up to the hut.

2013-09-03 15.56.49.resized I took the trip back going north east and that is even more of a trek than getting to the mountain. Miles and miles of tracks through the deep forests of southern Slovenia.

The top of the mountain

Krim

If Krim is covered with clouds in the evening then there will be bad weather tomorrow. If its not then the weather will be fair.

Well, that what we were told and that is the knowledge we stuck by.

Krim is a 1,107m tall mountain on the southern outskirts of the Ljubljana moors. In all the years I have lived in Slovenia I have never actually been up it. I have been close, but never actually climbed it. Mostly it was because the Yugoslav army and after 1991 the Slovenian arm held a radio-relay station on top of it and access to the area was restricted. From the mid seventies to 1991 the top of the mountain was completely off limits to civilians. When I went up there in August 2013 there was not visible military personnel and not restrictions at all. There a few communication antennae up there and some of them have the military ‘keep out’ signs. But what makes the walk up this mountain even more of an adventure is the frequency in which you are very likely to encounter Ursus arctos – also known as the brown bear.

Dust storm in Lancashire

Lancashire dirt storm

This was definitely a first. Not only have I ever seen this meteorological phenomenon, I was never expecting to see it in the UK – the country known for its wet climate.

I was working in a small village in Lancashire but lived on the coast and on my way home I saw these strange dark clouds on the horizon. As I got closer I realised it was clouds of soil and dirt that were being picked up by the strong gusts of wind. Quite a few times the visibility on the road went to just a few metres and I had to turn on my lights and my rear fog lights. Very eerie feeling.

The Bear Steps Cafe

Floreat Salopia

Floreat Salopia meaning May Shropshire flourish a fitting start of this blog post dedicated to my  latest locum job that has taken me to Shrewsbury, the capital of Shropshire. I have never been to Shropshire before and it really was something I needed to amend as it  hides some really amazing gems. The most charming, in my opinion, is the before-mentioned medieval capital, about the size of Maribor, that has hundreds of grade listed buildings and lovely narrow streets. A lot of streets are cobbled and most of the medieval houses have not one straight line on them. Some look more like they will fall down any minute. Probably all due to the fact that the modern spirit level wasn’t invented until the 1920s.

I love the fact that the city centre shops seem to be thriving, most of them lovely individual private shops, not part of any large corporations. I can’t even remember seeing any empty shop window.

One weekend day I drove round the area and stumbled upon the small village of Ironbridge, home of the first arch bridge made out of cast iron built in the 1770s. This village, like, Shrewsbury has a lot of inviting individual shops, one of them especially caught my eye called Bear on the Square. It boast over 3000 items on sale and I can tell you for sure that most of them are teddy bears ;-) I did see an almost life size chicken, though :-D

I was reading up on the Shrewsbury Wikipedia page and found out it used to have a nuclear fallout warning station. It turns out it now houses a veterinary practice – in fact the veterinary practice I was working at as a locum. They made the walls extra thick and reinforced so no wonder I was not able to get a damn signal on my mobile phone all the time I was working there. They did have a branch surgery in a village called Shawbury and luckily that place wasn’t built to withstand a nuclear bombs so no problem with updating my Facebook status. Probably because there was a large RAF helicopter base next door the mobile signal was excellent. Thanks MOD :-)

Shrewsbury and Shawbury photos

Ironbridge photos