Breakfast on the train is ok, but not great. Definitely better than some others I’ve had. A couple of factory produced mushy buns, small single portions of jam, liver paste, a chocolate chip brioche, some orange juice and a big cup of tea or coffee. It is served pretty early, so there’s ample time to enjoy the views.
One of the nice things about a sleep train is that you suddenly wake up to a landscape that is profoundly different from what it looked like when you went to sleep.
It’s 7h30 AM when we roll into Villach train station. It still takes some time before we can get the bikes off, as the cars are disembarked first. Keeping our heads down while riding the bikes off the train still applies though.
Only half an hour later, at 8AM sharp, we’re ready to set off.
Villach is right on the border between Austria and Slovenia. The main obstacle seperating them is the Würzen pass, which is a nice starter to wake up with. The pass takes us right into Kransjka Gora where temps are already very much on the up. We decide to have a drink first in a nice little cafe before riding on.
After that, it’s on to Vršič pass. 51 hair pins and a lot of history, but more on that later. Right now we just want to enjoy the twisties and the accompanying views.
There’s still quite a lot of snow around for this time of year.
Back down in the valley it’s time to stock up on some food supplies. Kobarid has a nice little super market that has everything we need. After that it’s on to the first stretch of gravel on this trip, into the forest and over the hills. Most of it can only be described as ‘gravel highway’: wide, smooth and fast. Only higher up in the hills does it narrow down a bit. But it stays a well maintained road.
Nice place for a pick nick as well.
When we get out of the trees the views get even more impressive. The gravel roads are still a dream to ride. Better condition than many paved roads back in little ol’ Belgium.
Temperatures are still on the rise and after a couple of hours riding it is time for a little break. We come across this nice little church and hang around a bit. It is nice and cool inside.
We’re not yet done riding for today though. There’s some touristy stuff we didn’t have a chance to do last year when we were in Slovenia. We arrive at Predjama castle via some small back roads and are greeted immediately with busy parking lots and big buses.
There’s no lack of tourists obviously.
The castle, and particularly the location, is pretty impressive though.
We decide not to go inside, but instead grab an ice cream and a drink at the little tourist shop filled with all kinds of paraphernalia.
By the time we get back to our bikes we decide to start looking for a place to camp. Postojna isn’t too far off and we remember a German friend telling us he stayed at Pivka Jama camp site there a few times. So we decide to go look for it as well. It turns out to be a little bit out of town, but there’s a restaurant and showers and toilets are nice and clean. We’re sold.
After setting up the tent it’s time for and my local favorite: Ćevapčići.