1st-3rd March 2012
After the usual Tartan Army fun and frolicking in Ljubljana, it was time to get back to snowboarding – I’d only have a day in Kranjska Gora so despite the offer of staying an extra night in Ljubljana, I thought it best to leave and get the bus.
It was late as I lumbered into the bus station, but the buses run until nearly 10pm to Kranjska Gora, and the two hour journey cost a very reasonable €8!
I had a short walk to where I was staying, and after dropping my bags there I headed out, still in my kilt, for a beer and to see if there were any sociable people. There were a few nice bars, Vopa being the busiest and I’m told the most popular.
The village of Kranjska Gora is home to 3000 people, and is a nice little place with a relaxed and friendly feel about it – or maybe that was because I was wearing a kilt!
In the morning I was absolutely knackered – I must be getting old as the few days partying with the Scotland fans, the non-stop traveling, and lack of sleep, had all taken its toll.
I didn’t feel much like snowboarding on Friday when I woke but forced myself to get on the go.
Slovenians seem so naturally friendly that it came as no surprise when the couple who own the guesthouse I was staying at said they’d wash my (very ripe) dirty clothes, and the husband even gave me his season lift pass since I was only going for the day! Washing clothes, especially my snowboard gear has been the bain of this trip!
As nice as Kranjska Gora was, with it’s ethereal looking mountains, the actual snowboarding wasn’t as good as I hoped. The lift systems are excellent and modern, and you can tell the whole area has had money invested. It’s the home to the downhill skiing championships, and that was partly the problem… most of the runs were short, steep, straight, and to be honest, a bit boring!
You’d ski the resort easily in half a day, but where Vogel was fun, I just couldn’t see the appeal of Kranjska Gora.
It was also hot, and if not for the snow machines, the resort wouldn’t have been open! I spent a few funny moments watching a young snowboard trying to surf what she thought was only a puddle at the bottom of a run, but didn’t hit it fast enough, and she sank to her knees in water! I’d nearly done the same, but thankfully hit it fast enough.
I could easily have been out in shorts and tshirt! With the temperature in the sun reaching 15 degrees Celsius, it was approaching a Shetland summer heat wave!
But by the time midday came, I was hot, tired and bored, so packed it in.
After a much needed shower, I went and enjoyed the sun at a few of the local bars and cafes – laptop and Kindle to hand – it was nice to simply chill out and read (I’m currently reading the fantasy adventure A Game of Thrones – the Fire and Ice Saga. Sex and violence, you can’t beat it!)
The aspect of Kranjska Gora I’ll probably remember most, was the surreal looking mountains, which to me nearly looked fake, as if someone had painted them on the landscape. I tried to get some pictures, but don’t think I succeeded in capturing what I saw, or maybe the beer and heat were going to my head!
If you’re into Downhill Skiing, then this would be a nice place, and “skiing is Slovenia’s number one sport” there are ski schools and beginners slopes, and a small snow park, but for snowboarding I just didn’t find it as interesting as Vogel… maybe with more real snow it would be ok, but I doubt it.
Anyway, Austria is calling – Mayrhofen, a snowboarding mecca!
Kranjska Gora Official Site – http://www.kranjska-gora.si/
Slovenia Official Site - http://www.slovenia.info/
Train travel – http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html
Slovenia Bus Timetables (a very useful site!) - http://www.ap-ljubljana.si/eng/