A Day in Bohinj - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

June 16, 2022

A Day in Bohinj

Today was a free day in Bohinj, an area that encompasses Lake Bohinj as well as several small settlements and the town of Bohinjska Bistrica. The area is sometimes compared to Lake Bled, but while there are some similarities, a notable difference that there are a lot fewer tourists and less commercial development in Lake Bohinj– both of which were positives in my book. I had several options for how to spend the day, including hiking, biking, boating, or a combination of all three (My list did not include paragliding and other adrenaline options that might interest others). I opted for a leisurely walk around the lake and a gondola ride up to the Vogel ski area, with more hiking available at the top should I feel energetic.

Mount Triglav says good morning on my way to Lake Bohinj
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A monument to the four men from Bohinj who were the first to summit Mount Triglav
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Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in Slovenia
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Ready for an exciting day
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Church of Saint John the Baptist and Janez’s stone bridge are considered two of Bohinj’s best attractions
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Lake Bohinj
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Zlatorog, or Golden Horn – the magical stag that guards the hills surrounding Lake Bohinj
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Zlatorog
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An abandoned pier on Lake Bohinj
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Family bike ride
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Group bike ride
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Bohinj campsite near Ukanc, and the far end of Lake Bohinj
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I was a pretty big ski enthusiast in my younger days - not very good, but enthusiastic. Somehow, chair lifts and gondola rides were never a problem with skis clamped to my feet. Now, however, I'm a bit terrified riding up a steep mountain in a tin can full of strangers. I steeled myself for the Vogel gondola and spent the ride up  clinging to a hand rail and looking intently at the floor. Obviously, the trip was without incidence and I was soon looking at the panorama of the Bohinj Group summits, including Mount Triglav, which at 2,863 meters is the highest peak in the Julian Alps and in Slovenia. 

I fortified myself with a bowl of soup at the Vogel ski chalet and considered the various hiking routes. I could go up along one of the ski runs, but I was more interested to discover there was a trail back to Ribčev Laz. The lake path I'd taken to Vogel was mostly along the highway rather than the lake, and I thought a hike down from Vogel would be more interesting. I put the route in RWGPS and started down the trail, initially a gravel road that narrowed as it headed downhill. I took care not to slip on the chunky rocks, and managed to take in some additional views of the surrounding peaks. However, I soon came to a painted red arrow directing me to a very narrow, little-used trail that ran through the woods, appearing to drop a bit precipitously off the right side. I paused and considered the fact that I was alone, without hiking poles, and about to take a little-used trail down a mountain side.  Not a smart choice - I turned back to brave the gondola ride down.

Panorama view of the the Bohinj Group summits, including Mount Triglav, barely discernible on the right
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A closer view of Mount Triglav, just right of center
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And closer still, the taller of the double hump on the right
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The llama was more interest in lunch than views
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Steve Miller/GrampiesFamiliarity really does breed contempt.
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1 month ago
The ski chair to the top was not operational today, and many people elected to climb up along the ski run paths
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Several hiking options available from the Vogel Ski Area/top of the gondola. I was interested in the bottom trail, only two hours back to Ribčev Laz
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The trail to Ribčev Laz started out on a road of chunky loose gravel
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View from the Ribčev Laz trail
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Another view of Mount Triglav, from the trail to Ribčev Laz
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The path not taken
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Steve Miller/GrampiesLooks a bit reminiscent of our bike route from yesterday that sent us back to white knuckle it with the cars on the road.
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1 month ago
The prudent choice, but still a bit scary
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Steve Miller/GrampiesTerrifying would be the appropriate word.
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1 month ago
View of Lake Bohinj from the gondola station
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With my feet safely touching solid ground, I walked into Ukanc, a town whose name loosely translates as "end of the world." I  was just in time to take a boat ride back to Ribčev Laz, during which time I learned a few things about the lake and met two nice women from France who were on their sixth visit to Bohinj. They encouraged me to visit the Church of Saint John the Baptist, which I just learned had some pretty amazing frescoes.

Leaving the end of the world on a boat
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On Lake Bohinj, heading to Ribčev Laz at the far end of the lake
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The Church of Saint John the Baptist and Janez’s stone bridge, viewed from the water
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Mirielle and Josette, on holiday from France
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Outside the entrance to Church of Saint John the Baptist
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In the Church of Saint John the Baptist
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Frescoes above the altar
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Frescoes above the nave
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Despite what this sign says, the exact date the church was completed is not known, but is believed to be more than 700 years ago
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And so ends my free day in Bohinj. Though I didn't sample everything on offer, I'd say it was a day well spent. 

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Comment on this entry Comment 3
Scott AndersonLooks a lot like our stay there 20 years ago, but with better weather and photos. Congratulations on doing the smart thing on the mountains!
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1 month ago
Susan CarpenterTo Scott AndersonThe weather has been great. And I'm learning that many places here are pretty remote and I need to be aware of my limits. Safety first, as they say.
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1 month ago
Rachael AndersonBeautiful photos and a great way to spend a day off the bike.
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1 month ago