In Jeruzalem - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

June 30, 2022 to July 1, 2022

In Jeruzalem

June 30

There is not much to say about today for it truly was a rest day. I had three goals when the day started – rest, rest, and more rest. Actually, I was thinking I would also spend the day catching up on the journal, and maybe take a walk later in the day.

 I woke early, as the western hills outside my room basked in the morning light. The air was refreshingly cool and I spent the first couple of hours on my shaded balcony, writing and watching the changing patterns of light and shadow on the surrounding hillsides. By noon, the sun and heat forced me off the balcony and I retreated to lunch on the terrace. Shortly after I arrived, a young couple with Brittish accents and bike helmets sat down at a nearby table. Curious, I introduced myself and discovered they had e-biked over from their nearby hotel and were on day two of their honeymoon in Slovenia. They intended to visit a number of places I’d passed through and we had a great conversation of all things Slovenia.

Morning panorama from my balcony
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Honeymooners from Southampton, England - Congratulations
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I never did take that afternoon walk – the heat and fatigue proved to be too formidable.  Instead, I reviewed my plans for the remainder of the tour. The next few days to Maribor were fairly easy but it got pretty challenging thereafter - winding through the Kamnik–Savinja Alps with stops in Slovenj Gradj, Lbujano and Kamnik before arriving in Ljubjlana – a total 130 miles and 9900 feet of elevation. When planning the route I considered it ambitious, but doable - thinking of how strong I’d by then, not even considering how tired I might become. So, I took the difficult decision of shortening my time in Slovenia, bowing to the heat and conceding that I have neither young legs nor an e-bike. The next few days would stay as planned, but I decided to end my cycling in Maribor and train it to Ljubljana. This would allow me to return to Paris a few days early and spend next weekend in Burgundy with Alex and Carla before she left for a month in Argentina.

With a new, less strenuous itinerary and a day of lolling about, I was fairly certain I would thoroughly enjoy a nice morning ride through the surrounding vineyards. 

July 1 - Jeruzalem Loop Ride

Today was predicted to be another scorcher so an early ride was the definitely the way to go. Similar to yesterday, the morning air was a bit cool and the skies a brilliant blue. I’d planned a fairly modest loop route that started with a series of ups and downs, followed by a long flat middle, and then a final climb up to Jeruzalem before coming back to the Taverna. Though short, the ride was ever so sweet.  I cycled on small local roads through vineyards and fields of grain, corn and hay – with a couple of wildlife encounters and a wonderful “conversation” with a Slovenian farmer.

Clear view of All Saints Church in Svetinje and the hills of the Slovenske Gorice
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Heading out on a beautiful morning - step one is all downhill
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Fields of corn, hay and grains
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Haywagon with a rusting blue tin roof
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Three ducks and haywagon with red tin roof
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Scott AndersonThey’re really keeping an eye on that hay wagon!
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1 month ago
On the way to Desnjak
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I encountered this gentleman in the settlement of Desnjak, out walking his granddaughter and singing lullabies.
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Rachael AndersonI love scenes like this!
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1 month ago
Near Desnjak
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View from Desnjak west to the next ridge
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Looking down from Desnjak
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As the day warmed, even the cows were seeking shade and a cool spot in the muck
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A rather snazzy pizzeria near Desnjak
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Heading down from Desnjak, I thought I spied something in the hayfield - can you?
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Maybe if you take a closer look
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She sat there for the longest time, just watch me as I crept closer
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An then, she was off
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Up to the next ridge
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Vivien George takes a short nap....
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A long, gentle downhill - my favorite kind - and the next rise seems very tame from here
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Heading down to the Mura River basin - that might be the Mura River in the distance
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Near Godemarci, just before turning toward Ljutomer, I passed this woman mucking out the turkey pens and stopped to ask for a photo.
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We had a lovely conversation - understanding less than 10% of what each of us were saying. But gestures, smiles, and sparkling eyes always speak a universal language.
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The second half of the ride took me through the flat agricultural terrain of the Mura River basin and into the town of Ljutomer, where I stopped for an ice cream and water refill. There was a lot of construction in the town square, but little activity otherwise. A bike path took me about a mile past town where I began the 2.3 mile climb to Jeruzalem, my highest point of day. I was in the heart of the Slovenske Gorice wine region, with rows upon rows upon rows of vines sloping down and/or curving across hillsides. There was nothing much to the town of Jeruzalem - except more fantastic views - and I was back at the Traverna a little past one. The highlight of my afternoon and evening was desert - a bowl of vanilla ice cream with pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds. A delicious and fitting end to a very sweet day.

Into the flats, where corn and hay are the major crops
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It was fairly quiet in the Ljutomer town square, other that the pounding of jackhammers
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The vineyards of the Slovenske Gorice
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On the road to Jeruzalem
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On the way to Jeruzalem
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Near the top of a steep section
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Vines in all directions
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Nearing Jeruzalem
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View from Jeruzalem
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Another fantastic day with Vivien George
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Vanilla ice cream with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil - a strikingly good desert
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Today's ride: 22 miles (35 km)
Total: 1,689 miles (2,718 km)

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Scott AndersonHave you seen or heard any wind rattles? Years ago they used to market a ride through these hills as the Wind Rattle Route.
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1 month ago
Susan CarpenterTo Scott AndersonI didn’t see any, but do remember you mentioning them in one of your journals. A quick web search suggests they still use them, but may not put them up until late July thru November, when the grapes are ripening for harvest. Sorry I missed them
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Susan CarpenterI didn’t realize they were used seasonally, but of course that makes sense because they’re quite noisy. You hear them before you see them, and I’m sure you’d have noticed the unmistakeable sound. We saw them in Croatia in late August. There’s a video of one here: https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/zagreb2020/in-varazdin-western-medimurje-9da/
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1 month ago
Rachael AndersonBeautiful ride! I’m glad to hear you changed your itinerary! I was getting hot and tired just reading your blog.
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1 month ago