It was an absolutely gorgeous day today, one I took advantage of for my first longer bike ride of 2012. About 60km in all; not long for some, but plenty for someone like me. The majority of that was in the eastern third of the Ljubljansko Barje, or Ljubljana Moors (or Marsh), which happens to be the southernmost wetlands in Europe. I was buzzed by birds I’ve never seen before.
Urbanization and intensive farming have destroyed about 70 percent of Europe’s wetlands, underscoring the rarity of this area, some of which is just a casual half hour bike ride from Ljubljana’s city center. Yet the villages, primarily farming settlements that dot the landscape, seem half a world away.
The furthest south I went was Iški Vintgar, or gorge, to visit it in the winter for the first time (top pic below). Conditions were anything but winter-like, but there were still a handful of patches of snow and ice in the gorge. That, and only three other people.
It’s late, I’m a bit sleepy and sore, so more details next time. For now a few photos. The barje website, in English, is here.
a fairly typical irrigation canal
Roadside chapel in village of Iška Vas
Still a bit of snow and ice in Iški Vintgar Gorge
A little Yugonostalgia in village of Ig
The Moors are a regional park and protected area
Village of Iška
A sandbox, off-season at Iški Vintgar
Herons hanging out. There were more than a dozen here.
Village of Iška Vas