A mixed bag

Mrezice  25 November 2010 019There’s no denying winter is here (can you tell from the picture! This one was taken on Pokljuka) though so far its been a bit of a mixed bag. This week saw temperatures of minus 15 degrees one day followed by +5 the next; that’s a whopping 20 degree increase overnight. From heavy snow 2 weekends ago to torrential rain last weekend. It’s all being thrown at us and more and it’s still only December.

This can of course somewhat curtail ones plans and activities but fortunately, being the festive season, there’s still plenty going on come rain, shine or snow.

Last weekend was the International Biathlon on Pokljuka and fortunately, whilst it was raining down here in the valley, snow was falling up on the plateau. The biathlon is always a popular spectator event and Pokljuka itself is a great destination year-round for hiking and biking in the summer and skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Being so close to Bled, and therefore close to Radovljica where I live, it is also very accessible. And to top it all, there was a home win for Jakov Fak, formerly from Croatia but now living in and competing for Slovenia.

For a tiny nation, Slovene skiers do the nation proud. Tina Maze is currently leading the Women’s FIS Alpine Ski World Cup too. Oh and whilst on the subject of skiing many of Slovenia’s ski resorts opened their doors (or rather their lifts) last weekend including the biggest ones at Vogel, Cerkno, Krvavec, Kranjska Gora and Pohorje. Wow, I also just read that Slovenia has 87 ski resorts – not bad for a country with just 2 million residents.

I’m not a skier myself. Tried it but just can’t get over the fear of going down. Come to think of it, I don’t really enjoy anything that involves going downhill at speed. I’d always rather go uphill than down whether by bike or on foot. Actually I’d rather ski up and take the lift down!

So my winter sport of choice is hiking in the mountains and, when snow conditions permit, snowshoeing. Just this morning, which was a beautiful sunny winter’s day, I headed up to the top of Dobrča (1634m) where I was rewarded with that smug feeling of being above the low lying cloud that was shrouding the valley. Dobrča forms part of the chain of mountains belonging to the Karavanke Alps. From half way upwards the path was really icy but with my crampons on it was fine. Talking of which, something I didn’t realise until I moved here was that I am utterly petrified of ice (and we’re not talking the type found in a G&T!). It would be preferable to have a phobia of almost anything but ice since it comes with the territory of living in an alpine region but alas, we are not able to choose our phobias so one just has to try and live with it and now I always have 2 pairs of crampons with me throughout the winter just in case one pair should break – a handy tip maybe.

So now the festive season is upon us and I’m looking forward to the Christmas market in Radovljica, my parents arriving for a visit, going to watch Mary Poppins on Ice and the Live Nativity on Christmas Day in the old town of Radovljica. So watch this space for more about all of these soon.

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