Sporting Slovenia

I thought I would start this week’s blog by writing about some of the upcoming events happening in Radovljica and elsewhere in Slovenia in the coming months. Of course this is just a small selection of events and I will endeavour to keep blogging about more interesting events as and when I come across them and posting reports and photos of those which I attend. I’ll be noting them in my diary – I hope you will be too!

There was more sporting success for Slovenia last weekend when Tina Maze won the slalom at the Women’s Golden Fox (Zlata lisica) event and came second in the giant slalom – just missing out by 0.08 seconds. The Golden Fox event is held annually at the Maribor Pohorje ski resort and so her success was even sweeter in front of a very enthusiastic home crowd! Additionally, ski jumper Robert Kranjec won his first World Cup victory of the season in Norway.

Ski jumping has traditionally been considered a male sport but last year the first FIS Women’s Ski Jumping World Cup was held in Slovenia and it the event will be taking place again this month. The host town is Ljubno ob Savinji, a small town in the Upper Savinja Valley, which lies approximately halfway between the capital, Ljubljana, and the second city Maribor, and the town is synonymous with ski jumping.

Continuing on the ski jumping theme, another major skiing event which takes place here annually in March is the Planica FIS World Cup Ski Jumping Final which is a crazy weekend full of sport and partying with a great atmosphere (or so I’m told anyway!).

Although they didn’t win, the Slovene Handball team came in fourth place in the World Championships last week. It was disappointing to lose to Croatia but nevertheless it was the best ever result for the national team.

Slovenia will also host the European Basketball Championships this year from 4th – 22nd September with matches due to take place in Ljubljana, Jesenice, Koper and Celje.

Personally, being probably the world’s biggest chocoholic, I’m most looking forward to the Chocolate Festival to be held in April here in Radovljica. It was held for the first time last year and was so successful that this year it is going to be held over two days, rather than one – mmm, twice as much chocolate!

By the way, just in case it’s confusing Radol’ca is the name of the tourist region which includes the main town of Radovljica plus surrounding towns and villages including Begunje, Kropa and Lesce. More information about the area, events and other information can be found here – http://www.radolca.si/en/

Talez%2005046200

There were a couple of days of beautiful winter sunshine this past week so I was, of course, out and about walking, with my crampons on of course as its rather icy in places now. At this time of year I often walk from home, either because I’m short of time or to save having to de-ice the car. An easy to reach destination, which offers great views for relatively little effort, is to Talež (725m). Talež is part of Jelovica, a vast plateau which dominates the view to the south side of Radovljica. The highest point of Jelovica is 1,411m and it is entirely covered by forest. There are numerous places to walk and it is also great for mountain biking BUT, a note of caution, it is huge and you could very easily get lost if you stray from the marked paths. The views from Talež across to Lake Bled and across the valley to the Karavanke Alps make it well worth the effort and there is a small hunter’s hut (pictured above) which offers drinks and home-made food (only open at weekends during the off-peak season). There are numerous routes up, none of which take longer than an hour, including those starting from the villages of Lancovo, Ribno, Selo, and Bodešče.

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