The problem with starting to write a blog during the winter, especially this long harsh winter, and especially a blog aimed at extolling some of the beauties of this region of Slovenia, is that frustration is now beginning to set in. I’m yearning to be able to write and post photos about all the beautiful places I’ve been walking, cycling and visiting. There are so many places I can’t wait to revisit once the snow, ice and winter conditions have subsided. For a few days this week it felt like spring had sprung but it soon sprung off elsewhere again and, at the moment, winter seems somewhat reluctant to bid farewell. Therefore I, and you (and in that sense I mean any readers out there!) will have to be content with just local walks and information though I endeavour to continue reporting about happenings around Slovenia, even if I don’t actually get there myself and promise, as soon as the weather improves, to be posting plenty of ideas for trips, walks etc. and photos too!
I did manage to walk to Talež twice this week (see blog – Sporting Slovenia, February 2013) though Tuesday’s walk was I think the hardest one of the whole winter yet as the snowfall on Monday brought very heavy, wet snow which made for a really arduous trudge. As I write it’s snowing once again…………
It was another big sporting weekend in Slovenia with the finals of the Planica World Cup Ski Jumping Finals in Rateče, near Kranjska Gora. This is one of the biggest annual sporting events in Slovenia and attracts around 20,000 visitors from all over the country, together with thousands more from neighbouring countries and from further afield. In 2012, over 55,000 visitors attended over the 3 day event. There’s always a huge party atmosphere, but even more so now as expectations were high – the Slovene men’s ski jumpers, both individually and as a team – have been achieving record results this year. The Planica event, which has been running since 1934, attracts the cream of the world’s ski jumpers who come to try and secure victory and break the world record. To date over 60 world records have been set at Planica.
On Saturday, the team event, the Slovene team certainly didn’t disappoint the rapturous home fans by taking victory ahead of Norway and Austria. The icing on the cake came in Sunday’s event, when once again the Slovene men did their nation proud with Jurij Tepeš winning the individual event and Peter Prevc taking third place.
In addition to the competition, there’s always plenty going on in and around Planica during the weekend, especially the Open Air Planica party in the ski resort of Kranjska Gora, which is a mix of live music, dancing and generally lots of merriment.
Slovenia entered another new era this week when it got a new coalition government with the first ever female PM in the history of the country. She’s promising great things (don’t they all?), so everyone will be waiting with baited breath to see if this new government can deliver and lift the Slovene economy which, as with so many other EU countries, has been and continues to be in the doldrums. One area however which is riding the recession is the tourism industry, as more and more people discover this small but diverse and inviting country. I hope, by writing this blog, to play my part, albeit small, in continuing this upwards trend by providing ideas and inspiration about what to do, where to go etc.
In homage to the weekend’s sporting achievements, here I am, admittedly the photo is a few years old, at the ski jumping centre in Žirovnica, near Radovljica where I was a spectator at the mountain bike race, which takes place annually in May – as you can see, it’s a pretty steep course!