I love nothing more than discovering somewhere new to walk and force of circumstances i.e. the ongoing bad weather, meant I did just that on Saturday. Radovljica offers endless possibilities for outdoor activities when the weather is good, hence why I like living here. However, with the current conditions i.e. still over 3 metres of snow in the mountains and a week of non-stop rain making the ground that isn’t snow covered completely sodden, by Saturday this week I was feeling pretty desperate to get away for a change of scenery and walk somewhere ‘normal’.
Since the completion of the motorway, it now takes only around 40 minutes to drive from Radovljica to Ljubljana, or around an hour by train. Once a month when I work in Ljubljana I often go for a stroll in Tivoli Park. I usually park in the same place and walk the same way in and out of town as although its far from a big city, I find the layout of Ljubljana somewhat confusing and seem unable to mentally link together the different areas, despite others saying Ljubljana is really more like just a big village. Whenever I walk around Tivoli, I have often wondered where the many paths, which branch off every which way, lead to – but haven’t ever, until now, taken the time to go and explore them. Now I have, it feels like I’ve unearthed a whole new side of Ljubljana which I previously wasn’t aware of and I certainly didn’t know there was a skiing jumping centre in the middle of the woodland slap bang in the centre of the city – a revelation indeed!
The regional park, which comprises the areas of Tivoli and the Rožnik and Šišenski hills, extends over an area of 5km² and is a favourite place among locals for all kinds of recreation; walking, running, cycling and even ski jumping! The ski jumping centre is part of the Mostec Recreation Centre, a great place for a picnic and there’s a fitness trail which involves lots of torturous looking jumps, lifts etc. and looks pretty hardcore, not the usual run of the mill poor attempts I’ve seen elsewhere! Rožnik hill is the highest part of the park and from the top, where there’s a café and a church, there are great views across the city. Ljubljana Zoo is also within the boundaries of the regional park on the southwest side of the Rožnik hill. I didn’t actually go into the zoo on this occasion but there’s more information about it here http://www.zoo-ljubljana.si/index.php?id=1&L=2 and here is a photo of the bronze statue of the bull, which stands at the zoo entrance, by the renowned Slovene sculptor and painter Janez Boljka.
It struck me this morning what an awful job it must be being a weather forecaster at the moment. They must get accosted every time they walk out the door by people asking “What on earth is going on?” The strange phenomenon that is this year’s weather in Europe has meant that so far this year there has only been the equivalent of 6 days of sun here and whereas last year’s temperatures at this time of year were above average, this year they are well below. Winter is still stubbornly refusing to bid farewell yet Iceland seems to be getting all the sun as I read they have had far more than usual! It’s all quite bizarre and can it can only be hoped that it is just a one-off occurrence.
I’m constantly amazed by the number of people from all over the world, who have found and read my blog. It’s fascinating to see where in the world people are reading about little old me and my life here and hopefully gaining more recognition for Radovljica too. I’ve received compliments from far flung places as well as from several locals too. Last week I was even interviewed for the local paper – due out next month!