The early bird catches the early winter of 2016!

Winter seems to have come early this year and, though the snow might look beautiful, I can’t say I’m ecstatic about it!

The past 2 years we haven’t had any significant snow until after Christmas, but last week’s dismal weather brought quite a significant amount of snow to higher-lying areas, and even a bit of the white stuff fell in lower-lying areas too.

I’m trying to be optimistic that perhaps we will still get a (very) late autumn with some milder temperatures, though, it’s look increasingly unlikely. But ‘glass-half-full’ and all that…

So, in an attempt to once again get accustomed to winter, I was up with the lark and braved freezing early morning temperatures to head up St. Peter’s Church above Begunje na Gorenjskem, just 10 minutes drive from Radovljica.


Though its not easy to drag myself out of bed when it’s so cold and dark, the rewards are (usually!) worth it, which was certainly the case this time, as you can see below!


The valley was still shrouded in low cloud and Triglav and the other peaks of the Julian Alps were looking particularly majestic.


I continued up to Smokuški vrh.


And this was my reward. Brilliant, warm sunshine and stunning views. It was tempting to linger there for a while, alas, the pile of translating awaiting me at home was ever present on my mind. But, I’d go, and will go, again in a heartbeat, even if it means an all-to-early start to the day!


A case of the early bird catches the worm and the early winter and all that…!

© Adele in Slovenia

Reflections & New Year in Slovenia

If someone were to ask me what would be your ideal weather for Christmas, my answer would have fitted exactly what we had. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present than the perfect cloudless skies and warm winter sunshine we had last week. My parents were here from the UK for Christmas and the three of us sat outside having a picnic lunch on Christmas Day. Who’d have thought that possible!

However, not all the country were so lucky as many places were, again, shrouded in fog. This is the view on Boxing Day looking down from Možjanca, near Preddvor.

Mozjanca 26.12.2015

During my parent’s visit we packed in plenty of sights including a trip to the Christmas market in Ljubljana.

Lju 2015

A visit to Kranj to watch the very popular annual Christmas tuba concert (tuba božički) – to get us in the festive mood.


On Christmas Eve we went to see the preparations for mass at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Brezje


On Christmas Day we visited a tourist farm (more about that next week), visited friends, watched the Ana Snežna street show in the old town of Radovljica, and finished the day with a meal at Kunstelj Inn in Radovljica.


If you haven’t already decided how and where to see in the new year, here are some ideas of what’s on in Radovljica and the surroundings and also further afield.

On 30th December there will be a pre-New Year’s Eve party for children at 4pm in Linhart Square, whilst on New Year’s Eve the merriment will take place, also in Linhart Square, with live music from the Avsenik House Ensemble. More information here –

If food, and of course drink, is on your mind, then look to one of the Taste Radol’ca restaurants, though hurry as some are already fully booked. Amongst others, Kunstelj Inn is offering a 4-course menu of local food for 33 euros, Grajska gostilnica  is offering a 6-course New Year’s Eve menu for just 37 euros per person and Gostišče Tulipan has a 4-course menu with live music for 28 euros per person.

Further afield, the capital, Ljubljana, is a popular destination to spend New Year’s Eve, with plenty happening all over the city or, if the weather is fine, spending New Year’s Eve in one of Slovenia’s many mountain huts can also be a magical. One year I walked up to the Sankaška hut above Begunje, from where, on a clear day/night, there are fantastic views and I was able to enjoy watching many fireworks displays across the valley. So, if the weather plays game and that appeals, don your hiking gear and a head torch and head on up there. More information here –

I have now been writing this blog for exactly three years. In that time it has had over 90,000 views from all over the world and this year I was delighted and proud that it was also officially recognised by the Slovenian Tourist Organisation and now also features on the homepage of their website –

People often ask me how I come up with so many ideas for what to write about and if I ever run out of ideas. Actually, sometimes I still have too many ideas so, if you keep reading, I’ll keep writing, and may the journey continue to make 2016 an even more successful year for Adele in Slovenia!

I wish all readers a very, very Happy & Healthy New Year!


A Green Christmas and a Winter Fairytale!

It’s looking like it’s going to be another green Christmas this year. The last two Christmases were the same, although last year the first snow arrived on Boxing Day. I, of course, am most definitely not complaining! Though, it was somewhat odd to have a mosquito buzzing around my head in bed on Saturday night, you definitely don’t expect that in December!

Despite the Alpine climate here in the Gorenjska region, it really is unseasonably mild and we also have luck that being a little higher in altitude – Radovljica is almost 500m above sea level – we usually manage to escape most of the gloomy fog that so often hangs above the Ljubljana basin at this time of year.

Undoubtedly one of the best vantage points, and for a guaranteed smug feeling, is from up high. So, when I woke to a perfect cloudless morning on Saturday, I just had to decide where to go – that’s often the hardest part! This time I chose Dobrča (1478m) which has a very popular mountain hut – Koča na Dobrči – and is among the favourite winter hikes for locals from in and around the Radovljica area, as well as from further afield. With views like this, is it any wonder!


Sunday was a busy day which began with a(nother) hike, this time to St. Peter’s Church above Begunje na Gorenjskem, then it was off to Radovljica’s old town to see the Bernese mountain dogs – decked in their finest Christmas outfits – who visit every year at this time to entertain the crowds and small children can take a ride in a horse-drawn cart.


In the afternoon I visited the Winter Fairytale at the Brdo Estate in Kranj. The estate, which dates back to 1446, has had numerous owners throughout the years, and for a time served as a holiday residence for the former president of the Republic of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito. It is now owned by the state and serves many functions, most notably it hosts all the country’s top protocol events. It is a popular place to hold weddings, has a golf course, a hotel, a small lake, a castle, a park, and also offers a variety of adventures and experiences. During the winter, I often enjoy a walk around the 10km estate boundary, which is also very popular with joggers and runners and where, if you are lucky, you can glimpse some of the estate’s deer grazing.

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Unfortunately the area was shrouded in mist on Sunday, thus it was difficult to photograph the estate at its finest, but nonetheless it was very well attended and a real hit with children who were entertained throughout with fairytales and a visit from Father Christmas.


Big(ger) children could keep warm around the burning logs.


There were horse and carriage rides with the estate’s horses as well as other animals to pet.

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A chance to watch ice being creatively carved and to sample food direct from the estate – including venison, jams, chocolates, and home-produced tea.

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Regardless of the season Brdo is worth a visit, be it to walk around the park, to attend one of the many events, or you can just pop in for coffee and cake. Read more about the estate here –

To close this week, all that remains for me to say is I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may Father Christmas bring you all you desire!









St. Peter’s Church, Begunje – An icy break

I’m afraid it will be at least 6 weeks or so until I’ll be able to blog about any of my latest hikes and adventures as, unfortunately, on Monday last week I fell on ice and now have a fractured humerus – which believe me is anything but ‘humorous’!

If I wasn’t already paranoid enough about ice, now I will be even more so and this year, since the snow fall at the end of December, the ice has been particularly bad, though, following heavy rain this past weekend much of it in the valley has, thankfully, finally melted. I wasn’t doing anything dramatic or particularly adventurous when I fell and, annoyingly, had had my crampons on until just minutes before, having removed them for the final part of the path down which, being on the sunny side, had been ‘ice-free’ – or so it seemed – for a week or so. However, there was just one small spot, just a few metres, where there was a little ice mixed with mud and that was my downfall – literally.

At first I thought/hoped I might have just torn the tendons and was praying the pain would dissipate. However, some hours later it was evident that wasn’t going to happen so it was time for the inevitable trip to the on-call doctor, followed by x-rays at A&E, to confirm that, yes, I had actually broken a bone. ‘Bugger’ – just one of the expletives I might have uttered and probably the only one that is suitable for print!

So now follows 6 long, frustrating weeks of being one-armed which, when you live alone, is anything but easy. Simple, every day tasks become torturous, not due to pain – thankfully and strangely it doesn’t really hurt – just due to the length of time it takes to do the simplest of things; getting dressed, showered etc. Still, I’m trying to remain as upbeat as I can and at least I can still get outdoors for a walk, albeit not exactly the type of walk I would choose and running and cycling are off the agenda, though, being winter I wouldn’t be doing much of that anyway.

The place I fell was on the path to St. Peters Church (Sv. Peter) above the village of Begunje which is a really popular place to hike among the local population. There are a number of routes up to the church but I usually favour the direct, steeper route which leads up from near the post office in Begunje. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the church and a further 5 minute level walk leads to the Sankaška hut (Sankaška koča) which has a terrace with amazing views over the whole valley and where tasty soups, stews and strudel can be enjoyed. This place is popular all-year round and, particularly at weekends during fine weather, its pretty much guaranteed to be buzzing. Another popular route up to the church begins from the Krpin Recreation Centre a little further on through the village. Don’t be put off by my fall – it was just one of those unlucky things –  so if you are visiting the Radol’ca area, I’d definitely recommend a trip up to St. Peter’s Church and to the viewing terrace at the Sankaška hut. You can read more about St. Peters Trail here – and about St. Peter’s Church here –


Here are a couple of photos of me on a winter’s hike – taken a couple of year’s ago – to the very same place – believe it or not!

Sveti Peter 03 December 2010 004  Sveti Peter 03 December 2010 018

I will, of course, still be blogging – what is it they say about ‘not being able to keep a good man/woman down’? In the meantime, I’ll also be getting my thinking cap on, availing of public transport (driving is now out of the question too) and being thankful, once again, that I live in Radovljica which is well served by public transport and offers plenty of places to walk – even for those of us who are, temporarily at least, somewhat less mobile.

Hot off the press news – the new ‘Taste Gorenjska’ (Okusi Gorenjske) brochure has just been launched and, having been involved in its preparation, I think it looks rather good! The cuisine of each area of Gorenjska is presented with featured special dishes. You can pick up a copy in local tourist offices or the online version is available here –

© AdeleinSlovenia 2015