Walk March 10th, perfect spring day
In the afternoon a drive into Slovenia. This time almost to the Croation border, in fact in one of the pictures you can see the customs- border office. The destination is a rock formation that is part of a longer walk (5.5hours) along the Movraska Vale. The road to get there was not even a secondary road, and I would say a one lane country road, for the last stretch, where it is not even wide enough to turn the car around. There is a small cluster of houses with the name of Dvori where we turn around and then park the car on a small grassy opening beside a field just big enough for the car because there are no ditches like we see along the sides of the roads. Every small cluster of houses has a “town” name and there are lots of them up and down the hillsides and of course on hilltops which makes it very hard to remember the names of where you have been but also means that there are signs for town names continuously along the roadside. I find it very difficult to follow a map because the scale is so small compared to what we are used to in Canada. You pass a half dozen small ‘towns’ but have only travelled maybe 10 kilometers.
To get to the rock formation the capogito had to find a small farm road between two freshly tilled fields, bordered by a few rows of grape vines and a vegetable garden. Then up a small wooded hill, up a rocky crest and then the valley is spread out below. The view goes all the way to Pinguente and the hills beyond, though there is a bit of humidity in the air that blurs the view. We are on the crest of Monte Veli Badin part of the Krog walking along a cengia – a flat ledge that you can walk along with a sheer precipice above you and the rest of the mountain below you. There we see a natural stone bridge (Naravni most in Slovenian) carved out of the carsic stone. Above us is what feels almost like a rounded roof made of eroded stone. It is sand colored but striated with the dark black from the water that seeps through the rocks. You can hear the cooing of rock pigeons that are nesting in holes in the precipe. One is sitting on a ledge looking down at us – the sentinal it seems. These are not the round shouldered city pigeons but rather elegant, sleek and alert, mountain cousins. On this side we are facing the sun and it is warm enough to take the jackets off, sit on the rock face and enjoy the view and the rock formations. The carved out rock forms a natural amphitheatre so your voice echoes back to you.
On the way back we follow a trail for a bit to take a good look at all the spring flowers. It is a “learning” trail (Poti Ucenja in Slovenian) and is marked with a picture of a mushroom. Slovenian is quite different from Serbian so I can’t understand what is written in the pamphlet which describes the trail. But basically it describes the carsic landscape and flora in the Vala- sinkholes, torrents, underground springs, rim stone pools, overhands and the natural bridge.
It is asparagus season and we find a few shoots so that I taste wild asparagus for supper. (Actually bitter tasting but bitter tasting greens are the norm here).
We stop at a roadside sign in Movraz that has a map of the area and describes the history. Always the names of the peoples that have conquered the area and the resulting destruction and construction of buildings in the style of the conquerors – in medieval times Lombards, the Church,*** Venetians, until the 15th Century, plundered by the Ottoman Turks, followed by the Austo-hungarians in the 18th century, the Germans in the second world war, the partisans….some of the pictures are missing. I will try and add to another page later.