Alps and the Mediterranean in the same day
Is this even possible? Well, I tried it. It is possible to ski or hike in the Alps in the morning and get to the Mediterranean by early evening. It’s summertime, so hiking is easier!
Every time I am in Slovenia, I hike with a good friend of mine. We choose different destinations. This time we went to Krvavec, one of the most popular ski areas in Slovenia. After this short 30-minute drive from Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, you reach a gondola which will take you up to the ski resort.
Once you are there, you can choose a 90-minute hike or take a chairlift to go almost all the way to the top. Because my friend has knee problems, we took the chairlift.
You can hike in a sport shoes or hiking shoes. Spacious meadows offer a great opportunity to stroll or enjoy the sun. Some people harvest wildflowers to make tea, syrups, or other herbal remedies.
Slovenians harvest plants naturally and ethically for medicinal use, according to cultural codes. There are plenty of books about wild plants and what they are good for. And Slovenia also cherishes a rich oral tradition of herbal healing, handed down from generation to generation.
For example, my mom uses almost every part of the common dandelion! Leaves are good for salad in the early spring–they are rich in iron and are the first fresh natural food after the snow melts. Augmenting the salad with warm potato, beans or cooked eggs, then drizzling pumpkin seed oil over all, dandelion greens become one of the best and healthiest meals in the world! Watch Jacques Pepin if you don’t belive me :).
We use the yellow flower for cough syrup. My mom alternates layers of flowers and layers of sugar several times in a big jar and leaves this out in the sun. The sun melts the sugar and extracts the healthy substances out of the flowers. This syrup tastes better than the one from the store, so as a child I pretended to cough, just to get the syrup!
Well, let’s go back to Krvavec. The domesticated animal most commonly seen in the Alps from spring to fall is the pasture cow. Wherever you see meadows, you will undoubtedly see cows. Pastured cattle have offered benefits for centuries: fresh milk, fresh buttermilk, homemade cheese, and “masovnik” or “masunjek”, which is made of cooked sour cream. Maybe it doesn’t sound very good, but trust me, it is quite tasty.
After strolling that morning and seeing wildflowers with my friend, we stopped for lunch at a local mountain cafe. Then, we returned to the valley. I went back to my apartment to prepare my bag to go to the coast to visit my in-laws in Lucija. This is the small town next to Portorož (a popular tour destination on the Slovenian coast).
I drove a little over 90 minutes from my apartment to Portorož, where I was able to smell fresh, salty air from the Adriatic Sea and view the most beautiful combination of blue and green colors. The Adriatic is part of the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and the Balkan peninsula.
This easy drive takes you from the Alpine regions, to Ljubljana Valley, through the Karst Plateau, and then when you go through the last tunnel, you see the Adriatic. It is amazing to drive and see from Trieste to Koper with the sea in the background! The view changes every few minutes!
While traveling with Mateja Travel, we don’t always tour so casually, but we do offer similar tours in two days. If you’re up for this challenge, let me know and I will put it in our itinerary. You can comment below this blog, or post on Facebook, or simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.