57 Shades of Green
Slovenia is one of the greenest countries in the world. Green means springtime, freshness, and hope. Green, the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with growth, harmony, safety, fertility, and environmental awareness. On the other hand, green can also represent money, banking, ambition, greed, jealousy, and corruption.
All I know is that the natural green makes me happy. I am outside, among lush forests, breathing fresh air, away from artificial noise, like traffic and construction. Green makes me calm and revitalizes my energy. Green is why I like cycling on the Slovenian coast.
One of the most popular coastal routes is Parenzana, an old railway path from Trieste in Italy to Poreč in Croatia. It’s busy all the time.
I hit Parenzana when I leave the apartment. After 5 minutes, I come to the tunnel. It’s 550 m (1800 ft) long, and the temperature there is constant almost year around. Cycling through it in the summer is a welcome refreshment.
The first tunnel
After the tunnel, I cycle on a paved road that passes by olive orchards, grape vineyards, and diverse stands of trees. Each place has different green color. Depending on the sun, clouds, and shadows, you’ll never see the same green twice 😊.
My first view is of Piran. The silhouette of the church is so recognizable, it’s hard to miss.
Silhute of Piran: I notice that taking pictures with the GoPro is amazing as long as they are close. For panoramic pictures, I use my Android phone.
Surrounded by green every step of the way, I don’t even pay attention to ups and downs on the road. I just pedal, because I know that my reward will be more stunning views.
After the second tunnel, I come upon Izola, another small coastal town. Izola or Isola (Italian) means “island.” Like Piran and Koper, this town is steeped in ancient history. Izola was known as Haliaetum, an ancient Roman, port in 177 BC.
On my way to Isola.
Parenzana is busy all the time.
I cycle down to the town on a special road, which is closed to vehicles now. In the past, when it was open to vehicles, every time my husband and I got to this part, we’d open up the car windows and let in the fresh, salty air. This was the sign that WE ARE ON THE COAST!
A few years ago, the city closed the road and created the throughfare for pedestrians, cyclists, and beachgoers. It’s probably the most populated path year-round.
At the sea :).
Even though I like the Adriatic Sea, I turn around and cycle up to Malija, a hill above Izola. This hill is long and steep, but I love the views on the other side of the outskirts of the Slovenian coast.
On the other side of the hill, another beautiful view waits for me: the Sečovlje Salt Pans. The Parenzana path passes by salt pans (an ancient method of evaporating sea salt), and at the end, you cross the border with Croatia.
Cycling down to Lucija, Portorož, I am ready for some refreshment in the sea! In the evening when it is less crowded :).
Most of this path is part of BTN Slovenia by Bike and BTN from Lipizzan to the Roman Colosseum