Slovenia has WINE and MOUNTAINS

Chris at an alpine lake a couple thousand feet up from Grandma Cuder's

Chris at an alpine lake a couple thousand feet up from Grandma Cuder’s

I have found that traveling with someone and on bikes I have a lot less time to make blog posts since most of them previously were written on transportation and in the off hours of the day.
We left grandma Cuder’s and did a really popular hike up to an alpine lake. A lot of the alpine areas have huts that are served by cable cars to resupply. It is kinda nice being able to get a beer at the top of your hike. It seems like there is a mountain hut passport system where you try to get your passport stamped. About the same time Chris and I noticed that the sky was getting a little dark and we decided to head back since the afternoon was calling for 80% showers. We headed back to grandma’s, grabbing a radler on the way.
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Alpine dairy where Chris and I bought a pound of cheese for $5, half sheep/half cow's milk

Alpine dairy where Chris and I bought a pound of cheese for $5, half sheep/half cow’s milk

Chickens at the dairy!!!!

Chickens at the dairy!!!!

Lunch

Lunch

When we got there more of the family had arrived and they had run inside and grabbed some pear grappa, juice, and cups so we could do some post hike shots and juice. We then transitioned to bikes and started powering our way to Bovez, 9 miles away. The ride started to look pretty ominous and about 15 minutes before we got there it started to dump on us and right after we got to the hostel it started to hail. We were soaked, but pumped to miss the hail.
The Soca River, a crazy colored river

The Soca River, a crazy colored river

Bovez is a pretty cool touristy town and it appears that a lot of the tourists are outdoors people and less “general tourists” like Bled. That night we went and hung out in what we discovered was the potato festival.
Potato Festivel

Potato Festival

The next day we were all on plan for an 8am start when Chris’s bike tube broke after being pumped up. He changed the tube and we headed out to town and then discovered it was flat again, so he changed it again and we headed out to wine country via Italy in what turned out to be our longest day yet involving a little less than 60 miles and 6000 ft of climbing.  The route took us through where Italy surrendered in WWI, an area with a lot of trenches and mountain fighting positions. We then continued along a ridges that separates  Italy from Slovenia and grabbed lunch in Italy for lunch. English did not get us very far at lunch compared to 10km away in Slovenia where everyone speaks it. We ended up with pizza because the one page of the real menu was in Italian and the four pages of the pizza menu was in Italian and German.  After the meal I declared that I was done with pizza for the rest of the trip. When we left the restaurant a Swiss guy stopped his car and asked us for directions, we gave some to him, not sure if they were right.
We were running on empty before we ran into the lunch restaurant, fun dip time (imported from the US)!!!!

We were running on empty before we ran into the lunch restaurant, fun dip time (imported from the US)!!!!

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Looking back at the mountains in Slovenia

Looking back at the mountains in Slovenia

Chris and I then dropped off the ridge into Italian wine country. Wine country greeted us with two things, a flat tire for Chris and crazy blast furnace hot like wind. Chris expertly changed his third tube of the day while I sat in the grass looking at grapes. We struggled through the hot weather, using almost all of our water to a gas station outside of our destination, Dobrovo(this is one town name that we can’t tell the difference between how we pronounce it and locals do, but no one has any idea what we are saying and we have to write it to be understood). After a little tired decision making travel talk we decided to go to the wine cellar under the castle and taste some wine (we are back in Slovenia).
The aftermath of Chris and I tasting a few wines

The aftermath of Chris and I tasting a few wines

Slovenia has a few wine producing areas and  mainly produced dry wine grapes with 70% being white and 30% being red. In the store wine costs 2-15€ a bottle. About 20% of the wine produced is considered table wine and the other 80% fits into higher categories of wine. Most of the wine they produce is not exported, but about 15 wineries do export to the states.
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While we were tasting wine one of the servers had a disaster with a bunch of wine glasses and some Austrians came and asked if they could join our table. We of course said yes (not that we could have said no because they already say down). I was not in the mood for company for some strange reason, but Chris was delighted to have someone other than me to talk to and they were pretty funny.
I feel like this is an answer to a lot of questions, Smart? No.

I feel like this is an answer to a lot of questions, Smart? No.

We then cycled a few more miles to the winery that we were staying, Stekar. They had a pool. It was hot. They had a pool!!!!  Needless to say we checked in said we wanted to join them for dinner and went for a swim.  The winery had a great view and a great dinner.

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Nothing like staying in a place with a pool after a being drenched by sweat.  I didn't tell Chris we had a pool, he was happy...

Nothing like staying in a place with a pool after a being drenched by sweat. I didn’t tell Chris we had a pool, he was happy…

Wine and pasta

Wine and pasta

DSC02122  I felt great, but had some GI issues and woke up the next morning pretty dehydrated.  I forced some food down and we got on the bikes for what turned out to be the hardest day for me since I was pretty drained, but a super easy day for Chris (38m, 3k vert, 3 hours peddling). The route brought us back into Italy, through a town with cobblestones, and then over some ridges to another wine valley, Vipava Valley. We tried to stay in some tourist farms there but failed which turned out to be a good thing since one of the ones we looked at turned out to be up a 1000+ foot steep climb.

Cobble stones in Italy that would normally be my jam, not this morning :(

Cobble stones in Italy that would normally be my jam, not this morning 😦

We went to the one restaurant in town open for lunch and then to the tourist information center that also ran wine tasting. Chris and I tasted 11 wines and bought a bottle for a total cost of 8€. While there we got some beta on the ruins of the castle overlooking the town and headed up. A lot of what they call castles are bot castles in my mind, just fancy houses, but this one use to be a real castle.
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We attempted to get dinner at the one open restaurant in town. Two hours after we ordered we were brought one of the three things we ordered and two we didn’t. I had wasn’t really hungry and was eating because I should and Chris was pretty irritated about the entire experience so he negotiated and we are and paid for the one ordered and bounced.
Vipava wine tasting

Vipava wine tasting

View from the ruined Vipava castle

View from the ruined Vipava castle

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