The locals we have met in Slovenia are invariably unhappy with their Spring. It is reputedly the wettest and coolest they have had in recent memory. Despite it’s proximity, it wasn’t as bad in Hungary, though we did stay two nights at our last (spa) hotel before entering Slovenia to avoid travel during an exceptionally wet, windy day.
As I was walking the last few kilometres yesterday Ruth texted me to say that the bridge leading to our accommodation was closed due to high water. Our only reasonable option was to take a taxi around by the next bridge, some 15 kilometres distant. This was arranged with the assistance of a very helpful waitress in the bar where Ruth was sheltering.
The land around the Mura River is quite flat, and the cab ride revealed some of the effects of all the recent rain. The river itself was more than a kilometre wide, having flooded a wide corridor of adjacent forest. I have read that the jungle in the Amazon basin is largely flooded during the wet season, and that was my impression of the forest along the Mura River: a normal forest, but all of the trunks rising from several feet of murky water.
We saw more signs of flood damage on our walk today, but there was no rain. It was perhaps our prettiest walk so far, crossing a range of hills between Ljutomer and Ormoz. Lonely Planet considers it one of the best hikes or bike rides in Slovenia. The roads follow the ridges, which is where the villages are located. It is a wine producing area, so most of the hillsides are cloaked in pretty vineyards, though there are some blocks of old beech forest as well. It was hard work for Ruth, with a number of 10 to 12 percent climbs, but we both found the area delightful.
The best known of the villages is Jeruzalem, which trades on its name, it’s wines, and it’s vistas. It was indeed a pretty place, although like most wine communities it was a bit overdone.
We descended from the holy (to vinophiles) town on the hill, and we are staying in Ormoz, with Croatia on the other side of the river. The forecast for the next week is increasing optimistic.