Unlike other Camino routes we have done, this trip has no English guide. We have a gpx line on our phones, an accommodation list and, of course, a smart phone. Without a guide telling you what you will encounter along the way it has been a daily encounter with pleasant and beautiful surprises.
As a result of the rains Gord has also been walking the harder surfaces of the cycling Camino route through much of Slovenia. Our weather is great again, but the paths and farm roads are still very wet and soft. The two routes join on paved surfaces, but Gord is not venturing off on the smaller trails at all.
I have already mentioned in my earlier blogs that the route through Jeruzalem and the medieval city of Ptuj were two of our first wonderful surprises.
On the route between Poljcane and Vojnik we followed a valley named after John the Baptist to a 12th century Charterhouse tucked into the beautiful surrounding forest.
It reminded us of the fortified monasteries in Romania.
We had a fairly well graded climb up into the hills with spectacular views of the valley below. I chose to take the most gradual decent I could find so that I could enjoy the ride down into Vojnik.
The next day we took a slight detour through the nearby city of Celje, to see the castle high above town, and to enjoy a meal in its lovely old quarter. From there we followed the river on a walking/bike path for 7 kilometres to our accommodation in the town of Petrovče. It was our first short day, so in the afternoon we walked to the next town of Žalec to experience their beer fountain. You buy a beer glass with a microchip in the bottom that allows you to fill it six times from the six different beers available. Žalec is located in a hops growing area, so all of the beers featured their local hops. The beer fountain was set up in a shady public park, making it a very pleasant experience on a warm day.
Every day we encounter something we are not expecting , and on the days without major surprises we are still traveling in one of the most picturesque landscapes I have ever been in.