20 May Bicycle touring Slovenia, part 3, hiking Pericnik Falls
We are carrying entirely too much stuff!!
At least that is the conclusion we drew from having sore legs and hurting knees after crossing another mountain pass. We can’t wait to get back to Germany to leave some of our gear, extra parts, and what ever else we can purge and have not needed in the last few months…or at least anything that would make this mountain-climbing-business a little bit easier.
The day after crossing the Vrsic Pass, we decided to take a down-day. The cold, wet weather was not enjoyable anyway and made it easy to hang out in the tent. At least it gave us a reason to try to catch up with our blog and to do some reading.
Also, we came to find out, we could not have crossed the nearby pass into Austria even if we wanted to. Supposedly a landslide caused by the recent bad weather, will have the pass closed for a few more days..But to be honest, we just did not feel like climbing over more mountains with our sore knees and contemplated different means of getting us over the last few passes into Germany.
The following day, the weather cleared up a bit more. There were still a few heavy, dark clouds rolling over the mountains that we had crossed, but at least the rain finally stopped. We even managed to walk to a nearby village to look around and to get food supplies.
We also got some information on a few local hikes. One of them being about 6 km from the camp.
The next day, we jumped on our bikes to ride to the beginning of the hike, which would take us to the Pericnik Waterfalls. We followed the bike path into the next village and from there a dirt road lead us into the national park. The ride was relaxing and the weather had finally changed to being sunny and warm again.
After riding a couple of kilometers through the national park, we could already hear and see the the lower, bigger waterfall of the two famous Pericnik Falls.
We quickly secured our bikes to the wooden information kiosk and hiked up the mountain to check out the falls.
The powerful stream of water is hitting the lower pool 52 meters downhill with a thundering sound that can be heard from quite a distance away. To our amazement, the hiking path was leading right behind the waterfall, where glaciers had formed a huge crevice during the ice age.
Thank goodness it had warmed up quite a bit, so we did not mind getting a little wet while walking behind the waterfall.
We soon discovered the path leading up to the 16 meter high upper falls. After climbing up another steep hillside, over big roots and up several steep stairs we reached the smaller Upper Pericnik Fall. The water appeared seemingly out of nowhere from atop the mountain, poured into a beautiful colored, small pool and then flowed softly over the steep cliff where it turned into the powerful lower falls. It also had an area to walk behind the powerful water stream.
The view of the valley and the surrounding mountains was absolutely stunning from the top fall and made us feel like little ants in the universe. We could not help but sit for a while to soak it all in.
While checking out the upper fall, we had to be very careful where to step. Any wrong move too far left or right and we would have found ourselves tumbling down the steep cliffs surrounding the area.
The climb back down to our bikes was much faster then the hike up to the falls.
We jumped back on our bikes and headed back to the campsite, where we finally had to decide which route to take back to Germany.
After weighing all of our options, we decided to save our knees for our ride north and to take the train from the next bigger city into Salzburg for now.
We checked the train schedule online where we discovered, that there are only 3 trains a day crossing over into Austria each day: one before 6:00 am, one around 11:00 am and another one in the late afternoon. Getting up and ready at 4:00 am was not going to happen, so option number two was the train-ride for us to take.