Trglav National Park, one of the film sets of Disney’s 2008, “Chronicles of Narnja”, holds 84.000 hectares of wilderness. It is located in the Julian Alps, the north-east of Slovenia, close to the Italian and Austrian borders. The highest point of the park is the peak of Mt. Triglav (2864 m), which also gave the park its name (Triglav means Three Peaks).
I arrived in Trglav from Ljubliana. More or less 110 km. It is mid June 2016. A friend of mine who knows these mountains well, suggested we stay in Trenta. So we did. From here all my story begins.
The park is preserved with all resources and Slovenians are werewolves when it comes to their national park. There is so much about nature protection that we can learn from them. Camping, for example, is strictly prohibited. And “strictly” means you are in big trouble if the park rangers find you with your tent. And they do, as they are present and check even posts on media for proof of “your misfortune”. Fines for that are huge..we are talking about hundreds of euros worth. And even if I think the fines are a bit harsh, I totally respect their Respect for Nature. Same rules for loud level of noise, garbage, disturbing the fauna and flora in any way. You are welcome to touch this paradise with your eyes alone.
The Soča river – the highlight of Trglav
Imagine the Trglav National Park as a kingdom of water and rock, home to the Emerald Beauty – the river Soča. It has earned its name because it is one of the few rivers in the world that keeps its emerald color throughout the whole 138 km voyage. The color comes from high concentrations of dissolved lime, the stone so common in Slovenia. ‘The clear daughter of the mountains’ is considered one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe and serves for drinking, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, canyoning, swimming and admiring. Soča springs in the Trenta Valley, at 876 m in the Julian Alps. It then, flows trough the towns of Bovec, Kobarid, Tolmin, Kanal ob Soči, Nova Gorica and Gorizia, entering the Adriatic Sea close to the town of Monfalcone. Just like the River Reka from the Slovenian Skocjan Caves considered by UNESCO, a natural treasure of planet Earth (read my article here).
The Boka waterfall..
For a close feeling to what it is like to hear tones of water falling, hit play.
How do 100 tones of water falling sound? What about 100 tones of water falling freely 106 meters? You are right: AMAZING! Please welcome the Boka Waterfall, from Trglav!
A must see… and the only real experience is being here. This one you must feel with all your senses: let the wind sprinkle drops on your cheeks..then let the sound of falling water conquer your brain and banish away your thoughts, stare into the foamy waters and be part of this eternity for as long as you desire. May it be for 1 minute, half an hour or half a day..Boka has all the time in the world and won’t rush you, it has no closing time nor deadlines, it only has one dimension: infinity.
Looking at Boka throwing tones of water from the mountain, you will feel the noblesse of nature and a deep sense of intimacy with all that power. You will forget that at the same time, life looks and sounds different somewhere else. In big cities, trams are rushing down the streets and underground trains travel at high speeds, hundred of airplanes cross the sky, 150 babies are born and 105 people close their eyes forever….all in one minute, while you gaze at Boka. I have stayed with her, gazing at her, for more than an hour. There is a hiking trail starting from the Soca river bank – and taking you up almost above the waterfall. That is the spot you will find hard to leave.
The great gorge of the Soča river
I took the hiking trails along Soča, which is one of the most popular and also easy. The weather was whimsical with 20ºC in the first half of the day, and dropping to 10ºC and wind, plus rain in the second half. The Trglav Park is one of the places where you really feel unsafe when weather is not on your side. The nature here is outbreaks without mercy.
Access to the gorges: immediately before the village of Soča (approximately 10 km from Bovec), by the road from Bovec to Trenta.
The Great Gorge of the Soča River is 750 m long and 15 m deep. The noise the water makes is amazing.
Buying food from the locals:
If you pop a question or two to any of the tourist offices or locals, you will find out about the local shepherds and their whereabouts. I really wanted to see how their sheepfold look like and more than that, I wanted to see the shepherds and shepherd ladies. So we went to such a place, near Lepena. It was close to the main road…and speaking the language of hands, spiced with bits of German and Italian we were taken to the cheese shop. I found the products expensive compared, for example, with some medium to high quality cheese in Italy, but then again we were in a National Park.
My journey into the Julian Alps ends here for now. There is so much more to say about TRGLAV National Park and for that reason I will come back to it, stay much longer and at least have a date with its 2864 m summit. Mr. 2864, I promise I will bring tea and coffee. You take care of the view!
And some info to make your life easier:
Here is Trglav National Park.
Here is where to find the Boka Waterfall.
To access the Great Gorges on Soca: On the road ‘Bovec – Trenta (Vršič Pass)’ turn right towards Lepena valley behind village named ‘Soča’. Cross the Soča river and soon after that park on a parking lot by the road.
Cost of accommodation per person, per night: 16 euros in a guesthouse-without breakfast
Coffee price: 1 euro
Dinner (fresh trout with oven potatoes and salad): 10 euros