I recently returned from a hiking trip to Mt. Triglav in the Julian Alps in Slovenia. It was definitely one of the most physically strenuous and most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I love hiking and the outdoors in general but, let’s be honest, other than walking around the city I haven’t been getting much exercise here in Europe. So for three kids in not-so-great shape, hiking 10 hours the first day, 11 hours the second day – all in the alps, including a technical climb to the summit is tiring!
Mt. Triglav is the highest peak in this region but, until getting to the base of the summit I didn’t realize it was going to be life threatening (it wasn’t really that bad, but I was good and scared for a few minutes there). Pictures can’t do it justice.
We had to cross a ridge about a meter across and lined with metal wire (most of the way) with “death” on either side to get to the summit and boy is that a scary thing when half of it is covered in snow (ice in a lot of cases)! It’s liberating to overcome your fear and accomplish what people have told you that you cannot do. The receptionist at out local hostel was not convinced we were going to make it and wasn’t afraid to let us know – but we did!
Slovenia is now the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. We made a long trip out of this hike because we had a few extra days off for midterms. Good thing my marketing midterm was easy! We visited the capital of Slovenia called Ljubljana. It’s hard to pronounce – you have to say a ‘b’, ‘l’, and ‘y’ sound all at once basically. It took me a while to figure out… Next, we visited Lake Bled – absolutely gorgeous! Lake Bled comes complete with a picturesque view of the alps, a small island with a church in the middle, and a castle overlooking the whole lake up on a cliff just above the lake – it was surreal. We then completed our two-day hike turned three-day hike because of a wrong turn and resulting in a night under the stars, hoping the lady who told us there were 650 bears native to the region was just messing with us… I don’t think she was.
Overall, this trip was incredible. The area is absolutely beautiful, I realized that Slovenia is more developed than previously thought and that living in a small mountain village would be sweet – I now have a craving for more hiking trips! Going to visit cities is nice and everything but there’s nothing like being on top of a mountain in a foreign nation feeling on top of the world.
Written by Kellen Busby, UNH Class of 2014